Sunday, November 30, 2008
poured out on the ground
an egg broken
a basket of berries
crushed for jam
i cannot stop the words from filling this space
for you to know that the pain is not something
you should keep inside
in my kitchen
is also part of the day
but what is yours
are you alone in the house
responsible for little ones
responsible for no one
what is your pain
i will stop being woman and
become a human being
here i tip the contents out
that i hope others share
not some private event
not what has happened
but what is real to all of us
we suffer from being human
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Kenneth Bailey on Women Elders
However, for those who wish to discuss this more objectively, there is Women in the New Testament: A Middle Eastern Cultural View by Kenneth Bailey. He writes,
We will examine 4:12-5:2 as a unit which focuses on Timothy and the presbuteroi. Once again the presbuteroi are of two kinds. Paul first mentions the elders who have ordained Timothy (4:12-16). Granted, these verses focus on Timothy’s duties as a leader of worship; but the context is that of Timothy’s ordination by elders who are not criticized.He summaries his observations with this comment,
He then discusses the difficult elders (5:1-2). These are obviously people whom Timothy is sorely tempted to attack. He is told, ‘Don’t do it’. Treat the presbutero like a father, he is advised, and the presbuteras (plural) like mothers. Thus the two topics of ‘helpful elders’ and ‘difficult elders’ appear in both paragraph 4 (4:17-20) and paragraph 2 (4:12-5:2). In each case the good elders are mentioned first and the difficult elders second. Thus paragraphs 2 and 4 can be seen as parallel discussions of ministry.
If this is true, then the presbuteras in 5:2 are women elders ordained and engaged in ministry in Timothy’s congregation. The NRSV places ‘or an elder, or a presbyter’ as a marginal note to presbutero in 5:1 but curiously not to presbuteras in 5:2.
In summary, the NT has clear cases of women disciples, teachers, prophets and deacons/ministers. We have near certitude in perceiving Junia to be a female apostle. It is possible to see female elders in 1 Tim. 5:2. Thus women appear on nearly all, if not all, levels of leadership in the NT Church.He is tentative about viewing women as "elders" in Timothy 5. However, I am entirely with Bailey in agreeing that women in the NT had all the influence of leadership and intiative implied in the word "leader." There is no difference in the design of women which excludes them from the function of leadership. I do not believe that the doctrine that "women are not designed for leadership" is a tenable biblical position.
Contrary to the traditional churches which maintain male leadership based on a tradition of male priesthood, the complementarian potition attempts to place the reason for the exclusion of women from leadership on the complementary design of women, made explicit in the biblical text. This leads to an attitude of disrespect for women in leadership which counters the biblical record. This also leads complementarians to accuse all who do not hold to their position of being unbiblical, while they are biblical.
While one cannot say that equal participation of women in leadership can be proven from the Bible, we can clearly say that the suitability of women for leadership is clear in the Bible. Therefore, a position which excludes women from leadership based on their design is not biblical and should not be accorded the status of a biblical theology.
Here is Bailey's summary of the biblical positions. In my view, complementarians have chosen #5 to the exclusion of the rest of the Bible.
Faced with both the positives and the negatives, at least five alternatives are available to the reader of the NT.While I do not think that the text of the Bible can be used to prove egalitarianism, I strongly believe that the complementarian position, the exclusion of women from leadership by God's design of woman in creation, is counter scriptural and anti-woman. It affects every single woman on earth and damages her status in her own home.
1. Dismiss the biblical witness as contradictory and thus irrelevant.
2. Take the texts that say ‘yes’ to women as normative and ignore the others.
3. Focus on 1 Cor. 14 and 1 Tim. 2 and overlook the women disciples, teachers, deacons/ministers, prophets, and woman apostle.
4. Conclude that the NT is at loggerheads with itself and that the Church can only choose one biblical view against the other.
5. Look once more at the negative texts to see if their historical settings allow for more unity in the outlook of the NT than we have suspected.
