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“Be ye sure that the LORD he is God” – The Anglican Crisis in Interpretation and the Two Testament Voice of Christian Scripture

Abstract

1. The same-sex crisis in ECUSA is a symptom of a deeper disagreement over the interpretation of Scripture. 2. Particularly challenging—though not often stated clearly—is the formal character of scripture, that is, as consisting of two testaments. 3. In the early Church something called the ‘rule of faith’ functioned to assure certain minimal theological claims were not being compromised: chief among these was that the OT functioned as Christian Scripture, because the Risen and worshiped Lord was one with the named LORD of Israel’s revealed witness. Negatively ruled out were understandings of the OT as primarily a phase of religious development. 4. Anglicans see the ‘rule of faith’ most clearly in the canticles of Morning Prayer worship, when OT Psalms (e.g., The Jubilate Deo) are glossed, ‘Glory to the Father, etc.’ 5. This Prayer Book underscoring of the Rule of Faith is necessary if the two testament voice of scripture is to be heard. 6. If it is not being heard according to a rule of faith, then we have a breakdown at a level I will call ‘tactic knowledge.’ Such a breakdown has, I believe, occurred.

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