Anglican (Episcopal) Approach to Scripture

For years now I’ve been fairly obsessed with this issue of how Episcopalians regard Holy Scripture, especially in contrast to more standard evangelical views, patterns, and assumptions.

In fact a few years ago I posted a series of blog articles on this topic beginning here.

More recently, however, I have uploaded a youtube video (actually it is a series, since I “messed up” in the first video, and lack the necessary editing skills to correct the error … hence the additional video) which describes the Anglican approach to Scripture as liturgical, and hence viewed from the following four perspectives:

1. Community

2. Story

3. Context

4. Sacrament.

You can find the videos here, here, and here.


Thank you for this explanation. I especially appreciate your perspective on the Anglican church as one who (I believe) was raised in the Evangelical tradition.

I do have a couple of questions.
1a. How do you guide/encourage your parishioners to that meditation on the 4 Sunday passages on Monday through Saturday?

1b. How does the daily office fit into that goal, or does it? I’m not an Anglican, but I have for the last few months been using the Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer as my guide for daily scripture reading.

2. In light of your last section where you liken scripture to sacrament, what is the Anglican take on the reformation doctrine of sola scriptura? This of course reveals my ignorance of where Episcopalians stand on the spectrum of protestantism.

Nathan, Thanks very much!

1a. Well, to be very practical, I’d suggest taking home the service leaflet or learning to use the lectionary, then going back over the passages in a quiet time of meditation, trying to recall what was said about them in the sermon. Also, I neglected to mention in my hastily & spontaneously made videos that the Collect of the Day is also another way in which the lessons get stitched together. There’s lots more one could say (like memorization). Also I’m not trying to suggest that folks should not do additional Bible readings throughout the week! I’ve seen small groups that meet weekly (or bi-weekly, etc.) that discuss the previous week’s lessons, particularly in light of the sermon, etc.

1b. That is fantastic that you have been doing the daily office! Did you know that here at Christ Church we have a public Morning Prayer service on MOndays at 8:30? All are invited! I’d say that there is not DIRECT overlap with praying the Office and my point about reflecting on the previous Sunday’s lessons. However, the Collect of the Day is a part of the Daily Office, so that is interesting. So, say you are doing Morning Prayer on Monday morning, and you pray the Collect of the Day from the previous Sunday, ie, the day before (which is how it should be done) that is a window into all sorts of connections I’d think….

Nathan, on your #2, see:

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