Friday, October 22, 2004

Wright on the Lambeth Commission

I tend to avoid extensive discussion in this blog of Church politics except where it directly impinges on, relates to or comes out of New Testament scholarship. That's not because I am not interested in such issues (I am) but I don't see engaging in the broader debate in this context as particularly helpful, and it is not why people read this blog. But anyway, one of the areas where the current discussions about homosexuality and the Anglican communion become relevant are, of course, in relation to the interpretation of Scripture, and I was interested this morning to read Tom Wright's insider's views of the recent Lambeth Commission. This article is in Christianity Today and after the link, I quote one pertinent element in the interview:

N.T. Wright: Anglican Report is 'Fireproofing the House'
Top theologian on Lambeth Commission talks about what happened behind the scenes, whether the report should have been tougher, and why it's critical of some conservative bishops.
Interview by Douglas LeBlanc
One of the things I find depressing about some of the upper echelons of Anglicanism on both sides of the Atlantic is that it's sort of taken for granted that we all basically know what's in the Bible, and so we just glance at a few verses for devotional purposes and then get on to the real business. I look forward to the day, and I think the report is pressing for this very strongly, when not in some kind of fundamentalistic way but with real serious creative engagement and interpretative activity with Scripture, we can actually really learn from one another and one another's readings of Scripture. Not that all readings are equally good. I would never dream of saying that, of course, as a biblical scholar. But that we do need to listen to one another in our readings of Scripture and we need to grow up in those readings. And frankly, some of the readings of Scripture which come out of the liberal tradition, and some of the readings which come out of the so-called conservative tradition are really immature readings of Scripture and need to be challenged. I and others spend our lives trying to do that.
Well, I suppose that as someone devoted to the business of reading and teaching about the Bible and Christian Origins, I would agree with that, but I found it enormously encouraging to see these views articulated so clearly and responsibly.

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