It still astonishes me that people who believe that God can speak through a burning bush or a donkey insist he can’t speak through an educated, articulate passionate woman. —Michael Frost
We are astonished that some thinking people insist that a book, or text, written thousands of years ago must be literally true in every phrase and word.
Regardless of divine inspiration, every phrase and word had to be ‘heard’ by humans, interpreted by humans and written on paper by humans. These were sinful humans, like you and us, who lived in a certain culture, at a certain time, and who had a certain purpose in writing those words down.
Perhaps it would be useful to look into what some of those purposes may have been. Perhaps we might get an insight into the intent and meaning of the author by understanding who the author was and what the social and political context was. What were the threats to society? Who had the power? What authority did the religious leaders have? Were there people who were stepping out of line? Were there people who needed convincing of orthodoxy? What did the authors have to gain if people accepted the text? Who stood to win power, and who stood to lose power? Who stood to gain prestige? Answers to everyone one of these might give us insight into the text.
For us, we don’t think that the donkey story holds water. However, we trust that the story underneath does, because it is a part of Scripture. What is the story underneath? Let’s look at all those questions and then let’s talk about it.
Now, in regards to women, let’s trust that God is big enough to get past our simple understandings, and lets share God’s word in whatever ways the Spirit moves.
Final word for today in response to the opening quote:
What scares me even more is that they will allow these articulate, passionate, educated women (to) teach little children with innocent impressionable minds but will not engage with them themselves
- Every Bush is Burning (pubtheologian.com)