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Reading Scripture--and Rereading It

L. William Countryman

Some hold that the current conflicts among Anglicans center on the question of whether Scripture is authoritative for us. This paper argues that the real question is how we read it. Classic Anglicanism evolved in conflict not only with medieval Catholicism, but also with the Puritan confidence that Scripture was clear and that it could be reduced to a systematic account. In seeking to articulate an Anglican way of reading, the author turns to the New Testament to draw out three counsels for reading Scripture today. Our reading must be open to change in the light of our spiritual growth as individuals and community (Paul), to the reality that some things in Scripture are simply wrong (Jesus), and to the importance of listening as well as speaking to one another--and of doing both without anger (James).

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