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Episcopal Church 'living with disagreement'

Episcopal Church 'living with disagreement'
Seminary President Refutes Liberal Priest on Scripture's Authority

By the Rev. Dr. Ian Markham
February 3, 2013

I read with interest the critique from the Rev. Dr. Frank Larisey about the decision of Bishop Mark Lawrence to break away from the Episcopal Church. As a president of a seminary (the one he attended), please may I take issue with his perception that scripture is no longer affirmed or recognized as authoritative.

This is not true of Virginia Theological Seminary. We remain a creedal school that recognizes the Lordship of Christ. We share an incarnational, trinitarian faith that recognizes scripture as the authority for our faith.

Some in our community would agree with Dr. Larisey that same-sex intimacy is incompatible with scripture. Others would disagree. In the same way that some Christians believe that both war and divorce are forbidden by the teaching of our Lord, other Christians disagree and believe that a more careful reading of the biblical narrative opens up other possibilities, where war and divorce might be ethically permitted.

In the same way as the early church had to live with fundamental disagreements over eating food offered to idols and the exercise of the gifts of the spirit in the congregation, so we are being required to live with disagreement today.

The Very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham
Dean and President,
Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Va.

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