Andy Doyle (and Anglicanism) on Scripture

It is wonderful to see our (ie, the Episcopal Diocese of Texas’) bishop coadjutor-elect Andy Doyle reflect seriously and faithfully on Holy Scripture. See here and here.

He is surely correct that, without the whole community of God’s people reading and grappling with Scripture on a day-in, day-out basis, we have little realistic hope to see God work powerfully among us in unity.

In fact, from everything I have studied and experienced, it seems to me that this is the primary difference between Anglicanism on the one hand, and evangelicalism and the Reformed tradition on the other, with respect to thinking about Scripture.

I have written here and elsewhere about how Anglicanism sees Scripture as having its primary context in the corporate worship of God. What I have realized more recently however is that the great vision of Anglicanism (to name three disparate examples: Thomas Cranmer, Philip Turner, and Andy Doyle) is to have the full people of God reading the Bible together in such a way that the narrative of Scripture — what is called the “rule of faith” as summarized by the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds — comes to saturate our lives.

Bishop Tom Wright provides a good example of this emphasis on narrative or story within the whole of the liturgy here (about half way through the video).

For Anglicanism, the least important mode of imbibing Scripture is what you might call “the library-based study of Scripture.” Important, yes, for scholars (doctors of the church, perhaps) or for someone who heard something in gathered worship who then wants a question answered or who wants to dig deeper, but secondary to the liturgical reading of God’s word, both in the mode of proclamation within the Eucharist, as well as in the more meditative, lectio divina mode of the Daily Office (whether in a community or in spatial isolation from the community).

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