Myers Briggs and gender differences
Scientifically, empirically, and experientially we know men and women to be different. Women tend to be more nurturing, better at forming closer relationships and are better than men at encountering life with both sides of their brain. Men tend to do better at abstract thinking – men can focus on singular questions well. Women are more intuitive, sensitive, and insightful than men – in general. Women tend to enjoy the process; men drive to conclusions. Men fixt things, women experience things. Women have more white blood cells and more endurance than men. Men have increased brute strength and higher ability for burst energy.I was impressed by the energy of his opening sentence. "Scientifically, empirically ..." Curious, I decided to follow some of this up. First, there is a consensus that females are verbal earlier than males. Males have higher brute strength, on average. No, let me rephrase this. This is not at all what scholarship says. I am drifting into the rhetoric of the alienation of the male.
What scholarship says is that men have a "stronger musculature" than women. This is scientific. That men on average participate in violent crime statistics at a higher rate is also true, but needs to be interpreted. So, women are more verbal, men have a stronger musculature, these are genetic gender attributes.
Now for the Meyers-Briggs profile. The conclusions here may be surprising.
The last strong observable difference is that men are more field-independent than women in terms of learning style. Men are more abstract and women are more concrete. However, this is a an attribute which maay vary more from culture to culture, and by age difference, than by gender. Results have been contradictory here, and the cross-cultural psychologist who I studied with claimed that it was cultural. John Berry, 2002, made a convincing case, claiming that
Extraversion-Introversion differences affect how we deal with the outside world. Extraverts (E) are energized by having interactions with others, and may often speak without thinking something through. They are people of action and present their best abilities to the world. Introverts (I) prefer quiet reflection, and may think about something and never get to the point of telling others. They keep their best skills to themselves, and present their secondary skills to others. Studies estimate that 75% of the population is Extraverted, while only 25% is Introverted.
Sensing-intuition differences affect how we take in and process data. Sensors (S) gather information through experiences and are practical and orderly. Intuitors (N) gather information and process it in innovative ways and are creative and imaginative. It is estimated that 75% of the population prefer Sensing while only 25% prefer intuition.
Thinking-Feeling differences affect how we make decisions. Thinkers (T) make decisions objectively and impersonally using logic. Feelers (F) make decisions subjectively and personally based on what they feel is "right". This personality grouping is the only one that shows any gender difference, with male Thinking- Feeling preferences being 60%-40% and female Thinking-Feeling preferences being 40%-60%.
Judging-Perceiving differences affect how we prefer to live. Judgers (J) like being planned and structured and having things settled and decided. Perceivers (P) like being spontaneous, unstructured, open, and flexible. In the general population, Judging-Perceiving preferences are 55%-45%.
the usually found gender difference (females relatively more field dependent than males) did not appear in a variety of Inuit nd North American Indian samples. This was interpreted as an outcome of the relatively similar socializtion and other ecological and cultural experiences of boys and girls in these hunter-gatherer societies. page 140
Assessments of male vs female leadership styles also suggest that it is more significant to consider what the majority style is and how the institution is able or not able to adapt to a minority style, rather than consider whether male or female styles are better. Studies show that men and women are able to adapt their leadership styles, and that there are a variety of successful styles. I recommend to you this study on women in the military.
Both men and women leaders can and should develop their non-preferences to become more balanced as leaders. This development requires conscious effort and work. Men and women are not locked into one style of leadership and behavior preventing effectiveness in the workplace. The more serious problem appears to be organizational inflexibility in accommodating dissimilar personality types. In the military, the ISTJ preference type is predominant. Since this is the majority type, discrimination towards other preference types (natural preference types of some women) may lead to self-selection and adaptation, limiting benefits of variance or diversity and creativity critical to a flexible growing organization.
On one last point,
Men fix things, women experience things.
Clearly whoever wrote this line is living in some alternate universe. (Actually I do know women with handy husbands - hmm - but then I also know men with handy wives) Anyway, let me simply link to an important narrative on this topic also published by gender blog - Mr. Fixit strikes again! The story is by Dave Barry, so you are prewarned. I for one, think that he is funny - most of the time. Enjoy!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This and that
However, as many other bloggers do, it is fun to give others an insight into the rest of one's life. For example, I don't play in band, to my chagrin.
Here are some of my enduring research interests. First and foremost, is the development of writing systems and literacy as a human technology. In particular, I have studied minority group literacy and how this interacts with the participation in leadership of members of minority groups. This has involved years of research into the way the churches have, and have not, facilitated indigenous leadership in Africa and the First Nations groups in North America.
