A Friday footnote in this sequence of posts which may (or may not) lead to an interesting post about the 'other' great issue in Anglican Communion life at the moment.
At great risk of oversimplifying the long and complex story of how the church seeking the mind of Christ came to the conclusion that the God of Jesus Christ is the Trinity, the church reasoned its way through reflection on revelation in Scripture to determine that all christological references in the Old and New Testaments yielded the conclusion, God is Trinity. In turn this meant that the church henceforth reading Scripture would understand individual texts in the light of this conclusion. Texts implying Jesus was God's adopted Son, for instance, are relativised in the light of this conclusion: they only appear to mean Jesus was adopted, they do not determine an adoptionist sonship.
In this process, theology and exegesis engage in a hermeneutical dance choreographed by the Spirit. Theology does not go beyond Scripture in its reflections; Scripture is read in the light of theology's reflections. Further, revelation and reason also dance together. Reason enhances revelation by assisting in understanding the full (or deep, or, somewhat favoured in today's theologyspeak, thick) import of what has been disclosed. Revelation controls reason, restraining it from speculation that represents a move beyond what can be claimed as divine knowledge.
In respect of some Anglican talk about 'Scripture, tradition and reason' which, for some of us, all too readily and loosely claims some kind of foundational basis for positing three authorities of equal status or for promoting three distinct methods of theological investigation, the dance of reason and revelation together is confrontational. If we allow the manner of the church's engagement in theology in the first five centuries to be paradigmatic, then we Anglicans should take care about how we work with Scripture, tradition and reason. On matters of controversy today, our quest should be for what revelation and reason yield as a sure basis for hearing what the Spirit is saying to the church.