LG Sargent’s comment around a controversial article suggesting the serpent in Genesis 3 was not literal ( we think it is literal!) was bound to raise eyebrows. The conclusion of his cover note shows a maturity and tolerance of exploration absent in conservative quarters of our community today. Rather than seeking to narrow fellowship and man the barricades LG Sargent hoped the community would “…be capable of reasonable and informed judgment on Scripture interpretation”. His comments are worth a read:
“In an article in this issue entitled “Eastward in Eden” bro. Arthur Dagg discusses the problem of the serpent, and in the August issue bro. A. D. Norris has undertaken to discuss it from another aspect. It should be noted that both articles discuss the subject purely as interpretation of Scripture; the difficulties bro. Dagg finds in the literal view do not arise from any doubt as to the power of God, or concession to scientific theory. Bro. Dagg is strong is his faith in Scripture and in acceptance of it from Genesis to Revelation.
The purpose of the articles is to help readers to discuss this and other subjects dispassionately and with a desire only for right understanding of the word and ways of God. Later the Editor may make his own contribution to the discussion.
Some greater freedom of discussion—bounded always by faithfulness to Scripture—may be needed in our time, and has been indicated in statements by the Publishing Committee as a policy for The Christadelphian. At the same time it must be made plain that there is no intention for the magazine to become a mere forum for a welter of contesting views. Its primary object is to build up in faith. We are well aware of the anxiety prevalent in the Brotherhood lest our heritage should be lost or whittled away, and in this connection we commend to readers a letter in this issue from bro. Arnold Pinder. We should have sufficient maturity to be able to discuss problems of interpretation without blind resistance to any new understanding, but also without being swayed by every wind of doctrine or yielding to prevailing philosophy. We should as a community be capable of reasonable and informed judgment on Scripture interpretation.”
(2001). The Christadelphian, 102(electronic ed.), 318.