It is a game of in and out, rule by flattened dictat, where a thief and a gay person in a loving relationship are equal.
When I did my Ph.D and I categorised the 'Conversionists', consisting of sub-groups Fundamentalists, Evangelicals and Charismatics, I said that their authority pattern was charismatic, that is centred not around The Book but around approved persons who interpreted the Book (and other matters, like what the Holy Spirit was saying, etc.). The Bible gets treated selectively, and it is all via surface appearing quotes selected by these people past and present.
It does not require vigour in study, or completeness. In fact, being evangelical so often means being selective and ignoring a lot. Thus no surprise that an Anglican training college, Wycliffe Hall, seat of a staff turnover war against "liberal evangelicals" on the road to bashing the real enemy, the liberals, should have these statements made about it in a Church of England inspection:
97 Less successful overall, however, was the teaching in Ministry and Leadership, which tended to focus on the practicalities of ministry at the expense of linking the practice of ministry to fundamental theological and biblical principles.
74 We were also surprised at the very limited amount of biblical material in the daily services... The Hall lectionary provides for reading ‘the whole range of biblical literature’ over a four year cycle on three mornings a week for 32 weeks of the year. However, no student spends four years in the Hall... Attention should be paid to providing more extensive use of the psalms, and the biblical canticles...
- The Principal should arrange for the provision of daily public worship to provide
- for more reflective worship appropriate to sustaining daily life in ministry;
- for more extensive reading of the Psalms and the Old and New Testaments in course, and the use of biblical canticles;
- worship to mark the end of the working day;
- for intercessions that attend to the needs of the wider church and the world.
The Board of Studies should provide for teaching during the first term of training to introduce students to the theological, liturgical, and practical issues of worship to prepare them for leading daily worship in the Hall, and for participating in leading worship in placement parishes, including an introduction to the resources of the Church of England’s Common Worship, especially for corporate daily prayer.
95 Whilst teaching broadly reflected the Evangelical basis of the Hall, there were signs of students being encouraged to adopt a critical approach to sources, and of tutors challenging narrow or superficial judgments.
97 We found evidence from lectures, assessed work and course outlines of efforts to link ‘academic’ subjects with aspects of practical ministry. Less successful overall, however, was the teaching in Ministry and Leadership, which tended to focus on the practicalities of ministry at the expense of linking the practice of ministry to fundamental theological and biblical principles.
109 Evidence from some samples of assessed work and tutors’ feedback also suggested that students were not being guided towards sustained or in-depth methods of theological and Biblical reflection on practice.
111 We consider that students should be given more background literature to assist them in keeping a placement journal – in order to encourage them to appreciate the difference between recording and analysing – and that they should be offered a wider repertoire of theological and biblical reflection on practice from a range of traditions and literatures in practical theology.
Gosh! To repeat, there were signs of students being encouraged to adopt a critical approach to sources! In other words, the College is going out on a limb: not fully addressing the Church of England approach to worship; and it is rather shoddy about using the whole Bible and addressing it in a critical manner. Perhaps I don't care too much about this any more, but this does follow all that about its Principal. That it is like this should be no surprise: the place was to become a training school for ministers of congregations to go out evangelising: training rather than formation, or if formation then rather a skewed approach.