…not novelty of doctrine, but effective practice…

Earlier this morning, I was reading part of the 1976 brochure of the Christian Community of the Holy Order of MANS.  (Thanks, Jessika!)  The following excerpt struck me as a particularly good statement on scripture:

 The Christian Community recognizes the authority of scripture and seeks to articulate the Gospel as an expression of the certainty of man’s freedom in Christ and in truth.  Its approach to scripture is practical and functional…. Its aim is not novelty of doctrine, but effective practice.

How do we approach scripture with an eye to effective practice, to performance of the text, so that (as Ignatius of Antioch writes of Jesus) even what we do in silence will be worthy of God?   In the same letter to the Ephesian church, Ignatius writes:

 The one who has the word of Jesus can listen also to his silence, in order to be perfect, that he may act through speech and be known through silence.

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