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"But It Shall Not Be So Among You": Some Reflections Towards the Reception of the Windsor Report within ECUSA

A. Katherine Grieb

Can our biblical texts and legal traditions help us to assess the wisdom of the Windsor Report's recommendation for tighter structures and more formal procedures? Among other texts, the two rival accounts of how Israel got its first king form an important precedent for today's conversations about covenant and centralized authority. Similarly, the long conversation with text and tradition that comprises biblical interpretation has dynamics like the classic law/equity debate stemming from British common law and analogous discussions about interpreting the United States constitution and congressional statutes. The Windsor Report wisely bases its primary arguments on Paul's insistence that church unity is both cammanded by God and worth the hard interpersonal and cross-cultural work it demands of us all. Nevertheless, a subsidiary theme of the Report hinting that our difficulties could be solved by increased legal structure threatens to undercut that powerful theological vision.

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