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…
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…
I had an interesting conversation recently with a couple of staff members of a theological college. They said they often had to work hard at convincing women studying "just for interest" or to "help me care for others better", that they could see a gifted vocational minister developing. This was outside of the imagination of many of their female students.
Conversely, some of their male students needed help to see that they were not, in fact, the Messiah. Or that at the very least, before they saved the world, God would need to do a deep work in the areas of character, servanthood, and humility.+
I also coached a woman recently who was applying for a senior ministry position. I asked her to role-play speaking to the leadership team about the role she wanted, and what she had to offer.
That was interesting. This was my feedback to her:
"Don't tell them you're a woman and this could be a problem... they already know that. Don't tell them what you'…