Late this afternoon as I was browsing some blogs, I found this post on Brian’s site, which led me to this article and discussion on titusonenine . After reading 44 responses, I felt moved to respond. This is not something I do frequently on titusonenine. While discussions there tend to reflect more thought and reflection and listening than most sites coming from the “reasserter” or “traditional” side of Anglican arguments, it is only the best of a bad lot. Rather than add to the fire, and open myself to those responses, I tend to simply click away, with an intellectual shake of the head. However, today I responded. My response is as follows.
So much of this saddens me. How shall we imagine finding common ground if we cannot even find “shared space?”
I grew up in a culture where the most common standard for Biblical interpretation was “literally true, verbally inspired, inerrant and infallible.” Now, that goes quite a way beyond “containing all things necessary to salvation.” In that light, it is not simply my opportunity, it is my responsibility to live with Scripture to discern what is necessary to salvation, and what is not.
Will you walk away from me because of how I understand Scripture? Certainly, I have reappraised some parts of Scripture. I do not hesitate to wear shirts of a blended fabric. And I am part of a long tradition of reappraisal in big things and little. I am reasonably certain I have ancestors who plowed their fields with mules. I am reasonably certain I have ancestors who owned slaves. I believe God created (and continues to create), but I don’t believe it happened in six 24-hour days. I am heir to the saints who reappraised the prophecies of the Old Covenant and recognized in them the things pertaining to Christ. I have been doing this all along, making no pretence. Will you walk away from me now?
I say with conviction the Nicene and Apostles Creeds. I affirm the Baptismal Covenant, and seek to live it out to the best of my ability. I believe in and preach the full divinity and full humanity of Christ, and believe that he is still living and present, in the Spirit, in and through the Church, and in the Sacraments. Will you walk away from me, claiming that this issue, this understanding of these portions of Scripture, negate all of that?
Again, how can we speak of common ground when we cannot imagine shared space? I have been with you on the path all this time, claiming and proclaiming the faith, and appraising and reappraising in light of Christ the word as received in Scripture. I have not changed. Will you walk away from me now, and then blame it on me?
I don’t know whether this will bring a direct response. It has not as of the time of this posting, but only time will tell. And as for the possibilities that we might reconcile, that we might still “walk together:” well, only time will tell about that, too.
ADDENDUM: I have received a comment from Kendall of titusonenine that confronted me and called for clarification of the phrase, "best of a bad lot." I have responded to him directly by email, but in the interest of clarity have included it as a further comment to this post.