Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Friday is for Friends: Rachel Evans

posted by Scot McKnight

The following post is one of our “Friday is for Friends” posts written by friends of the Jesus Creed blog. Today’s post is by Rachel Held Evans, and you can read more about her at her blog.

RachelEvans.jpgGrowing up in the conservative evangelical
subculture, I spent a lot of years trying desperately to achieve what
is commonly referred to as “biblical womanhood”–an elusive spiritual
standard hailed by my pastors and professors as the best way to please
God and honor my husband. The Bible contained everything I needed to
know about my role as a woman, I was told. It provided the final word
on how I was to behave in the home, in church, and in society,
regardless of what voices from the prevailing culture might say.  “Biblical
womanhood” gave me and my friends an ideal for which to strive, a
calling to which to respond, and a label by which to praise or
criticize.
 There was just one problem: None of us agreed on exactly what “biblical womanhood” was.
  

Some used Proverbs 31 as their standard. Others
used the letters of Paul. Among those who used the letters of Paul,
some tried to apply all of his admonitions (by remaining silent in
church and avoiding all leadership positions), but most only applied
some (by participating in church leadership, but not as pastors or
preachers).


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 As I began to think more
critically about the Bible and the culture in which it was written, I
realized that the concept of “biblical womanhood” posed some serious
problems. Technically speaking, it was “biblical” for women to be
considered property (Exodus 20:17), to cover their heads (1 Corinthians
11:5), to marry their rapists (Deuteronomy 22:28), and to stand by as
their husbands took more wives. 
Yet no one in my circle suggested that these biblical realities
constituted “biblical womanhood.” To imply that there was a single
“biblical” approach to womanhood (or marriage or family) required some
serious picking and choosing. Using the Bible as an adjective, it
seemed, was misleading.

I suppose that’s why, these days, I tend to
bristle whenever I attend a conference in which lectures are entitled
“The Biblical View of Courtship” or “A Biblical Approach to the
Environment.” Sticking the word “biblical” in front of a noun like
“manhood” or “womanhood” or “economics” or “stewardship” or “politics”
adds an element of gravitas to one’s argument, but it diminishes the
variety and complexity of the very words of Scripture one seeks to
elevate. 
It implies that the Bible’s cacophony of voices can be reduced
to single tone, its rich stories and characters summarized in a single
line, its paradox and contradiction ignored or brushed aside.
 It suggests that just one interpretation exists…or that the speaker’s interpretation is the only one that counts.

We often use the Bible as an adjective without
even thinking about it. For years, I bragged about having a “biblical
worldview,” without regard to the massive assumptions such a statement
makes about the Bible’s cultural context as well as my own. I’ve
noticed that my Episcopal friends get a little uncomfortable whenever
someone refers to evangelicalism as “biblical Christianity,” implying
that other traditions do not take Scripture seriously. In debates
between young earth creationists and theistic evolutionists, I’ve heard
people from both sides claim a “biblical view of creation.” And in a
heated discussion about state-sponsored welfare the other day, I found
myself blurting out, “Well, I prefer to take the biblical approach to
poverty, the one in which we always care for our poor.” Oops.

Now, I’m not advocating a complete retirement of
the word “biblical.” (It’s obviously a useful term for describing
certain courses of study.) I’m just suggesting we apply more caution in
how we use it. I find it helps to ask myself, “Am I using the Bible to
end a conversation or to begin one?” or better yet, “Am I really trying
to align myself with the Bible or am I trying to align the Bible with
me?”
 

I’ve found that such an approach makes talking about womanhood a bit more challenging, but infinitely more enjoyable.

In what ways do you see the word “biblical”
misused? When do you think it is appropriate, and when do you think it
is inappropriate?
 Let me know what you think, Jesus Creeders!

[Rachel Held Evans is a writer from Dayton,
Tennessee, home of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. Her book, a
spiritual memoir, is tentatively titled "Evolving in Monkey Town" and
will be published by Zondervan. She blogs at

http://www.rachelheldevans.com.]



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Rick

posted June 12, 2009 at 8:47 am


Good thoughts.
The “misuse” that I see seems to come more from those who state it regarding their interpretation(s) of secondary issues. I also think it needs to be carefully used (when used at all) around non-Christians.
I do think that it is appropriate, in certain settings, as a way to indicate a high view of Scripture, and its use as a primary way of knowing God and His purpose.
In regards to, “…implying that other traditions do not take Scripture seriously.”
I am not sure what you mean by “seriously”? A high view? At least a little regard?
Whatever the case, some traditions, or elements in traditions, do not have a high view of Scripture. There are also elements that claim a high view of Scripture, but do not live it.



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dopderbeck

posted June 12, 2009 at 9:17 am


Great post! The “Biblical” adjective always bugs me too. Often it seems to be a substitute for serious wrestling with the Biblical text itself. Amen!



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Dave Metz

posted June 12, 2009 at 9:19 am


Rick said:
“Whatever the case, some traditions, or elements in traditions, do not have a high view of Scripture. There are also elements that claim a high view of Scripture, but do not live it.”
Rick, could you elaborate more on this? Which elements in traditions or traditions themselves don’t view scripture highly? How do you define “highly”?



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Peter

posted June 12, 2009 at 9:49 am


Very good points – thank you for making them.
While living in SE Asia I became aware of a teaching with the title, “Raising Kids God’s Way,” or something like that. Working with a very funny fellow at the time, he would occasionally ask me if I would like to know how to “Choose a papaya in the marketplace God’s way,” or how to “spearfish God’s way.” The point is that this sort of taking the name of the Lord in vain is more prideful, arrogant, idolatrous, but generally accepted than saying, “Jesus Christ” when you stub your toe. Neither, I expect, draws me closer to Christ or blesses those around me, but the former seems more dangerous than the latter. Better not to share the blame for our silly notions with the Lord.



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S.G.

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:06 am


“Am I using the Bible to end a conversation or to begin one?”
This is a very important question to ask, and I’ve seen the word “biblical” misused when someone wants to “slam dunk” their argument for a principle they believe in by saying something like this “Well, I believe God’s word and God’s word says…(quotes scripture)” The intent is to end the conversation by proving the other person wrong without regard for finding any mutual ground or attempting to respectfully listen to or consider the other person’s point of view. The logic is that no one can argue against scripture, therefore I’m right. Maybe it’s a fear of there not being a black and white answer – I’m not sure.
In short, I see the word biblical misused most often as an argument winning tactic.



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William Cheriegate

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:11 am


The worse one, end of all conversations? Biblical Theology. There you go.
Dan Fuller used to say there is no such thing as biblical theology. The point was that we should be rather saying “my tradition tells me” or “my theological background shows me”, etc. That way we can converse further.



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Rick

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:40 am


Dave-
“Highly” meaning authoritative, at the very least in the sense of N.T. Wright’s meaning of authoritative.
The elements I speak of are those that downplay the value and authority of Scripture. Bishop Spong, and those in the church that adhere to his views, would be a basic example. Reason, some tradition, and current trends become the higher authorities.



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Phil

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:43 am


I have to agree, we can be so guilty in so many ways of taking God’s name in vain through Scripture or not. What I see often is Scripture worshipped as the Word and not Christ.



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Wendee Holtcamp

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:47 am


This is a fantastic essay, thanks for it Rachel and I look forward to your book. I’m writing a memoir of my own for Beacon press about making peace between evolution & Christianity!



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Karl

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:06 am


Good thoughts. Is there a better, more humble adjective we can use to show that our position/opinion/worldview is shaped by our reflection on and understanding of scripture? Or does that take so much explaining and nuancing that a one or two word adjective is simply insufficient?



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Brian

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:09 am


My favorite is the biblical math curriculum. My wife says that means the story problems are done in cubits.



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Rachel H. Evans

posted June 12, 2009 at 11:15 am


“Choose a papaya in the marketplace God’s way.” – I love it! It’s great to have friends who can add a little lightheartedness to the irony of it all. :-)
Peter, I agree that the misuse of the word “biblical” is probably a symptom of the larger problem of taking God’s name in vain…or “playing the God card,” as I like to say. (You know, “God told me to break up with you.”) The crazy thing is, as much as it irks me, sometimes I find myself resorting to it when I’m feeling too lazy or burned out to really engage in a meaningful conversation with someone. I’m still working on it.
Wendee, best of luck with the memoir! Sounds like we have some things in common. You should stop by “Monkey Town” sometime. We’re real friendly down here.



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Dave

posted June 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm


“Technically speaking, it was “biblical” for women to be considered property (Exodus 20:17), to cover their heads (1 Corinthians 11:5), to marry their rapists (Deuteronomy 22:28), and to stand by as their husbands took more wives. Yet no one in my circle suggested that these biblical realities constituted “biblical womanhood.”
So how do we know what to throw out and what to keep? Taken to it’s logical extreme, one could suggest that since the bible contains some things that Christians toss out due to cultural norms we shouldn’t have to do anything the bible says. In a culture where women are burned alive with their dead husbands should we defer to the cultural norm even though the bible forbids murder? There’s got to be a better standard than what seems right in the culture.
“In what ways do you see the word “biblical” misused? When do you think it is appropriate, and when do you think it is inappropriate?”
It sounds to me like many would like to use the adjective biblical when they agree with the concept and remove it when they don’t agree. It all comes down to what I think should be in the bible right? That makes it biblical if I like it and unbiblical if I don’t.



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Mike M

posted June 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm


Nice post, Rachel. I especially like this: “It implies that the Bible’s cacophony of voices can be reduced to single tone, its rich stories and characters summarized in a single line, its paradox and contradiction ignored or brushed aside” since I have yet to find a Bible-quoting friend who can tell me what “Parbar” is (1Chron 26:18). I’ve sent this post to my wife who has struggled with what “bilbical womanhood” means for a long time. My interpretation of it is that a good Christian husband is head of the household and a good Christian wife is one who lets him think that.



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Dave

posted June 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm


Mike! You’re like Professor Langdon. You’ve exposed one of the most guarded secrets in all of Christendom: the elusive Parbar passage.
That passage alone demonstrates that all those fundamentalist Bible quoters out there don’t know what they’re talking about. For years guys in black suits have guarded the secret knowing that it would bring down how we think about the Scripture forever. Now it’s out. And because it is, we can now know for sure that we can’t know anything for sure because we can’t know everything for sure…or something like that.



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EricG

posted June 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm


Dave (#13) –
1. Everyone I have come across does not accept all that the Bible appears to say; we all pick and choose. That is one of the major points of Scot’s Blue Parakeet book, and Rachel also does a good job of pointing that out above in her post on this particular issue. I think its highly probable that you pick and choose among the various passages she cites on this issue too — would you require women to wear head coverings, for example?
2. Nobody here has suggested that the standard is “what seems right in the culture.” Given No. 1 above, what we have is a respect for Scipture, prayer, the Holy Spirit, discernment, and an interpretative community (which includes tradition). Sometimes there aren’t clear answers, but that’s the reality.



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AHH

posted June 12, 2009 at 2:19 pm


Similar to this use of “biblical” for doctrines and ways of doing things is the use of “Bible-believing” to describe individuals and/or groups of Christians.
Often “Bible-believing” really means believing a particular set of interpretations, or maybe embracing a particular culture and set of doctrines which are occasionally supported by prooftexts. As someone said earlier, it becomes a “God card” to be played to claim the spiritual high ground.



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Chaplain Mike

posted June 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm


Great post! The use of the word “Biblical” in settings like Rachel describes often reflects the common misconception that the Bible is a rule-book, an instruction book, or an encyclopedia of ethics and moral behavior. It gives the idea that the Bible is primarily a book of prescriptions and prohibitions. Wrong. It is the story about how God dealt with people in a variety of times and cultures, it often reflects both the good and bad of those cultures without comment, and it portrays a God who works in all these settings to accomplish his purposes, whether or not the people involved are “living according to biblical principles.” This is not to say it’s all up for grabs. Scripture contains enough clear ethical instruction by which to order our lives in Christ through the Spirit. However, most of the debated issues are debated precisely because one has to draw inferences from so much of the DESCRIPTIVE material in view of the lack of PRESCRIPTIVE material.



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Bill S.

posted June 12, 2009 at 3:38 pm


So are you guys suggesting that there could be something wrong with the church I attend – Biblical Bible Church of the Bible? :)
Seriously, so much of Rachel’s post resonated with what I have encountered. I think the term “biblical” can be used in such a beautiful sense. Afterall, I love the Bible, and I believe with all my heart that it’s the Word of God. So of course I would love that which is “biblical”. But sadly, I usually hear the term most often by those trying to designate themselves as orthodox and everyone else as heretics.
I was just reading an essay yesterday by someone who claimed to have a very “biblical” view, and he spent most of it ripping to shreads a couple of other guys who had fairly similar views as him. I couldn’t believe it. It was downright depressing.
In fact, I bet that if you gathered those who consider themselves the most “biblical” into the same room, they would end up condemning each other to hell and probably massacring each other before it was all over.
Hmmmmmmm……. that gives me an idea for a conference I might together. The “Biblical Bible Conference for Biblical Bible-Believing Bible-Believers of the Bible”. That way we can get them all in one room and see what happens…….
Okay, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. That thought was not very “biblical”. :)



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Dave

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm


Eric G.,
Our pastor actually does teach that he believes head coverings should be worn. So if you’re loking for inconsistency on this one your going to have to come up with another “gotcha” passage.
My overall point is that it doesn’t seem to me that culture is playing into this at all. I think it comes down to what seems right to each individual. I think the interpretive community idea doesn’t hold up. Most people find a community that agrees with their interpretation.
Everyone around here seems to be pretty smug in their assertion that their interpretation is right. Bill (just above) has all the “biblical” people (not sure why that’s in quotes) in a room massacring and condemning each other to hell. It sounds to me like Bill would fit right in in the room where there’s a lot of condemnation going on.



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Peggy

posted June 12, 2009 at 6:43 pm


Thanks, Rachel, for the thoughtful post — and to Scot, for hosting it for us Jesus Creed Friends!
Growing Kids God’s Way is the name of the program/curriculum, which I am sorry to say I went through with my husband after the birth of our second child. Very sad….so many good ideas wrapped up in bad ideas.
No, the bible is not a rule book, science book, history book … it is a book to help us understand our relationship with God and others. Jesus Creed and cHesed make all the difference in perspectives!



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Bill S.

posted June 12, 2009 at 7:07 pm


Hi Dave, (#20)
1) I put “biblical” in quotes to emphasize that I see so much breadth in what people take it to mean. I know people of both very liberal and very conservative viewpoints that claim to be “biblical”, but they obviously don’t mean the same thing.
2) As I said, in my experience, those who claim to be the most “biblical” tend to be the most exclusive ones. You may have a different experience, and I certainly welcome a contrasting point of view on this. But that has definitely has been my experience.
3) Note that I specifically said in my post “those who consider themselves the MOST biblical”. (emphasis added on MOST). I made it a point to say it that way because I usually find that when one appeals that they are more biblical than everyone else, I often find that they are the most exclusive, the most hostile, and the least open to having their views challenged.
4) As I specifically said in my post, “I think the term ‘biblical’ can be used in such a beautiful sense.” So I don’t have anything against the term itself, just the way I often see it used.
5) I honestly think you’re way, way off when you used my post to justify your statement that “It sounds to me like Bill would fit right in in the room where there’s a lot of condemnation going on.” My humorous comment was obviously a reference to the tendencies of extremists. I don’t enjoy condemning anyone.
6) I’m not sure why you suggest that everyone around here seems “pretty smug” about their views. I’d venture to guess that you place me in that category, but I think it would be helpful if you elaborated more on how you reach that view about everyone else.
7) It sounds like you are an intelligent guy and that you have a dissenting view. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I welcome your contribution to the discussion, and I would guess that everyone else does too.
God bless,
Bill S.



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EricG

posted June 12, 2009 at 10:36 pm


Dave,
1. I’m not a fan of your post #15, which seems to put down a fellow Christian in a sarcastic manner.
2. I’m pretty sure the pastor you mention does pick and choose. Does he say we must greet each other with a holy kiss? Pray the Lord’s Prayer every time we pray? Put to death people who engage in homosexual sex? All of those are commands in the Bible. The point is not “gotcha.” Its that we all pick and choose. We should be honest about it, rather than pretending like we don’t. And then we should figure out why we do it, and what principles we are using.
3. You downplay interpretative community, but that is what Christians throughout the ages have relied on, including, I’m fairly sure, that pastor. In any event, what about the other things I mentioned — prayer, the Holy Spirit?



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Dave

posted June 13, 2009 at 8:19 am


Eric,
1. I used sarcasm to make the point that one word in one passage doesn’t bring down someone’s way of interpreting the bible. What about Parbar? What about head coverings? What about the talking donkey? These are all attempts at “gotcha” passages which in my opinion represent a way of tearing down someone’s interpretation of scripture by trying to say that since we can’t know everything we can’t know anything. I disagree. If there are limitations in what I am able to understand about the bible it is because there is a problem with me (sinful, manipulating mind) not a problem with the scriptures.
2. There is a reasonable response to every question you ask. Let’s take executing those who committed a homosexual act. Israel was a theocracy. That means their laws were just religious but civil. It was the ultimate combination of church and state. God was their King and when His laws were broken He was the judge and He issued the sentence. Some have gone to great elngths on this same blog (for good reason) to point out that America is most definately not a theocracy. We don’t punish people in a civil setting for breaking religious laws. There’s no picking and choosing here. Anyone would be misapplying that text if they tried to carry it out.
3. I think that the scripture is a more objective starting place. If the bible says it there’s no need to pray about it. You feel like the Holy Spirit is leading you to steal. Don’t pray about that. He’s not leading you to steal. I think there are difficult issues about which the bible doesn’t speak clearly. We take these issues and work within an interpretive community through the Holy Spirit and prayer to try to determine how God would have us to move. In my opinion the issue of women as discussed above is not one of these issues.