For the past few years I have spent time considering how electronic communication both fosters and inhibits the participation of those from diverse language and script groups, and those with diverse communication needs, in the wider community.
One of the things that has come out of the blue recently is that I have been asked to give some workshops on how different assistive and augmentative technologies both compare and interact with each other, and how they impact on pedagogy for the learning disabled.
I will have to struggle to come up to snuff on some aspects, whereas, I have in depth experience in other areas. It is a steep learning curve since I have to learn several new programmes in a short period of time, for comparison purposes. The issue is always hardware and tech support, since I need to use my classroom equipment most of the time.
What I am saying is that I have so many thoughts on issues that are going around in the blogosphere and so little time to write them down.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Responding to a request
Here is the intro to her presentation,
Girls have gone wild!
Our culture has produced a whole generation of Jungle Janes – breast-baring, butt-kicking, in-your-face, my-way-or-highway female aggressors. Countering this trend is the biblical image of a beautiful godly woman. Here are “21 Points of Contrast” to help you compare and contrast the two. Download and print the powerpoint outline. Read the Scriptures. Download and complete the 21 Questions. Evaluate whether your personal behavior and ideas are in line with what God deems beautiful or more in line with what he deems beastly. (From Mary’s “Girls Gone Wild” Workshop presented at True Woman 08 in Chicago)
I recommend that you view the full presentation. No, this is not tagged as humour or quirky. This is for those who missed the True Woman conference and want to know what they missed. Quite a way to characterize the opposition, isn't it?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Rescue of Jerusalem
Authentein in Wolters Part 2
I will exclude meanings
- derived from lexicons, as that is considered secondary evidence, not primary.
- 4th century or later
- created for the direct purpose of creating citations of "to have authority" for authentein in order to prove that women should not have leadership positions in the church.
- created to prove that women should have leadership positions in the church.
I will include as many other meanings of the word that I can find in these various studies.
Baldwin's study in Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth
Baldwin's study in Women in the Church
1) Philodemus. - This has no meaning assigned by Wolters. It is a reconstructed fragment and the notion that authentein was associated with the meaning of "those in authority" was accidental. Whether authentein was in this fragment cannot be firmly established nor its meaning.
2) BGU 1208 - Wolters assigns it no meaning. Baldwin and Grudem in his footnotes assign it the meaning of "compel." Baldwin suggests that here "compel" means to "seek to exercise authority" but without corroborating witness from outside the study. This untranslated fragment has been available on my site for some time but no one has offered to show how the author sought to have authority. It is a private letter about a private quarrel. No legal authority is in view. I record "compel" or "prevail on."
3) Aristonicus Alexandrinus - Wolters suggests "doer" and "speaker." Belleville offers "author" and Baldwin to "instigate."
4) 1 Timothy 2:12 - meaning unassigned
5) Ptolemy Tetrabiblos - Wolters and others concur that it means "dominate" or "control."
6) Moeris Atticista Lexicon Atticum - "have independent jurisdiction"
7) Another reconstructed fragment unfamiliar to me - similar to 5).
8) Origin - Commentary on 1 Corinthians. Origin writes that 1 Tim. 2:12 means that women are not to be leaders of men in the ministry of the word. The difficulty is that this meaning is for the purpose of proving that women cannot be leaders in the church. Origin does not use authentein himself in any other context so we cannot see how he would use the word.
9) Hippolytus, On the End of the World - "lord it over"
That about wraps it up for uses of authenteo before the 4th century. The question is why anyone says it means to have leadership in the church. Clearly Origin carries a lot of weight. Odd duck, that one. We aren't too committed to some of his other beliefs.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
From the staffroom
What is the government in charge of?
Births and deaths.
Who is the head of state?
The bald eagle.
What did Magellan do?
Circumcize the world with a 100 foot clipper.
Authentein in Wolters
Secondly, there seems to be no basis for the claim that auvqente,w in 1 Tim. 2.12 has a pejorative connotation, as in ‘usurp authority’ or ‘domineer’. Although it is possible to identify isolated cases of a pejorative use for both authentew and authentia, these are not found before the fourth century AD.135 Overwhelmingly, the authority to which authentes ‘master’ and all its derivatives refer is a positive or neutral concept.136First, most other authors do not cite authentes as evidence. If someone asks me I will find a citation on why that is so. Andreas Kostenberger does not cite it so I will let it pass for another time. Tonight I will write about the verb authentew. According to Wolters' we should restrict this discussion to occurrences of the verb authentew before the fourth century AD.
