Monday, May 19, 2014

May Micro Blog: Sola Scriptura

The Protestant Reformation adopted a fivefold saying.
  1. Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")
  2. Sola fide ("by faith alone")
  3. Sola gratia ("by grace alone")
  4. Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone")
  5. Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone")
Often the first of these by Scripture alone has been interpreted as the book – the ‘device’ printed words on a page. Now increasingly, we are aware that early churches without the printing press had to hand copy the text and read it out loud for people to hear it. Churches have always read the scriptures during a service but I have been in a number of Churches where there is an increased emphasis on this for example reading a large slab of text before a new series starts. I for one love this. 

There is increasing commentary (easily found on the web) about the changing paradigm of the text from oral to printed book and to electronic. Okay boring so far.

However, last week I attended a seminar at which Bruxy Cavey spoke. He put a spin on this that was truly fascinating, one that I have not heard quite this way before and it is, I thought worth sharing. The scriptures are not solely the text or even if you want to spin it differently the Word made flesh – Jesus. One way in to think about it is that in NT to 'read' the scriptures, it would have had to been read for you and then because of the what that entails it would be in a group setting - the community together. You gather together to hear the words read. You couldn't hear the words outside of a group setting. Now the printing press changed that - individuals could read it for themselves it private, which has had important advantages but that wasn't the NT worldview.

It is a worthwhile point - the device, the printed book or electronic media may matter less than the continued act of meeting together. The Church - the body - needs to be together sharing space and time in a place. Sharing food is seems to be important as well which just a bonus. Do other things if you like but be physically together with others as well.

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