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EricG

posted June 13, 2009 at 11:55 am


Dave (#24),
Yes, I know you used sarcasm to make a point. You also used it to put down a fellow Christian, IMO. If I were a sarcastic person, I might ask where that fits within your understanding of Biblical passages. Your points will be more persuasive if you don’t do that sort of thing.
You say that there are explanations for the passages I pointed to. That’s my point! You are interpreting them, and not applying them literally. You are not saying we should kill all homosexuals, despite what the text says, because the circumstances have changed; we are not living under a theocracy. You are not, I assume, praying the Lord’s prayer every time you pray. You are not greeting other Christians with a holy kiss. If you are married, I assume your wife doesn’t wear a head covering. Because you are interpreting those passages other than the way they are stated. You are saying “that was then, this is now”!
You say this is an attempt “to say that since we can’t know everything we can’t know anything.” Not at all — where above did anyone say that? I am saying that we all interpret: you do it, I do it too; its just the reality of the situation. We shouldn’t ignore it, we should just be honest about it, and figure out where we are doing it and why.
As folks have pointed about above, the sort of argument you are making is assumes that the primary objective of the Bible is to provide an objective rule book. But that is something you are imposing on the text. There are other methods of Bible interpretation that are more consistent with the way it was written, and recognize the authority of the Bible. I would highly recommend Scot’s Blue Parakeet book on this topic.



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Dave

posted June 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm


I’m not sure I’m following your logic regarding interpretation. Or maybe you don’t follow mine. I’m actually arguing for one interpretation of scripture and against more than one interpretation. I believe there is one interpretation of any given passage though there may be many applications. We can know what the bible says clearly and then seek to apply it.
What do you mean by other methods that are consistent with the way the bible is written. And don’t just refer me to the Blue Parakeet. That’s a big generalized statement that a lot of people make without being able to defend it.
I think this wholoe discussion can be bolied down to an issue of epistimology. I start with the scripture and more forward from there. I’m looking for the correct interpretation of any given passage so that I can apply it accordingly. You are suggesting a method of interpretation that starts with what the interpreter knows and then moves to the scriptures. The problem with this is that the interpreter is then able to guide the meaning according to what he thinks the passage means. I can’t reconcile my understanding of the falleness of the human mind with that method of interpretation. Why should a human being who is fallen and tainted by sin be the last word on what’s true and what’s not.
Also, I’m not aware that the bible condemns sarcasm and I’m not aware tht Mike was offended by my use of it. It’s possible to disagree strongly and even attack one another’s points without attacking one another’s character. See my comment regarding the “room of condemnation” above.



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EricG

posted June 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm


Dave (#26),
The Parakeet approach is like the approach many other scholars are taking today: Seeing that the Bible as more about God?s unfolding story in time, rather than as primarily an objective rule book. In other words, its primarily a narrative about how God has worked in his people through history. Scot?s refrain has been that God spoke to OT folks in OT ways, the apostles in the apostles ways, etc. That?s not to deny that there are principles we need to apply today, but it does mean we should be careful when we do; we should do so with an understanding of what part of the story we are in, and what part of the story folks were in when God spoke in and through them back then. You seem to have bought into this approach to some extent, with the point you make about the OT Israel theocracy; you pointed out, essentially, that the story line at the time was different, which I agree with.
One critical assumption your approach makes is that someone can just read the Bible, there is only one clear answer. But the reality is that?s not true. Look at the thousands of protestant denominations, for example ? they reasonably disagree on a bunch of different points. Whether its because we are all fallen as you say, or because we have different experiences, traditions and biases we are applying, the reality is that there is not an objective answer that?s obvious. So we do the best we can, recognizing that we each bring our own biases, but trying to overcome them with prayer, the Holy Spirit and discernment. Sure, its messy, but isn?t that the reality of our world?
And, I come back to the point that I?m pretty sure that you yourself are implicitly recognizing this, because you are not taking a literal approach to all the Bible says. Again, you haven?t denied that you don?t accept at face value the stated requirements to greet each other with a holy kiss, to pray the Lord?s prayer each time you pray, and for women to wear head coverings, etc. Its because you use discernment, brother!



