Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times a Van Tilian?

Nicholas Kristof is an Op-Ed writer for the NY Times. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his work during the Tianaman Square riots which was the research that produced his excellent book China Wakes. For many years I've been unsure of his position regarding evangelicals in New York and America since he likes to "straddle the line." In other words, he paints an ambiguous portrait. But his latest column, Hug an Evangelical, demonstrates, at the very least, that he thinks like a good Van Tilian! Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to suggest that Kristof is a Christian, or something. I'm simply intrigued with his consistent reasoning. Kristof argues in the piece that the gay coalition is not fully in line with their own presuppositions which are central to their agenda. They demand "tolerance," but that's just what they lack...tolerance for the evangelical community. In other words, they are what they hate!

Good work Nick Van Til!

Monday, April 19, 2004

Apostolic Hermeneutics and an Evangelical Doctrine of Scripture:
Moving beyond a Modernist Impasse

Ever wonder how the apostles were handling their "Bibles?" This must read article by Dr. Peter Enns, associate professor of OT at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, deals with questions of the NT use of the OT. I strongly recommend it!

Friday, April 16, 2004

When Profs Can't Fly

Professor Douglas Green at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia attempting to levitate...but to no avail!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

N.T. Wright on the Radio in the UK

Listen to N.T. Wright defend the Easter message of the Resurrection of the Son of God on a radio interview from the UK.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Women and Silence: Is "Saul the Rabbi" Employing a Rabbinic Formula in 1 Corinthians 14:33-35?

For my ethics class at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, I decided to engage the "women's issue" as my topic (but more specifically, "the women and silence" issue of 1 Cor 14). I thought it would be good for me--in my final semester--to wrestle with this issue, especially since it is one of the hot-button topics in post-Christian NYC. I chose to interact with Richard Hays on the matter: (1) because I agree with a handful of his outcomes; and (2) because I disagree (as of now) with his hermeneutical entry-gate into the issue. But to engage Hays means I must also engage Elizabeth Shussler Fiorenza, Victor Paul Furnish and others, since Hays follows their lead on a variety of issues.

1 Corinthians 14:33-34 reads:

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. (NIV)

Preliminary Considerations
(1) The first thing we must remember is that the punctuation is interpretive.
(2) With the punctuation in mind, the "As in all the congregations of the saints" of v. 33b should be read as continuing the thought of v. 33a, not beginning the thought of v. 34 (as the NIV renders/obscures it). By following the NIV, the thought of v. 33b is redundant, since the Greek for "congregations" and "churches" is the same word, ekklesia. "As in all the churches...in the churches."
(3) Hays uses Gal 3:28 as the hermeneutical lens into the 1 Corinthian passage. (Moreover, Hays believes that 1 Cor 14:33-36 is an interpolation. Fiorenza, on the other hand, says we must deal with it regardless if it is Pauline or deutero-Pauline.)
(4) Most commentators, including Hays, recognize that Gal 3:28 has rabbinic roots--it is part of the prayer that every good Jew of the first-century would say each day:

Rabbi Jehuda said, One must speak three prayers every day:
Blessed be God that he has not made me a Gentile.
Blessed be God that he has not made me a woman.
Blessed be God that he has not made me a boor.
(T. Berakoth)

(5) If Paul is echoing a rabbinic formula in Gal 3:28, why not in 1 Cor 14:33-35?
(6) With point (5) and point (1) in mind, can we read 1 Cor 14:34b-35 as follows: "[Women] are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says, "If [women] want to inquire about something, they should ask their husbands at home..."
(7) We do know that the women of the first-century were not entitled to speak in the ekklesia, both Jewish (the "assembly," in the LXX) and Greco-Roman (the "assembly" of the polis).
(8) Is Paul just carrying this understanding into the church?
(9) If so, what does that do to how we understand Paul's understanding of the "law?" Is Paul's understanding of the "law" wider than we have come to believe?

Of course, point (6) is not fully substantiated at this moment. But I am hopeful to find something in the rabbinic sources that makes some sense of it.

Again, these were just some of my initial thoughts.

Sunday, April 11, 2004