Friday, 25 July 2008

End of Sola Scriptura?

I can't say I'm wanting to defend Sola Scriptura (the Bible alone), but I have been rather shocked by its abandonment within Conservative Evangelicalism. I've noticed this in some of personal chats with conservatives and really taken aback to see it in "The Jerusalem Declaration" (the declaration by conservative Bishops in the light of Lambeth). It reads:

"The Bible is to be translated, read, preached, taught and obeyed in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading. "

Of course, the church has a clear historical and consensual reading, doesn't it?

The need to add this clause about the historical and consensual reading belies a lack of confidence in the Bible to clearly state that homosexuality is wrong. So resort has to be made to a historical reading of it. It clearly demonstrates to me that their claim to be the ones holding to the Bible is just simply not true.

What was great about Sola Scriptura in its day was that it gave the individual the right to interpret the Bible, without recourse to Popes, Bishops or Priests. It meant that practices that were accepted simply because this is the way they are always done, could be questioned and challenged. We might not be wanting a return to Sola Scriptura per se, but in the light of the homosexuality debate today, surely we need, more than ever, to not just accept things because that is what has always been believed, but to weigh it against Scripture, experience, common sense and justice.

1 comment:

mark said...

Meant to say - full declaration can be found at: