I arrived home Saturday night 11/16 after spending time in New York City with some of my beloved Her.meneutics contributors and attending the Q conference. On Tuesday, I became an ETS/EPS/SBL/AAR widow. At least that’s what me and some of my girlfriends call ourselves when our husbands go off to these conferences. And there could just as well be ETS/EPS/SBL/AAR widowers. But unfortunately, not as many women are in those disciplines. Maybe I’ll write more about that later. It upsets me. But because of all that I have not read too much this week. So I am reposting some of my picks over the last few weeks in case you missed them the first time around.
1. Jonathan Merritt interviews N.T. Wright on his newest tome of a book. Here’s what N.T. Wright says about Paul and women’s roles in the first century. This is just a small snippet from a great interview:
JM: Some modern Christians have criticized Paul as “sexist” or even “anti-women.” How does your book inform conversations about gender?
NTW: This view is depressingly shallow. Paul, like the other early Christians and like Jesus himself, lived in a complex world where, despite what some think, many women were able to live independent lives, run businesses, travel, and so on, while many others were part of traditional structures which still curtailed their options. A world much like ours, in fact! Into that, the main message was what Paul says in Galatians 3.28: in the Messiah, Jesus, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, no “male and female”. We can see this working out when he refers to Junia as an “apostle”, and in the same chapter (Romans 16) mentions several other women who are in positions of leadership in the church–and where, too, he gives Phoebe the task of taking the letter to Rome, which almost certainly meant that she would read it out and explain it to the house-churches.
At the same time, Paul was a deeply creational theologian, who believed passionately that men and women were created differently and that this God-given difference was not obliterated but had to be navigated appropriately and wisely. As with his political views, so here, he may seem to us to be saying two different things, but this only shows that we are trying to fit him into the Procrustean beds of our late-modern imagination. It’s like criticizing Shakespeare for not writing in 140-character Twitter sound byte.
2. Tim Fall, a prestigious judge, is bewildered over The Gospel Coalition’s deletion of his cordial comment. He talks about it in his post called:“Is Hospitality Lacking At The Gospel Coalition?”What do you think?
3. Is it wrong to be a rich Christian? Should rich Christians be apologetic about their wealth? Jen Pollock Michel grapples with these questions over at Her.meneutics.
4. Ellen Painter Dollar is one of the smartest people and also one of the best writers I know. Her article, “Messy stories:Disabilities and the choices parents make,” was the cover story in the latest issue of the Christian Century. She emphasizes the hard reproductive choices parents have to make. And she’s not just talking about abortion. How might we wade through the difficult waters of reproductive choice? She offers her take.
5. I was thoroughly nourished by reading through this Q&A between Melissa Steffen and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. She interviewed him about his recent book on C.S. Lewis. I think you’ll find it nourishing, too.
6. Again Papa Francis reminds me of Jesus. Last week I posted about how he welcomed the little children. This week he compassionately embraces one who has been severely disfigured by a disease. Read about it here.
7. I read this story. I laughed and laughed. It’s called, “The Epic Story of Naked Ken.” I highly recommend it and the resulting laughter. Thank you Katherine Willis Pershey.
8. And from laughter, to a tightening of the chest. Read this account by Alison Hodgson. It’s a survival story.
9. Dr. Karen Swallow Prior reappears this week with her top read article over at the Atlantic: “I Learned Everything I Needed to Know About Marriage From Pride and Prejudice.”
10. I am going to throw one of my own articles in here. I haven’t posted it on the blog. But, you might like to read it. It’s about how I conquered fear in fear-inducing situations. All of us are fearful. How do we handle those fears? You can see my story and my thoughts over at The Conversations Journal.
11.This book review/article by Leslie Leyland Fields about the struggles of stay-at-home mothers was outstanding. Another must read.
12. For fun via Dr. Halee Gray Scott Here it is:
Downton Abbey Myers-Briggs. http://www.graspingforobjectivity.com/2013/11/downton-abbey-mbti-chart.html Who are you? I am Sybil.
13. Coaches, parents, and guardians: what kind of language do you use to motivate your children when they play sports? Marti Oti Sears makes a compelling argument about why we should watch our language in the post entitled, “You Play Ball Like a … Sexist.”
14. “And the thing about meausuring sticks, girl? Measuring sticks try to rank some people as big and some people as small — but we aren’t sizes. We are souls. There are no better people or worse people — there are only God-made souls. There is no point trying to size people up, no point trying to compare – because souls defy measuring.
You can’t measure souls.
And the moment you try to measure souls — you try to usurp God. And ain’t nobody needs reminding of who it was that tried to usurp God. Measuring people is always devilish work – and carrying around a measuring stick is a bit like carrying around a pitchfork.” This is a wonderful post by Ann Voskamp.