By Dana Allin, synod executive of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
Over the next several months, in preparation for our national gathering, we will be focusing our Thursday blog posts on ECO’s eight core values. We will spend a month of Thursdays on each of the values, where I will write an introductory blog post and then other authors will expand upon our Biblical understanding of the value for the next 3-4 weeks. We are excited to dig in together and pray that you will join us in this journey as we strive to stay connected until we see each other in person next January!
The second of our values is:
Biblical Integrity: We believe the Bible is the unique and authoritative Word of God, which teaches all that is necessary for faith and life. The prominence of God’s Word over our lives shapes our priorities, and the unrivaled authority of the Bible directs our actions to be in concert with Christ’s very best for our lives.
Rich Kannwisher, pastor at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California, reminded me of a great line adapted from the work of Jim Collins. Collins says, “An organization needs to preserve what is core and stimulate progress.” I use this phrase a lot when talking to churches or groups about ECO. ECO needs to be abundantly clear about what is “core” to who we are and what is “progress”. I often mention that progress is the structures, ministries and process that we implement to fulfill our vision. But I will always articulate that at our core is “Biblical Integrity.” Biblical Integrity has implications for many things. How we view scripture determines our understanding of the person and work of Jesus. It shapes how we view our mission in the world. It shapes the way we conduct our lives.
Biblical Integrity is the second of our core values in ECO. We express it this way, “We believe the Bible is the unique and authoritative Word of God, which teaches all that is necessary for faith and life. The prominence of God’s Word over our lives shapes our priorities, and the unrivaled authority of the Bible directs our actions to be in concert with Christ’s very best for our lives.”
I love so much about this statement regarding the nature and application of scripture to our lives.
Related article: ECO’s core values: #1 Jesus shaped identity
In watching the tv show Madmen—I was constantly amazed and amused at how much of advertising copy is banal and mindless word speak.
How nice that ECO believes in “Biblical Integrity.” If you read further you realize it is just a phrase like telling us about “real flavor” in our coffee or, “whiter whites” for our detergent.
In the end faith is about worshipping God and treating people, all people as a neighbor.
What exactly is “Bible Integrity”?? I get a little nervous when Bible inerrancy is not mentioned!! How about Bible infallibility?? I think that the ECO needs to be clearer on what they mean or what is exactly their definition of what holy scripture is! I have to agree with Jim that “Biblical Integrity” sounds like something generated on Madison Avenue!!
I get nervous when people say that the Bible is all we need. It’s as if God stopped speaking 2000 years ago! I am all for Biblical integrity as long as I get to interpret Scripture myself with the brain God gave me. God is inerrant. Man, not so much! Remember that men gave us a “biblical” rationales for both slavery and subjection of women for centuries.
“Bible Integrity” means taking the Bible literally when that supports authority and ignoring it when authority finds it inconvenient. You know, like the having the verses interpreted against homosexuality matter but the ones against divorce not, because the latter would cause too many people to leave the evangelical church and take their money, their sweet, sweet money, with them.
Scott, you’re not bitter at all, are you?
You don’t think it’s a fair question – why homosexuality is an issue but Matthew 19, Mark 10, Matthew 5:32, Luke 16:18 magically don’t apply nowadays? Wouldn’t ignoring those have been the first step down the road your church is on now?