I write a lot about women in ministry (because I am one), but also about random things that interest me: coaching, science, theology, parenting, the quest for truth, things I think are funny. I hope you find something interesting here!
Biblical hermeneutics (for those who like throwing big words into conversations) is the art and discipline of interpreting scripture.
The bible is a complex book, having been written over many centuries, in different cultures, in different places, and in different languages. Scholars study other texts written in similar places and times to get clues as to what certain words might mean. They investigate cultural practices, and styles of literature / oral traditions operating when the bible was written, to help us understand what the original authors might have intended to convey.
We need to approach interpreting the biblical texts with a degree of humility. We also need to note that the scriptures are not “flat”’ some texts carry more weight than others. Jesus noted:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should…
Once upon a time, I was involved in the Monash University
branch of AFES/Intervarsity called “The Evangelical Union”.
This was the early 1980s, and young men and women alike were
leading everything. The term Complementarian wasn't yet a twinkle in Wayne
In this period, egalitarian theologians were arguing that
men and women were designed to complement one another; that we neededboth
women and men in leadership.
In society more broadly, the ideal of a gender hierarchy was
being profoundly challenged. The idea was normalised that women should have equal legal and workplace
rights to men - in theory if not in practice.
By the late 1980s, Christian conservatives who believed in a
gender hierarchy found themselves with an image problem. They were becoming theologically
marginalised, as well as out of step with society at large.
It was time for a rebranding exercise.
To quote Scot McKnight:
'Grudem tells us that he and John Piper, in editing the 1991
I’m trying to get my head around what Complementarians believe, and I think it goes something like this:
Complementarians think there is a “headship” hierarchy in the universe. God the Father has always been “head” of the God the Son. When Paul wrote about Jesus being very nature God, and emptying himself in the incarnation, that was a pretty suspect idea… definitely not Paul’s finest hour. The Trinity is a chain of command, not some quaint idea of perichoresis of three Persons equally God. The man is “head” of the woman: this is why women can’t do church leadership, or speak in church. It seems that you can teach “down” in the hierarchy of the universe, but you can’t teach “up”. Therefore men can teach men about the bible, women can teach women (equal in the "headship" hierarchy), while men and women can both teach children (who are a bit lower in the hierarchy). However, I have heard that something magical happens to boys when they turn 16 (or 18), and God suddenly gets upse…