Sunday, May 24, 2009

Read The Bible II

More from Oliver O'Donovan's latest lecture, The Reading Church: Scriptural Authority in Practice:
“No collective spiritual exercise, no sacrament, no act of praise or prayer is so primary to the catholic identity of the church gathered as the reading and recitation of Scripture. It is the nuclear core. When Paul instructed his letters to be passed from church to church and read, it was the badge of the local church’s catholic identity. This is not to devalue preaching, praise, prayer, let alone sacramental act; these all find their authorisation in reading. As we know from St Thomas Aquinas, the act of breaking bread and sharing wine is not a Eucharist unless the narrative of the institution at the Last Supper is read.”
This reminds me of something Ian Powell said in a talk several years ago. The most important thing we do at church (besides meet with Jesus) isn't the music, or the supper, or even the sermon. The most important thing we do is to hear God's word. So pay attention.

But here's a question. We read far less of the scriptures in church then our brothers and sisters did a 100 years ago. And it seems as though many Christians today read far less of the bible then they would have a 100 years ago, even a generation ago. Is there any connection between the two?

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