John Azumah on how we use the Bible
John A. Azumah, Professor of World Religions at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta has published an important article in which African Christianity serves as mirror by which American Christians–especially those of us in the PC(USA)–can see themselves. Read the entire article here.
According to Azumah attitudes toward the Bible are difference-makers in the ways that churches approach a variety of religious issues:
… I have come to the conclusion that the doctrinal differences between American liberals and African traditionalists originate in deeper conflicts. We may argue about what the Bible says about sexuality, but there is a broader, unstated disagreement over the Bible itself. For mainstream Western society, the Bible is an ancient text that might arouse intellectual curiosity or become the subject of historical analysis, but it is hardly a sacred book. It has no more authority in American culture than the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King’s speeches, and other notable historic statements. Dropping the language of “obedience to Scripture” and “conformity to the historic confessional standards” from the PC(USA) Ordination Standards underscores this point.