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The Bible in Church and Society

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Many Protestant Christians would acknowledge the authority of Scripture, following the great Reformers of the sixteenth century. However, sola scriptura (Scripture alone) has sometimes been bandied about by some Christians as a slogan that is somewhat devoid of theological depth. What did the Reformers mean by this great assertion that the Church’s doctrine and life should be grounded in and shaped by Scripture alone? What does the sola in this well-worn and oft-repeated expression really mean? What is the relationship (if any) between Scripture and the traditions of the Church, including the statements enshrined in the great ecumenical creeds about God, Christ and salvation? Does the recognition of the sole or absolute authority of Bible mean that Christians should ignore the theological, spiritual, and liturgical traditions of the church, as some Protestant Christians have argued? What is the role of the Bible in the worship of the Christian community? How should Scripture inform, shape and energise the church’s worship, and, again, what place does the liturgical tradition have in this most important activity of God’s people? And finally, what is the place and role of the Christian Scriptures in the public debate? Should Christians expect the words of Scripture to be heard and respected in the modern public square, where secularism and religious diversity uneasily and awkwardly occupy the same space, and where different and competing worldviews and ideologies jostle for attention? 

These are some of the questions that the essays in this book addresses. These essays began life as presentations made at a conference entitled, Dei Verbum: The Bible in Church and Society' organised by the Ethos Institute for Public Christianity on 28 September 2019.
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