Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Psalm 133, Twitter Style

A while back, I wrote a post for Her.meneutics about whether Scripture dictates that women work in the home and men work outside, to provide. Owen Strachan, a professor at Boyce College and student at Trinity Seminary had written the initial post to which mine was a response and wrote a response to my response (Oy!). It won’t be too hard to guess that we hold very different beliefs about mandated gender roles and the normativeness (or not) of the curse in Genesis 3.

Earlier this month, Owen expanded his earlier post into an essay for the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, the publication associated with the Council of the same name. Again, no one will be surprised to know that I disagree just as vehemently now with Strachan’s take on the issue as I did back in November. And this could easily turn into a response to his response to my response to his response that we’ve all heard before and that frankly needs to be heard but also, from time to time, needs to be set aside.

Although it is a strange and unequally weighted comparison, I think sometimes the egalitarian-complementarian debate needs a Christmas Truce. We need to set down our weapons, free ourselves of defensiveness and dissension, never relinquishing what we believe to be true but recognizing that all truths are subjugated to The Truth, God’s truth, which reminds us:

How very good and pleasant it is

when kindred live together in unity!

It is like the precious oil on the head,

running down upon the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

running down over the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon,

which falls on the mountains of Zion.

For there the LORD ordained his blessing,

life forevermore.

[Psalm 133]

Some friends asked me today what I thought of Owen’s essay. And really, they know what I think. I’ll never stop talking about the issue of women and their giftedness, but sometimes I need to remember, and live in, the greater truth–that Owen is my brother. So, earlier tonight in the spirit of the Christmas Truce, I put a goofy picture on Twitter and included Owen’s name, hoping he would get a kick out of seeing my husband in an apron making dinner. Owen wrote back that he had just finished doing some dishes himself. I wished him well with his work, and he thanked me, and he called me sister.

Very good and pleasant, indeed.