There are four occurrences in the running. However, let's examine a statement by Kostenberger first from July 30, 2008 on Between Two Worlds.
- What, in essence, is the argument of the book?
..... H. S. Baldwin takes up the matter of the likely meaning of authentein. The KJV translates this word “usurp authority,” and more recently many feminists, such as I. H. Marshall, have argued that the word has a negative connotation. If so, they say, Paul prohibited only women’s negative exercise of authority in the church, as well as women’s false teaching, not their exercise of these functions, properly conceived. Baldwin’s study shows that authentein was an exceedingly rare word in NT times that occurs in the NT only in 1 Tim 2:12 and elsewhere only once or twice prior to the writing of 1 Timothy.3. So, then, in the case of 1 Tim 2:12, is the word study method by itself inconclusive?
Yes, I believe that’s right. The fact that lexical study in this case, owing to the limited data, of necessity remains inconclusive leads naturally to the next chapter in the book, where I consider the sentence structure of 1 Tim 2:12. Specifically, I proceed from the known to the unknown. The first word linked by the Greek coordinating conjunction oude (“or”) is the word “teach,” didaskein, which is frequently used in the Pastoral Epistles and virtually always has a positive connotation, referring to the instruction of the congregation by the pastors and elders of the church (e.g. 1 Tim 4:11; 6:2; 2 Tim 2:2).
The upshot, then, is the following: if didaskein (“to teach”) has a positive connotation and oude (“or”) always links verbs of like connotation, it logically (and syntactically) follows that authentein must have a positive connotation as well, thus invalidating the argument by most evangelical feminists.
In his second response he says that didaskein - to teach - "virtually always" has a positive connotation in the pastoral epistles. But here is Titus 1:10-11,
- For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
However, didaskein has a connotation which runs from negative to positive. We know that. So, does authentein also have a connotation that also runs from negative to positive? Let's look at the evidence.
- 1) Philodemus, Rhet. 2.133 Sudhaus (= P.Herc. 220), dated to the mid-first century BC. If Sudhaus’s restoration of the fragmentary text is correct, then the verb authentew occurs here for the first time. He restores the text as follows: (Full text here.) και συν αυθεντ[ου]σιν αν[αξιν] It is possible, however, that the text should read αυθεντ[αι]σιν instead of αυθεντ[ου]σιν, in which case we have a form not of the verb authentew, but of the noun authentes. If we do read the verb, then its meaning here, according to standard lexicographical reference works, is ‘rule’ or ‘have authority over’.
This possible occurrence of authentew contributes no information about its possible meaning. If other authors cite "those in authority" this is by accident, as the summary of this fragment does include this phrase but not as a translation of authentew. Wolters is fully aware of this.
Wolters continues with the next piece of evidence,
- 2)The papyrus BGU 1208.38, dated to 27 BC, where we read the following: καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐθεντηκότος πρὸς αὐτὸν περιποιῆσαι Καλατύτει τῶι ναυτικῶι ἐπὶ τῷ αὐτῶι φόρωι ἐν τῆι ὥραι ἐπεχώρησεν. The verb occurs here with the preposition pros, and is taken to mean ‘to have full power or authority over’ by Liddell–Scott–Jones.67
- The translation of this text is disputed. G. W. Knight, 145, gives Werner's translation here. ... P. B. Payne ... implies that the translation of D. Peterson is superior, "When I had prevailed upon him to provide, ... This passage is about a hostile relationship, his action is called 'insolence' in the text." It is difficult to evaluate the strength of Payne's argument. ... However, the meaning of "compel" does seem appropriate. (page 680)
Wolters mentions as the third piece of evidence, Aristonicus Alexandrinus, On the Signs of the Iliad. He admits that most people overlook this occurrence. I am going to mention it very briefly only since few others cite it as evidence either way. It is as either the "author" or the "doer" of the word.
I am taking a break here because these are the only occurrences of authentew prior to the writing of the epistle to Timothy. More tomorrow. So far little light has been shed on the meaning of authentew. I cannot promise more in the later evidence.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Reclaiming the Mind ?
