|Photo by Glenn Riegel|
|The officers of Annual Conference 2013, from left moderator-elect Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, moderator Bob Krouse, and secretary James Beckwith.|
The Conference delegates have decided that a 1979 Annual Conference statement titled “Biblical Inspiration and Authority” is still relevant today, in response to a query on biblical authority.
The query came from Hopewell Church of the Brethren and was passed on to Annual Conference by the Virlina District Conference. It asked if the 1979 Annual Conference statement is still relevant to the denomination, given what “appears to be a great diversity in approach to the primacy of scripture in general and the New Testament in particular within the Church of the Brethren.”
The action of the 2013 Annual Conference was to adopt a recommendation from the Standing Committee of district delegates “that the 1979 Annual Conference statement on Biblical Inspiration and Authority is still relevant and represents the position of the denomination today. We encourage its on-going study in personal and corporate settings.”
Discussion of the query and the Standing Committee recommendation was lively and included a time for delegates to talk in their table groups as well as time for comments from the microphones. A number of speakers expressing a range of theological perspectives, all supported the statement that the 1979 paper continues to represent the position of the denomination. Others who acknowledged that the paper represents a compromise, still called for the Brethren to tackle the task of resolving differences and conflicts over how to read the Bible.
“How to you decide in 30 minutes what to do with a…3,000 year old book?” asked moderator Bob Krouse, at one point during the discussion.