October 16, 2012

Women spends year literally following Bible’s rules for women

Rachel Held Evans
Rachel Held Evans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Rachel Held Evans embarked on her project to challenge evangelical leaders and advocate an increase of women within church leadership.

 I am a Christian. My reaction to this effort is that its an interesting conversation starter, with at least one point being what is the value of taking these literal interpretations and applying them now? I think it's an extreme approach to read every piece of the Bible as requiring literal adherence with no acknowledgement or discernment applied regarding the time in which the Bible was written and whether it makes human or spiritual sense to apply something written therein literally now. That's a very legit discussion to have about how we understand the Bible and if she was trying to raise that up, then I think this was an intellectually and spiritually provocative thing to do and beneficial to provoke thinking about faith. People who want to denigrate faith and belief and reliance on the Bible for moral guidance often seize on the adherence or advocacy of some people for literal interpretations of the Bible. I think people in that camp often look for opportunities that permit them to discard moral guidance in the Bible which they find inconvenient to apply to their lives. They would likely find much to jump on in what Ms. Evans has done, but I think that would be the wrong way in which to absorb and interpret her effort.  I think what she's doing here ought to be looked at as an opportunity to grapple with our faith and how we apply it some of the most serious issues of the day and how we relate to each other as men and women.  I'm talking about it here, so I think Ms. Evans has already accomplished something significant.
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