Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I DON'T AGREE AND YET I DO...

I don't agree with John Piper's view of women. I don't think it is Biblically accurate. I'm not going to write a dissertation on it here in this post. (you can download a copy of a paper I wrote in review of a book on this issue for a seminary class I took last year here if it interests you. Don't plagiarize it:)

However, I don't think commander-in-chief of the army or government is anywhere on the pages of the limitations the Bible gives to women. He says it in the video below. He defends it here.

However, this does not mean that other things he says are not both true and good.

This video, which I saw on another blog, is not unlike how I felt about the speeches and positions of presidential candidates for this election. Some of what is said I found myself saying Amen in agreement. Others of it I found myself scratching my head and wondering why we were so disconnected. I both agreed and disagreed with this 7 minute assessment of the decisions I faced yesterday.




Which leaves me wondering.....

  • am I to believe that no one could honestly fear God, love Jesus, and be faithful to the Scriptures and not agree with John Piper?
  • Is it possible for two people to vote differently yesterday and still do so in obedience to God's call?
  • Was there really a Godly and an unGodly candidate to choose between?
  • What is the issue that God gives the most weight to in the world?
  • Which poor, orphan, voiceless, or widowed individual matters most to God around the world and in the womb?
  • What do you do if all decisions lead to partial joy and regret?
  • Are humility and wonder really the opposite of conviction and truth the way some want to make them out to be?

2 comments:

Todd 12:24 PM  

Brian,

I read your paper, and was really, REALLY impressed!!! I thought you laid out all perspectives intelligently and mercifully. There is one quote (and I can't tell if it was from you, or Dr. Scorgie), that said

"Thus, since the Bible was written by sinful men, they too were in a process of moving forward to Godliness, but sometimes stated ideas that
were perhaps radically new for their day, yet not final in their application. Regarding some of Paulʼs restrictions placed on women, Scorgie argues that, “In light of the trajectory of the Spirit, we are convinced that Paul is not teaching male headship as normative for believers.” This then, “raises the suggestion that the authors of Scripture themselves may have been at the time of writing still in process of theological growth and formation.” (end quote)

If "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2nd Tim. 3:16), I think it's dangerous to assume that the Apostle Paul, who was entirely led of the Holy Spirit while writing his epistles, can now be assumed to be wrong, simply because he "may have been at the time of writing still in process..."

Also, I'll have to slightly disagree with Rob Bell. I do believe that by the grace of God, a person who is willing to lay aside personal perspective and even agenda, can read the Scripture literally, and with out presupposition. I think that's at the heart of God honoring hermeneutics.

What do you think?

brian c. berry 2:29 PM  

Todd,

The quote is mostly Scorgie. His big arguement is that the role of women changed from the OT to the NT. So, since it was changing, one can assume it continued to change and in line or the "trajectory of the Spirit". Which is in part dangerous, because now where does it end up? Does it eventually hit ground and stop or does it continue infinitely? Scorgie would argue it continues all the way to a garden of Eden, pre-fall design of equality among the genders.

It all hinges on the was this a pre-fall condition or a pre-fall design by God. Piper chooses the later. I choose the former.

This plays in to the Scripture piece in that it does not claim that the person was stating something false, just not definitive for all time. So, we all argue that some of Scripture is specific to context- whether you include the roles of women in there, is the issue on the table.

As for Rob Bell, no I don't think you can be impartial. I don't think I can or you can. I think a good hermeneutic is to aim for impartiality and keep enough humility to know that this is not 100% possible. You'd read the Bible different if you grew up in an African hut than on the coast of California. I can't change that reality. I can only minimize it by broadening my horizons and prayerfully and humbly ask God to lead. I think this is the beauty of genuine community too. Conversely, it's the danger of interpreting the Bible on an Island. A healthy faith community helps keep agenda to a minimum.

Or so I think.... and that ain't sayin much. :)

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Husband. Dad. Jesus Follower. Friend. Learner. Athlete. Soccer coach. Reader. Builder. Dreamer. Pastor. Communicator. Knucklehead.

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