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Archive for the ‘gender’ Category

I’m reading Surprised By Hope, by NT Wright. To be honest it is not the easiest read but it is good.

NT brings up a fascinating quirk in the story of Jesus’ resurrection.  Women were the first to see Jesus the morning of the resurrection. But Paul, in his account, almost glaringly leaves out the women.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

I could imagine Paul’s reasoning. NT comments extensively that women were not considered credible witnesses in the ancient world.  But Wright actualy suggests that this lends deep credibility to the stories in the Gospels BECAUSE the writers include the women’s accounts.

I’m wondering if Paul missed an opportunity here.

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Page 123 Meme

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Aaron tagged me on the 123 Meme. It’s relatively simple.

  • Find page 123
  • Find the first five sentences
  • Post the next three sentences

A friend of mine just returned a copy of Iron John by Robert Bly so this should make for an intriguing post.

“What is left? We can’t stop the story here, because the feminine has not yet appeared. His mother, as the maternal form of the feminine, he has of course experienced, but that is all. And now he is about the meet the feminine in a nonmaternal form, in its powerful, blossoming, savvy, wild, instigating, erotic, playful form.”

Wow, that’s a great picture of a woman.

I tag you, if you want to play along.

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Great article from Sally Morganthaler on women in the postmodern church context. She asks some awesome questions for women looking to make an impact in the church, including, “In summary, what does it really mean for a woman to be released into her potential, to be trusted with a ministry role, or to secure a salaried ministry position only to find that, for all her new-found freedom, authority, and seeming equality, she is only rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?”

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Nice stuff from daniel t. over at Jesus Manifesto on living in God’s kingdom.

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Very cool summary by Scot McKnight of a chapter in Divine Embrace by Robert Webber at Jesus Creed. I now want to read this book. He also asks some serious questions about intellectual Christianity in chapter 6. This was me ten years ago. Nicely done.

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For readers of Kamp Krusty, this is a stunningly beautiful confession about the struggles of what it means to take medication from one of the funniest guys on my blog reader. The follow up is awesome too. It’s good to see the heart of people.

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Alan Hirsch asks some hard questions about reformed theology and the tendency to become religious Paulinism.  Nice.

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Makeesha put out the challenge to listen and respond to the following audio presentation from Sister Joan Chittister. It’s a very powerful dialog and includes some interesting points on the role women play in ministry. She essentially asks, “when are we going to engage the question of women in ministry?” Even though her question is asked of the Catholic church, I believe her question applies to the larger church as well.

But she also pointed out some interesting ways to look at the emerging church as well. One of the really great things she said was,

“We’re at a point where we have so many new questions but the new answers have not emerged. There only beginning to simmer in this stew that is humanity. The old answers don’t suffice and if they suffice they don’t satisfy.”

Nice.

Listen to the audio presentation here.

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This is hilarious for all the conversation around mega-churches. What happens when a small church tries to be mega?

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Brian McLaren sharing his thoughts on what the Gospel is really about. I love the simplicity of what he is saying.

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Mark Lowry throwing out some great observations on women in the church.

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Two bloggers, that I read often, have posted dialogs on egalitarianism. This is the long running conversation on the role of women in church and delves into the question, “are women equal?”

David Fitch’s comments here.

Makeesha Fisher’s comments here.

I understand both positions and coming from a male perspective have wondered what it would be like to be a women in a male dominated society. The church has always been patriarchal. For some reason God chose to use men as the primary leaders in his mission of restoration. All the fathers of the faith are men (Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Joseph, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.). Jesus chose twelve men to be his disciples. Paul wrote the primary bulk of the New Testament epistles. The role of men in God’s mission is just obvious.

But women also do play an important role in his mission. None of those men would be here if it weren’t for their mothers. When I look at the women in Scripture, especially the women who followed Jesus, they seemed to get it more than the men. The first person to anoint Jesus was a woman. It was women who were with Jesus at the cross. It was a woman who sat at Jesus’ feet. It was a woman who first went to visit Jesus at the grave. Women just seem to get it before men sometimes.

I don’t really want women to be equal in the traditional sense, always competing for the top rung, whatever that is. I don’t want women to be like me or like my buddies. I think when women try to be men, they miss the beauty of what it means to be feminine. The women I know who try to compete with men inevitably miss their own humanity. What I really want to know is why God chose to make us different. What is the real value of our differences?

I didn’t choose how God lives out his mission of restoration. I didn’t set humanity and gender roles. God did. I also don’t want women to be reduced to subservient add-ons that serve a purpose when we need them sexually, or for care-taking purposes. So how to we find a way to coexist in harmony and congruence, especially in leadership? Maybe there’s a third way, a way that elevates women to the glorious gift that they are in our lives.

I do want to see women the way love would see them. I really liked how Makeesha states this. How do we discover and lift up each other’s humanity? How do we, as men, lift up women? I just know that love elevates.

So I’m left with a wonder that men, in our silly need to subjugate women, we may be missing something. Maybe women sometimes see it better than we do. And when they are pushed down we miss one of the real ways that God is speaking to us. I know that when I really need to listen to God, my wife is one of the first people I trust to speak honestly with me. She has been one of the primary ways I hear how my Heavenly Father is speaking to me. She has validated what I am feeling (even when I don’t like it) more often than I care to admit.

Maybe if men learn to listen to women a little more, we’ll begin listening to a different voice that has always been available to us, a voice of reason and compassion. A voice of love. Maybe men have spent so much time pushing women down, we’ve missed one of God’s glorious ways of speaking to us, providing us wisdom when we most need it.

So my question is, “How do we find a way to lift women up in the church?”

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