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How should the first part of Malachi 2:16 be understood? In the NIV, the first part of the verse reads: '"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself [a] with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty.' (2:16, emphasis added) The footnote to this verse in the NIV says '[a] or his wife.' In the TNIV, the first part of the verse reads: '"I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate it when people clothe themselves with injustice," says the LORD Almighty.' There is no footnote reading 'or his wife.' If you look at the ESV, it’s translated this way: '"For the man who does not love his wife but divorces... Read more
Right on the heels of this year’s Sheri Klouda debacle at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary comes yet another example of president Paige Patterson's move to 'establish family and gender roles as described in God’s Word for the home and the family.' This fall, Southwestern Baptist will be offering a new academic program in homemaking, a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hour concentration including such classes as 'Clothing Construction' and 'Meal Preparation.' Such classes, Southwestern Baptist must believe, are in keeping with their stated goal of letting a woman (and I mean woman, as no men are to be admitted to the program) 'choose from a variety of programs what is appropriate for [her] own diverse in... Read more
Is a woman’s value based on the shape of her body? How many of us were influenced through our culture to believe that the most important thing about being a woman was her visual appeal to men? In my case, my family was very good in the way it valued women. My father didn’t look at other women, even though my mother was overweight. There were no suggestive magazines around. But even though my home environment was positive, the overall culture emphasized that what was most important about a woman was the shape of her body. Women who dressed suggestively were praised and favored by men. They were celebrated by the culture. I found myself tempted to dress in a manner that emphasized my body. Thankfully, between my home environment and my Christian faith I was able to resist th... Read more
Well the CBE conference is over, like a whirlwind, so I'm catching up with some posts about the last two days. The Saturday sessions we chose were filled with in-depth historical examinations of empowered women in the Church. Starting with Mimi Haddad's excellent lecture on ontology, gender, and women's authority in the church, we looked at Paula, Apollonia, Hildegard, and Catherine of Siena to name very few. These were all women who behaved contrary to the popular ontology assigned to them by the culture of the day. This was especially true from the patriarchal absorption of the church after Emperor Constantine. Also discussed was the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. The church's reaction was a form of anti-intellectualism. This in turn resulted in a fear... Read more
Greetings, bloggers, from the Denver CBE Conference! First, a little introduction is in order. Hello, I'm Rob. And I'm an egalitarian. Until now, I've only supported The Scroll from behind the curtain with occasional technical issues. Many kudos to Marissa, Megan, and Will for their dedication to the blog! But now, I've been asked to contribute since my wife and I are attending the Denver conference. So, if you'll humor my clunkiness, I'll post some of my observations. We got to the conference in time for the evening dinner. We met some really interesting people at our table from all walks of life, one of whom was an Episcopalian bishop from Burundi, Africa. Mr. Simeon jokingly asked me how many cows I paid my in-laws for my wife as a dowry! We discussed... Read more
This past year I have decided to slowly read through the Gospels and pay special attention to the words that Jesus said and the life that he lived. Although I have been reading the Bible now for many years, I am amazed at the new things I am learning as I read, like, for instance, in the case of the woman who anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume. From sermons I’ve heard and from what I have read, my recollection of the story goes as follows: A woman of ill-repute came to Jesus and anointed him with expensive perfume, wiping his feet with her tears. Some of the disciples rebuked her, but Jesus said to leave her alone - that what she had done would be remembered for years to come. It always struck me that they didn’t mention her name. How would she be remembered? Rec... Read more
We hear a lot about God speaking to women through men. But, does God ever speak to men through women? Let’s look at the biblical record. ‘After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples:... Read more
I was recently listening to a popular Christian radio program. On that week's edition, they were celebrating a recent book that encouraged fathers to interview any young man who wanted to date their daughter. The author was interviewed, and he discussed with the program host how any young man who wanted to take a girl out for a date should be questioned by the father, and made to promise that he (the young man) would respect the girl, knowing that some day she would be someone's wife (possibly his own, possibly not), and that he should treat her the way he would want someone else to treat his future wife. He was also to promise not to touch the girl in any way, not kiss her, and always open the door for her. He should protect her, including her purity. It was his responsibility.... Read more
Can't we just agree to disagree? Have you found yourself sharing the Bible’s support for women’s gospel-service when someone asserts emphatically, ‘Can’t we just agree to disagree? This isn’t a salvation issue, after all!’ And, being peace-loving Christians, we are at first inclined to agree, until we remember someone like Lottie Moon. Considered one of the great missionaries of all time, Moon’s refusal to obey male authority led to the salvation of many. Lottie’s male supervisor opposed her desire to build a church in Northern China, where she not only made massive inroads for the gospel, but where she also inspired the next generation of Christian missionaries - and all the generations since then! Today, Lottie is celebrated... Read more
Complementarian men say they believe women are equal, but what do they mean by that? If they believe men have authority over women, are women equal? No. If men have more authority than women, this is not equality. If men get to make the final decisions in the marriage, are women equal? No, since the man’s word counts for more than the woman’s, this is not equality. If the men are the spiritual leaders of their wives, are women equal? The purpose of one person being the spiritual leader over another is so one is spiritually stronger than the other. If it is presumed that men are automatically spiritually stronger than the women then no, this is not equality. There are complementarian men who put more emphasis on wives submitting than on husbands loving. If less emphas... Read more