This book represents a continuation of study, debate, and conversation, particularly within the Episcopal Church in the U.S., concerning the authority and function of the Bible in the church. The content of the debate and conversation, however, will be of interest and benefit also to members of other church bodies. A helpful study guide appears at the beginning of the book to assist individuals and group to work through the various contributions and to draw their own conclusions regarding the Bible's role in today's church. The literal and plain sense of the scriptures, the matter in which the Bible is to be regarded as incarnate in history and human limitations, and the degree to which it is subject to historical conditions-these and a host of other critical issues provide the focus of the book. Special attention is directed to the issue of the growing biblical illiteracy in society, leading one of the contributors to warn that "biblical illiteracy is the precursor to spiritual death and communal dissolution." The main chapters include" "The 'Official position' of the Episcopal Church on the Authority of Scripture: Historical Development and Ecumenical Comparison" (J. Robert Wright); "Holy Book, Holy People: A Study of the Authority and Use of the Bible" (Charles P. Price); "'For Freedom Christ Has Set You Free': The Interpretation and Authority of Scripture in Contemporary Theologies of Liberation" (Ellen K. Wondra); "Reading the Bible as the Word of God" (Stephen F. Noll); "The Scriptures in the Life of the Church" (Richard A. Norris, Jr.). The editor, Frederick Houk Borsch, is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
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