Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Evangelicals and the Bible

Just been reading two assessment reports, of Wycliffe Hall and St Stephen's House in Oxford (both theological colleges = seminaries in US speak). Lots of interesting stuff in them, but I had to laugh when it was pointed out that the evangelical college was deficient in its use of the Bible in worship! A trend that I'm coming to associate with evangelical styles.

This is the relevant paragraph in full:

"We were also surprised at the very limited amount of biblical material in the daily
services. A psalm is required to be used on Monday mornings, and a psalm was
said on one other day. A short reading from the New Testament is recommended
on three mornings, and a short reading from the Old Testament on two mornings.
The Hall lectionary provides for reading ‘the whole range of biblical literature’
over a four year cycle on three mornings a week for 32 weeks of the year. However,
no student spends four years in the Hall, and such an arrangement does not
encourage students to read the Bible themselves ‘in course’ on days when there is
no corporate worship in chapel. Therefore we do not think that this practice is
consistent with the Anglican tradition of reading the psalms and the greater part of
the Old Testament and all the New Testament, in course, during the calendar year.
This is intended to immerse the Church’s ministers, and the laity, in Scripture, and
thereby to familiarise them with the great sweep and variety of salvation history
and literature in the Old Testament, and with all the gospels and letters and the
Revelation to John in the New Testament. Attention should be paid to providing
more extensive use of the psalms, and the biblical canticles, which praise and
thank God for his intervention in his world in the incarnation of his son, Jesus
Christ, for the salvation of his creation; and for publicly reading the Old and New
Testaments in course."

Quite so.

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