Monday, 10 August 2009

The Bible as blueprint?

'My early years as a Christian were marked by the unquestioned assumption that Scripture's authority was that of a book of rules and that, therefore, the Bible offered a sufficient and comprehensive blueprint for the Church and its ministry...The Bible is not a Hayne's Manual...and comparison with any work intended as a blueprint will quickly clarify that this simply is not the genre of Scripture.  The Bible, as overwhelmingly a narratival account of God's interaction with his people, is authoritative more in the manner of a case book than a rule book (the 'rules' which unquestionably occur generally relate to a specific context).  The Bible, therefore, though sufficient in its witness to the gospel and to God as revealed in the gospel, makes no claim of comprehensiveness: it makes no claim to tell us all there is to know.'  John Colwell, Promise and Presence p 227

Still one of my favourite books.  

The question for the Church today with all things is not whether our theology, ethics and practice conform to a supposed biblical blueprint, but whether our theology, ethics and practice  are a consistent and appropriate response to the biblical witness.  

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