more bs for Lambeth meeting

Reported in the print edition of the Living Church, March 23, 2008.

Bible Study Planned for Bishops at Lambeth

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams recently appointed a South African theologian as chairman of an international team of scholars charged with preparing Bible studies for the Lambeth Conference of bishops.

Gerald West, professor at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and director of the university’s Institute for the Study of the Bible, has convened an international group to prepare daily Bible Studies for the conference.

The Bible studies are designed to be a major component of the conference. Bishops and spouses will meet in in separate conferences, but will pursue the same Bible studies.

Now I think Bible Study is a wonderful thing. Please, don’t get me wrong. The problem that I have with this is that it can’t succeed. The bishops don’t have a common understanding of the authority or role of Scripture. The bishops don’t have a common vocabulary nor do they possess any kind of consistent hermeneutic (tec has made sure of that). Finally, without the mainstream bishops from the global south, and with the many new bishops of tec, there is a real scarcity of theologians and biblical scholars: this will only serve to demonstrate how deep the fissure has become.

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