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Dave

posted June 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm


We obviously disagree at the most basic presupposition here. I’ve don’t think I’ve used the term literal to describe my approach to interpretation. I prefer the idea of taking the plain sense. I read the bible like I read any other book taking into consideration any literary technique that the author is using.
Here’s a question for you: do you think God holds us accountable to any standard that He has set in scripture? Or do you think He is OK with the best we can do? If it doesn’t matter why did Jesus live fulfilling every jot and tittle of the law? Did it stop with Him?
I think the Holy kiss is a cultural phenomenon still practise today in the middle east. I think we obey the command with a hand shake. I try to follow the Lord’s prayer as a moedl when I pray. I don’t make my wife wear a head covering. I think the issue at heart is submissiveness which is not demonstrated by covering the head in our culture. I may be wrong on any of those. But I believe God expects me to try to get it right and He holds me accountable to do so.
I think the approach taken by scholars today is wrong (no offense intended to the administrator of this blog.) I think God spoke clearly and intentionally all the way from Genesis to Revelation. Some things may be made clearer but nothing was changed or cancelled.



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Scot McKnight

posted June 13, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Dave, I too believe in seeking the author’s intent as seen in the words of Scripture as shaped in their context. But I’m not sure you’re giving folks a break on a very important idea: who decides which interpretation is better?
On some of your particulars — like kissing one another being equivalent to modern handshakes — of course, but that’s not the issue. The text wasn’t illustrating a general principle but saying something particular. We don’t “obey” those texts by doing the equivalent. Instead, we are hospitable and do similar things, but that’s not the same as a text teaching the universal or general and only giving a particular.
The issue then arises: When do we know when to turn a particular into a general? Who decides? E.g., who decides that women being silent was a particular illustration of a cultural issue or being a concrete instance of submission? Who decides men need not raise their hands and who decides that women can, in fact, wear jewelry as long as they are modest?
I’m all for the cultural equivalent thing. But I’m not persuaded we are “obeying” the text by finding cultural equivalents. The point of the text nearly always was the particular not the general point that can find its way to cultural variations.



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Scot McKnight

posted June 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm


And David, I doubt very much Paul would have seen your theocracy point as a valid one. The minute you open that door you open up doors and windows to all kinds of dismissals.



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EricG

posted June 13, 2009 at 9:40 pm


Scot said it better than I could.
But to answer your specific question to me, Dave: I absolutely believe God holds us accountable, but my understanding of God is not that he views our primary function as to meet a certain list of do?s and dont?s. Instead, its a much harder ? and more meaningful ? task: to be his agents of redemption and reconciliation; his hands and feet; the body of Christ. We carry that out by loving God and loving others, and, of course, in the process, applying the principles of the Bible as best we can, as best we can discern them.



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Dave

posted June 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm


Scott,
I agree that it comes down to which form of interpretation is better. I think that these days some would give the impression that every method of interpretation is acceptable except for the literal grammatical historical method. It seems like no one is sure about interpretation. But they are sure that the LGH method isn’t it.
For now we’ve probably beaten this thread into the ground. But I would like to add that I disagree on your point about the Theocracy of Israel. Personally I think that idea is part of the reason why there is so much confusion today regarding the concept of “covenant.” I know I’m in a minority.



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MikeNZ

posted June 14, 2009 at 6:25 pm


A lot of post to get to the meat!
“Am I using the Bible to end a conversation or to begin one?” or better yet, “Am I really trying to align myself with the Bible or am I trying to align the Bible with me?”
Very good, I’m changing it by putting God in the place of bible.
Good question, how much do we close off rather than open up by using the term.
That’s why everything is relational and social in the Kingdom so that you don’t have to fall flat on your face as a brother/sister asks you these type of questions before it happens!
Loved it and will use it now now in my life and teaching.
be blessed
MikeNZ



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Mike M

posted June 15, 2009 at 1:28 am


Dave got spanked by Dr. McKnighty!
Just the phrase “I don’t believe in a culturally relevant interpretation of the bible” is a thoroughly modern culturally relevant statement. That would never have even been considered an option 500 years ago. As much fun as this blog has been, I have to go now: I smell “holier-than-thou” smell somewhere…



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More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




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