Links for the week:
2. Inerrant Text ≠ Inerrant Interpretation
4. The Vanishing Middle Ground in the Inerrancy Wars
5. Wayne Hankey on Radical Orthodoxy
7. Restoring the Office of Women in the Church Part III
8. Strong Bones – The theme of bones in the Scripture.
10. Feminist Trinity and Perichoretic Projection
12. Who’s Afraid of Proverbs 31?
13. TanakhML Project
14. Familiarizing the Apocalypse
15. Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed Men of Touch
16. Announcing … Paul’s Travail – Tim Gallant has a commentary on Galatians coming out.
17. 5,000 Years of Religious History in a 90 Seconds Video
18. It’s Time for a Schism Regarding Women in the Church
21. A ‘Mere Christian’: Assessing C.S. Lewis After 50 Years
22. Rudolf Bultmann: Reader’s Guide
24. No Siblings: A Side-Effect of China’s One Child Policy
25. Why China’s One Child Policy Hasn’t Really Changed
26. How China’s One Child Policy Has Affected the Boy-Girl Breakdown
27. Pope personally calls Traditional Catholic writer, says he considers it important to be criticized
28. Y Chromosome: Why Men Contribute So Little
29. Filling the Void – Why Google’s Autocomplete results shouldn’t always be taken as face value.
31. Amazing Animals You Never Knew Existed
32. The Responsibility Paradox
33. Loneliest Human – What is the furthest that one human being has ever been from other living persons?
34. When Did Fetal Pain Become Pro-Life Strategy?
36. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Wacky Piano is Heard for the First Time, After 500 Years
37. Mystery Humans Spiced Up Ancients’ Sex Lives
38. The Evolution of Bitchiness
39. Romeo and Juliet: The Differential Equations Edition
40. Generous Work/Family Policies Don’t Guarantee Equality
41. The Ultimate Guide to Shooting Rubber Bands
42. Stop Juicing – Challenging the new religion of the de-toxified body.
43. Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner
44. Kitchen That Feeds 100,000 Daily
45. How to Turn Your Photos into Animated Clips
46. Bob Dylan: “Like A Rolling Stone” Video
48. Malcolm Guite on Owen Barfield
49. At Home At The Shore
50. The Unfixed Brain – Fascinating, but not for the squeamish
51. How I Feel About Logarithms
Seems that inerrancy is a pretty hot topic.
It certainly seems to be.
15. Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed Men of Touch
Time is valuable, so I don’t read anything with the word “homophobia” in the title, and besides, the Good Men Project is a terrible website. But I skimmed the opening lines. It’s completely socially autistic – that is to say completely unaware of how men actually work. It’s open homosexuality that has robbed men of touch. See the modern Middle East or other cultures in past times that eschewed sodomy to see men comfortable with touching each other. By contrast, open homosexuality has made normal men fear to touch each other, and this will not change.
20. Drinking Christians
Great, short piece. It’s not just “post-evangelicals” (whatever that means); even straight-up evangelicals are drinking more frequently, and I’ve said elsewhere that I feel this cannot be a good sign. Even if theoretically justifiable BY ITSELF, it’s part and parcel of – inseparable from – an overall shift towards liberalism, or tolerance of liberalism. What’s the attitude behind it? As he says, “Drinking, in this instance, is a sign of theological sophistication. When you drink you signal that you are more enlightened than those conservative Christians with bad atonement theology.” Exactly. Bad stuff.
Thanks for the comment, Samson.
At the outset, I should clarify that my links posts generally contain at least three or four links with which I strongly disagree. They are posted as conversation starters or as thoughtful challenges with which to engage. I firmly disagree with the thesis presented by the Good Men Project piece, for much the same reasons as you do. They didn’t publish all of my comments, but if you take a look in the comments of the post, you will see that I argue against it at some length there.
I am not a teetotaller by any means (I drink practically every evening), but the use of drinking as a ‘signal’, designed to show that you are not a particular kind of evangelical, is concerning to me, especially as that ‘kind of evangelical’ typically avoided drink out of a regard for the issue of holiness that we all could learn much from. I drink because I want to enjoy the gift of wine that God gave (and I definitely enjoy it in moderation: I have never been drunk in my life), not to appear to be one of the theologically cool kids, nor to dissociate myself from teetotal evangelicals. While admiring their commitment to holiness, and hoping that I will always seek to emulate them in that, I respectfully differ with the teetotalism of many fundamentalists and evangelicals of the past and present on the issue of alcohol. I believe that wine should be used in the Supper and that it can also be enjoyed in our day to day lives.
Hence the introduction of the phrase “No homo,” as in “I love you, man. No homo.”
18. It’s Time for a Schism Regarding Women in the Church
Uninteresting. Fine, have your schism. You’ll die.
Once again, linking doesn’t imply agreement. I firmly disagree with that particular post, as anyone who is familiar with my positions on the issues in question from reading this blog will know.
I know you disagree with his views on the sexes and sexual difference, but should we break fellowship over it?
