Scripture or tradition? It’s easy, especially in the long shadow of the Reformation, to pit Scripture against tradition.
But the Bible itself suggests there is a fundamental unity between Scripture and the tradition it embodies.
Scripture First examines this tradition and offers a theological framework to help you avoid trivial proof texting, allowing the Word to serve as a living and active resource for Christian life.
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"The Restoration Movement was birthed from a holy desire to unify divided Christian communities under the authority of Sacred Scripture.… These essays exhibit the best characteristics of such work. My hope is that Scripture First will be taken up and read widely to the edification and gentle provocation of all still committed to understanding and sharing in the mysterious work of the Father, reconciling all things in heaven and on earth in the Son through the Holy Spirit."
Scripture First contains six essays on different elements of what it means to read Scripture scripturally.
In particular, you'll learn how to read Scripture consistently with
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Scripture First calls us to consider what it means to take scripture seriously. The authors prompt us to avoid blindly accepting or quickly rejecting the restoration movement principle of finding unity through adherence to scripture. The work is challenging and thought provoking, and hopefully it will spark significant conversations within the Stone-Campbell Movement and outside it as well.
~Todd Brenneman, Faulkner University
These essays spark creative thoughts regarding how biblical interpretation impacts Christian unity. While focused on those related to the Stone-Campbell movement, the authors' analyses of texts and methods can benefit those in a much wider circle. A good read for anyone meditating on the concept of a rule of faith and its role in understanding Scripture and building up the Body of Christ.
~ Susan Bubbers, The Center for Anglican Theology
Oden and Stark have assembled six powerful essays firmly grounded in Old and New Testament depictions of God’s people striving to understand God’s word. Rather than the divisive patternistic restorationism often used in Churches of Christ, the authors convincingly advocate methods of scripture interpretation that focus on the core affirmations of Christian faith, especially those proclaimed at and embodied in baptism. The object of godly biblical interpretation is the formation of the church into the image of Christ. The authors provide perhaps the healthiest and most hopeful way forward toward this goal seen today in Churches of Christ.
~ Douglas Foster, Abilene Christian University
Scripture First calls for a new kind of patternism. Grounded in a close reading of Scripture, the authors recognize the core affirmations of the faith, promote the historic confession of those affirmations, and call for their expression in both liturgy and communal reading. This project faithfully reads Scripture and offers a path toward a fuller embodiment of the visible unity of the body of Christ. The integration of Scripture, the great tradition of the church, and a living community is, as Thomas Campbell speculated there might be, a “better way” to realize unity in the present.
~ John Mark Hicks, Lipscomb University