A twenty-year old seminarian, Blake Huggins, suggests that the Reformation cry of Sola Scriptura is outdated, but that substituting Prima Scriptura suggests a continued reliance on the primacy of Scripture. I think the young man is right, and I recommend reading his entire blog post at Emergent Village Weblog.
So, admitting the immanent [sic, but interesting] end of Sola Scriptura is not a categorical rejection of Scripture as much [sic, less interesting]; rather, it is a coming to terms with our own limitations and finitude as human beings and adopting a certain humility about our readings. I seriously doubt whether the Bible is infallible since it was written by pre-modern men (yes, they were men). But that doesn’t mean I don’t think the Bible is authoritative or instructional.
This ties into the discussion on Doug Kings’ blog, Cyber Spirit Cafe, in which he suggests that our ELCA is not honest about Scripture with the people in the pew. See my earlier post on the subject. I like the line, which I paraphrase, our seminaries teach the historical critical method, but whisper on the way out ‘don’t tell anyone’. Doug is especially critical of the ELCA “Book of Faith Initiative” which he sees as a wishy-washy, don’t offend anyone, response to Biblical illiteracy, which only perpetuates the problem.
Doug also suggests, rightly I think, that ambivalence about how we read Scripture is at the core of denominational struggles with issues such as gay clergy. In the ELCA, the conservative opposition to all things new calls itself, “Word Alone”, which confirms that the threshold issue is how we relate to Scripture.
Doug suggests we deal honestly with what Scripture is and what it is not and let the chips fall where they will.
In a hard hitting and incisive post, Pastor John Shuck of Shuck and Jive, criticizes today’s California SC Prop 8 decision by challenging a “high view of scripture”, ie the sense that the Bible is divinely inspired and hence beyond criticism. He argues that certain Christians, in reliance upon their misguided interpretation of scripture and fundamental misunderstanding of what Scripture is, are responsible for the California decision.
If there is going to be any forward movement for humanity, we will need to relieve ourselves of our superstitious past. This will include the evolution of Christianity into something that is reasonable and decent. The key will be discarding the authority of any supposed “special revelation.”
The Bible is a book. It is like all books, creeds, liturgies, songs, and rituals, created by human beings. Most of the Bible isn’t even that good. Until we can admit that reasonable piece of common sense, we will continue to make life more miserable for our fellow creatures and for Earth itself.
Whew. Tell us what you really think, Pastor Shuck! Read his rant in his blogpost, but its not for namby pambies. Shuck and Jive: Prop 8 and Superstition