I’m inclined to say we shouldn’t break fellowship over female clergy and egalitarian home arrangement, though those are indeed troubling developments. We should break fellowship over affirmation of active homosexual relationships, as there we have an utter obliteration of the distinction between male and female, indeed perhaps of all meaning whatsoever. Messing around with core doctrine like the divinity of Christ is of course a no go.
So, I’d have to say that I never considered myself in fellowship with Tony Jones in the first place. He affirms active gay relationships, has an explicitly materialist cosmology, and is an admitted tritheist. I’d say the same about someone like Brian McLaren. Rachel Held Evans is a border case, while Scot McKnight and Roger Olsen are definitely in, though I don’t think much of their theology.
One of the refreshing things about Jones, though, is that he doesn’t fudge. The alternatives are indeed very stark: either excluding women from ministry is a radical violation of the moral order or including them is, either allowing sexual relations between members of the same sex is radically wrong or prohibiting them is. Which is why egalitarian Christians end up being so passive aggressive. I prefer Jones plain aggression.
I think that the definition of ‘fellowship’ is unclear in many of these cases. Evangelicalism isn’t a church. It isn’t even a denomination. It operates primarily at the level of the parachurch. The ‘schism’ that Jones is calling for would occur primarily at this level, at the level of parachurch ministries, institutions, conferences, publishing houses, etc.
In terms of the areas that Jones mentions, ‘fellowship’ can mean a lot of different things in such a context and admits many degrees. Would I be prepared to have a book published by the same publishing house as Jones? Probably. Would I share a podium with him at a conference? Perhaps under certain circumstances. Would I start a Christian school with him? No. Do I consider most of these things to constitute ‘fellowship’? Not really. I don’t think that I ever was in fellowship with Tony Jones in any meaningful way.
I have forms of ‘fellowship’ with many supporters of women priests and bishops. Egalitarian home arrangements are not something that I would break fellowship over, unless there was a very explicitly anti-scriptural position articulated. On many of these issues, homosexuality included, it depends where the person is coming from and what direction they are moving in. Most people who hold these positions in the pews lack self-conscious awareness of what such positions entail and many have been misled by rationalizing voices (like Tony Jones) on such issues. Teachers, of course, are held to a higher standard.
And, yes, I too prefer the clarity provided by Jones’ plain aggression. His style often doesn’t go down well in the passive aggressive tone-policing contexts of progressive evangelicalism, though.
I found this post by Sarah Bessey highly interesting, not for the content, but for the pictures:
That picture of her and her husband does not look very egalitarian! When you’re 6 ft 6 and literally a bear of a man, you are naturally in a very, shall I use the word, dominant position, and therefore perhaps some condescension helps grease the relationship skids. You can also take certain liberties, because you look like a monster. I think though that this points out that male leadership comes in many forms. Some men need certain tools to lead that others do not.
To expand on this, male headship seems to be so, well, incarnated in certain relationships, that too much verbal emphasis on it can seem like overkill.
While I have a number of clear differences with his approach, I have been finding John C. Wright’s recent treatment of some of these matters interesting.
Although I would be wary of reading too much into such a photo, I have to agree with you: it doesn’t look very ‘egalitarian’ at all. While the expression causes outrage in many contexts, it is fairly obvious who is the ‘weaker vessel’ within it. The constant rhetorical emphasis on ‘strong women’ in many egalitarian quarters—true strength seldom has to announce itself in such a manner—seems strange when the men in such contexts are constantly treating women as if they were vulnerable and needed protection. By contrast, as you point out, in many respects male headship is so clearly ‘incarnated’ as to be unnecessary to point out. These things are more rooted in the grammar of the body than some people think too (while I won’t be revisiting it for a few weeks, I have written a draft of a lengthy piece on sex and gender that addresses this: drop me a line if you are interested in it).
Women can clearly be strong and can lead in many ways. This is no less clear to see. However, this strength and leadership typically has a distinct character. In making clear that there is asymmetry, there is no denial of women’s gifts, just recognition that they typically function differently. I admire and depend upon the strength of the women in my life—a strength that isn’t a gender neutral sort of strength—and I go to them for counsel, wisdom, and guidance, in all sorts of matters. There are different modes of strength and leadership, though, and there are reasons why men must take priority in some of these. Contrary to many people’s perceptions, this is not in order to subordinate women, but in order to create communities in which everyone is freed to play to their strengths, rather than feeling that they must compete with the strengths of others in order to have value.
In many of these cases, I think that branding is a huge part of the issue (one reason why I wrote this post). Having read scare stories, some people have an impression of what a ‘complementarian’ or other non-egalitarian arrangement looks like and they not unreasonably strongly oppose it. However, I suspect that if they were presented with the reality of certain non-egalitarian positions in less loaded terminology, they might recognize it as not too dissimilar from their own practice.
A couple of interviews with the acclaimed Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard:
He was very involved with a new translation of the Bible into Norwegian and has some interesting comments on the process.
He also has some interesting thoughts on religion and being a man in secular, feminist influenced Scandenavia. I haven’t read the books through, but the excerpts I have read are quite interesting.
That looks interesting: thanks for passing it on.
Just finished listening to the interview over my lunch break. Interesting stuff. It would be fascinating to hear more about how people—men, women, and children—are experiencing their lives in the supposed feminist paradises of Scandinavia.