Monday, June 7, 2010

Fiddling While Romans Burns?

Our Hermeneutical Hui project in ACANZP is clear that there is an important need to talk about the Bible and Human Sexuality. Albeit slowly, we are making our way with determination towards the 'topic of the day'. None too soon in respect of the Communion to which we belong being on the verge of a meltdown.

So you will understand if I am not entirely convinced that a much bigger Bible reading project for the Communion is okey-dokey starting with the environment as a key issue of the day. The environment is an urgent issue; but is it the Communion's most urgent issue?

From an ACNS release:

"Members of the worldwide Anglican Communion are working together on a project to discover what the Bible tells the church about saving the planet from environmental damage.

The Bible in the Life of the Church project manager, Stephen Lyon, said that World Environment Day was the perfect moment to reveal that the first issue under discussion would be the Environment.

“We are already seeing the impact of climate change, particularly in the developing world,” he said. “Most Anglicans live in countries like India and Nigeria that will be worst hit by greater flooding, or diminishing levels of potable water.

“All faiths have a duty to protect the environment, for themselves and others. Our particular tradition, Anglicanism, has enshrined the need to protect our world in its mission statement The Five Marks of Mission*. This is one of the reasons why we have picked this issue—to ensure that all Anglicans everywhere realise the biblical imperative to protect and sustain God’s creation.

“We also hope that, through exploring together a selection of key biblical passages which relate to this theme—widely acknowledged as one of the most crucial challenges facing the Churches and humanity today—we will be able to offer evidence of the way in which Anglicans actually handle the Bible, and to identify principles of biblical interpretation.”

Speaking about the project, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams stressed that God was a creator who was faithful to what he created.

“I hope that through this project we learn not just to say words about how important the Bible is, but really to allow God’s Spirit and God’s Word through the Bible to come into us and make us the community of people that God wants and so make the world the world that God wants;” he said, “the God of the Bible who loves what he’s made, is faithful to what he’s made, and who has actually come to work within the world he’s made through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.”

The Bible in the Life of the Church is a major project being undertaken over three years by the Anglican Communion, mandated by the Anglican Consultative Council at its Jamaica meeting in May 2009. It is seeking to discover how Anglican Christians read the Bible, recognising the very diverse contexts they inevitably bring to this reading. The work of this project will largely take place in a number of regional groups based around theological education institutions in East Africa, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Oceania, North America and Britain. The Steering Group also includes members from Cuba and Nigeria."

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