Few things bring me more joy than seeing the gospel incarnated in the different cultures of our world. Each one has the potential to reveal something of the nature of God and his love. I was reminded of this recently when I read two accounts about Bible translation in Cameroon, both distributed by Bob Creson, the president of Wycliffe USA.
Training for a marathon, becoming in tune to the world around him and his body, made Tim "[think] often of Paul’s metaphor of the church as a body. We, too, are interconnected in ways we rarely see or understand. Weak theology or a bad habit by one body part can cause crippling pain for another—so much that the entire body is hobbled. Our treatment of women (often reinforced by the church) is one example."
I sat uncomfortably rehearsing how I’d ask the question that had to be asked. I knew it would initiate a painful conversation, but we couldn’t ignore it forever.
I was not wrong. It became clear in that meeting that yes, our pastoral candidate was a staunch complementarian. Our church, with its egalitarian tradition, governing documents, and leadership structure, was poised to hire a pastor firmly opposed to the leadership of women.
Evangelical tradition places a high value on the biblical text, which is a good thing. But too often, we buy into a myth that our favorite translation is God’s true Word, pure and untainted by bias. Changes are seen as a threat to God’s truth, motivated by a social or political agenda.
Many of the stories we learn about gender show us a world where selfish fantasies are fulfilled or fears are realized, but they teach us very little about actual love. They teach us even less about who God made us to be.
Where they aren’t erased, biblical women are often misrepresented. The Samaritan woman is remembered as a serial adulteress, when it’s just as likely her five marriages were the result of things beyond her control