Scripture and Culture

Here’s a thought-provoking quote from a great article about the interplay between Scripture and culture:

“We are not blank slates. We bring our own theological interpretive grids to the Bible. For example, in John 4, when Jesus tells the Samaritan woman she had five husbands and the man she is with isn’t even her husband, what do we think of the woman? We automatically think she’s an adulteress. She’s a sinner.

But in other cultures, they might interpret the story to mean that she has been abandoned unfairly by five men, one after the other. And she now lives with another man for protection. But this man won’t even honor her by marrying her. She’s been sinned against.

There’s nothing in the text to tell us whether she’s a sinner or sinned against. We come to our interpretations based on the theological systems that we have brought to the text.”

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2018/june/evangelism-culture-you-cant-just-give-them-gospel.html?share=%2fD%2bnuKyuY4dVGBddICHy9xpc776aShIw

Let it be, Lord…!

I came across this while writing my latest research paper for UofB. My heart says, “Let it be, Lord…!”
“Dr. Edith Blumhofer, one of the most outstanding historians of women in Pentecostalism, does not believe there ever was a golden age in the early days of the movement when women were treated equally. After all, the first Pentecostals all came into Pentecostalism from other denominations, bringing along their own established biases. […] yet either because of or despite their Pentecostal faith, women continued to lead. Barred from the pulpit, the preached in the streets. Refused ordination, they became missionaries and went to places were men were afraid to go. They became healers, writers and editors. Without them, Pentecostalism would probably have died out long ago. Blumhofer likes to recall that in the early days when no women were ordained, and the railways gave half-fare privileges to clergy, an announcement appeared in a Pentecostal newspaper about a forthcoming Pentecostal camp meeting. It urged everyone to come and reminded the ministers they were eligible for half-fare tickets. Then it added: ‘Sisters, trust the Lord for the full fare!’ For nearly a century the sisters have been trusting the Lord for full fare, but there is a strong conviction in the movement today that the era of male dominance is fading.”
Harvey Cox, Fire from Heaven : The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century / Harvey Cox (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1995), 137-38.

Relativistic Arrogance

There is an appearance of humility in the protestation that the truth is much greater than any one of us can grasp, but if this is used to invalidate all claims to discern the truth it is in fact an arrogant claim to a kind of knowledge which is superior to [all others]… We have to ask: “What is the [absolute] vantage ground from which you claim to be able to relativize all the absolute claims these different scriptures make?” How could you possibly know that no religion can see the whole truth unless you yourself have the superior, comprehensive knowledge of spiritual reality you just claimed that none of the religions have?
From “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism” by Timothy Keller

http://a.co/baiDPPL

Younger Christians and New Politics

…younger Christians are the vanguard of some major new religious, social, and political arrangements that could make the older form of culture wars obsolete. After they wrestle with doubts and objections to Christianity many come out on the other side with an orthodox faith that doesn’t fit the current categories of liberal Democrat or conservative Republican.

– Timothy Keller