It is to my everlasting regret that women are kept out of proper church leadership on the basis of 1 Tim. 2:12, which is best translated as "I do not permit a woman to teach nor master a man, but to be in silence." While I could only suggest possible meanings for this verse, I can say for sure that it is highly unlikely that the author was referring to normal church leadership. The Greek word authentein was not used for church leadership in the NT or in any other documents in early Greek.
Authority 3: Fragment and Paraphrase
In this post I demonstrate why the Philodemus fragment is not evidence for to have authority.
Authority 6: returning to the evidence
This is an overview of the 4 pieces of evidence suggested by some.
This fragmentary letter is the only occurrence of authenteo preceding the epistle of Timothy. BY now the paucity of evidence and the poor quality of the evidence should be clear.
The LCMS report on autentein
To dictate to
Not lording it over 1 Peter 5:3
Parchment and Pen
I call on diverse primary documents when I blog. However, everything I write on authentein can be backed up in complementarian articles, if you read the footnotes. In fact, there is no broadly accepted evidence that authentein means "to have authority." I will most certainly take back this statement if someone provides such evidence.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Is - sue?
forest - all
Hurray for wee-knights and man's laughter! From the Globe and Mail 10 years ago. I have been cleaning out my files tonight and wanted to pass on this little treat.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Tim Lai, Vancouver SunPublished: Monday, November 03, 2008
A Christian evangelist who reached thousands of followers with her gravelly voice on Sunday Line broadcasts on radio and television from the early 1970s to 2000 died Saturday morning.
Rev. Bernice Gerard, who in 2000 was named by The Vancouver Sun as the most influential religious figure in B.C. in the 20th century, was 84.
Despite all her evangelical work, Gerard may be most famous for protesting nude sunbathing at Wreck Beach in 1977 when she was a Vancouver city councillor.
In addition to her well-known broadcasts, Gerard was involved in founding some 200 Pentecostal churches and was co-founder of the Pacific Academy, a private Christian school in Surrey. She was involved with many boards across Canada, including that of 100 Huntley Street.
In 2000, Gerard had to end her longtime broadcasts with partner Velma Chapman due to health reasons.
Before they returned to Vancouver to start Sunday Line, Gerard and Chapman spent many years on the road evangelizing throughout North America, Central America and Europe.
"She was a very gracious lady, but very determined because she made up her mind that this is what the lord wanted her to do," said Dolph Hoffman, a close friend and director of Sunday Line & World Ministries.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
It was a timely reminder that Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are fighting a dangerous war, with a higher mortality rate than the Americans in Iraq. Here is one of the lyrics Gray wrote about the trenches in 1916.
With the fighters and the quitters
Oh, what could be more bitter
Than a nameless death below
See the trenches, long and winding,
See the battle slowly grinding,
Don't you wonder how good men can live so low.
Up above, the sun is burning,
Up above, the clouds are yearning:
"Oh, if only I could fly!"
From the burning sun, I'll sight you.
In the burning sun, I'll fight you.
Oh, let us dance together in the sky.
In the sky,
In the sky,
Just you and I up there together,
Who knows why?
One the hunter, one the hunted;
A life to live, a death confronted
Oh, let us dance together in the sky.
And for you the bell is ringing,
And for you, the bullets singing:
"Oh, my friends, it's you or I."
And I'll watch you last returning
to the earth, the fires burning.
Look up and you will see me wave goodbye.
In the sky,
In the sky,
Just you and I up there together,
Who knows why?
One the hunter, one the hunted;
A life to live, a death confronted
Oh, let us dance together in the sky.
Something old and something new
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;Through these simple, biblical texts traditional values were woven into a wedding sermon, suitable for a couple in their seventies, entering into a marriage of mutual support and friendship.
But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife, and she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you,
Sometimes it is hard for me to remember that I was not raised in the crazyland of the submission of women. I was raised in a perfectly normal family, in a rather oddly fundamentalist group. This sermon was given by someone from the "old meeting" living with the hand-me-down mores of the 1840's. The ceremony was officiated by Noel Churchman who used to copastor Emmanuel church with Grace Irwin. It was a family affair. My elderly father was also there reminding us that some men do not wish to outlive their wives.