At the present time, when authority for the church's beliefs and actions is the subject of much discussion, this book attempts to look to the authority of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and how these are transmitted within apostolic tradition by word, actions, and writings. Elements giving weight to authority (co-inherence, consistency, and universality) are examined along with the scope and limits of interpretative tradition.
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At this time, when the authority for the Church’s beliefs and actions is the subject of much discussion and conflict across the world, this book, by the author of Why Believe in God?, Preaching Through the Christian Year, No. 11, and various theological articles, sermons, and reviews, attempts to set out what should be the grounds for authority within the Christian Church. After considering views of authority in society and within other faiths, it looks to the authority of God, the authority of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, then considers how these are transmitted within apostolic tradition by word, actions, and writings to the Holy Scriptures and the Church Universal. These are seen as influencing each other, with the Church as interpreter of the Scriptures but needing to do so through a majority of its members (a process where Synods and all the faithful both have a role), and needing not to go contrary to Christ or those Scriptures that He or the Church made central to their message and life. Elements giving weight to authority (co-inherence, consistency, and universality) are examined along with the scope and limits of interpretative tradition. Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience are seen as enduring elements carrying authority and the relation between them is examined, along with the problems which come from the isolations of elements of authority or their exaltation above the authority of God the Holy Trinity.
Peter Lee was born in Wakefield, U.K. in 1944, went to Leeds Grammar School as an exhibitioner, then to Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he read Classics and Theology. After University, he taught in an inner town area and helped to run a hostel for wayfarers and former prisoners. He trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon Theological College near Oxford, and was curate at Manston, Leeds, then Bingley, combined with the College of Education chaplaincy there. He was Vicar of Cross Roads until moving to be Vicar of St. Peter's, Bishop Auckland and a Tutor in the North East Ordination Course; he is now a Part Time Officiant in York diocese. He is married with one child; his writings include Why Believe in God?, Preaching Through the Christian Year, No.11> and various articles, sermons and reviews.