Thank you for being honest enough to look at the Bible through a lens of accuracy rather than inerrancy. Our Bible comes to us with a beautiful complexity that speaks of God’s power to use the tools of language, culture, and literature to speak to us and lead us to Jesus. We trivialize his great work when we do not embrace the alternatives and insights scholars bring to the reading of the Word. God’s Word was made to be meditated on, to be seen more deeply and richly with each reading and each new perspective.
Talking Rock, GA
One of my former students wrote a short essay for our local newspaper’s Black History Month Essay Contest about an early pastor from the Revolutionary War period, the Rev. Andrew Bryan, from his church, Silver Bluff Baptist Church in Silver Bluff, South Carolina. Several churches claim the distinction of being the first African American church in North America. Two are located in the Augusta, Georgia, area.
I am a 94-year-old Christian woman and have been discouraged by the attitude that only men are qualified for many positions in the church. Our country church was started by neighborhood ladies in 1933 under the American Sunday School Union and was primarily served by women! Once we got a full-time pastor, suddenly we became incapable of things being done before.
It did not go without notice that the Wayne Grudem who co-created the Danvers Statement is the very same man who edited the ESV Study Bible notes submitted by synoptic Gospel scholars to change their meaning. To Jo Dee I say, the sooner you find a congregation who treats women the way Jesus treated them, the better.
The BLM movement does offer some valuable insights on how to make life matter. The problem for the pro-life movement is that their victims are unborn and unnamed. Pro-lifers are left shaming people who are often caught in the crossfire of poverty, women’s rights, and social inequality. Abortion is never a good idea. Mainstream society seems to get this intuitively as rates are dropping. But what responsibility does society have to those who will try it anyway? Jesus told the lady caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more.” He was working at a more fundamental level so we could choose to surrender our hearts to him.
I tire of being lumped into a “bloc” as a Trump supporter when in fact my vote is “pro-life,” “pro-constitution,” and the platform values of the Republican party. The fact that Donald Trump is the “figurehead” of that vote and party distresses me but does not change my vote to support those values and oppose the radical Democratic party platform.
As a school subject, grammar won very few popularity contests. Equally unpopular is correcting a person’s grammar. But not with the word evangelical, where a small grammatical change makes a world of difference. As a Bible-believing follower of Christ, I’m fine with being known as an evangelical (adjective) Christian. But as an evangelical (noun)? Never! Bonnie Kristian deals primarily with the noun form, a label with both present and past political identity, to which many evangelical Christians are unwilling to connect.
Scientific support or discovery does not determine validity. I, too, was at first skeptical about the Enneagram until further study of the system revealed its uncanny ability to expose aspects of my personal identity that I had found difficult to articulate to myself and others. Perhaps the system does not lend itself to scientific deconstruction in the conventional methods of Freud and Jung precisely because it is relational and complex, a reflection of the fractals of human beings made in the imago Dei.
As a model of individual differences, the enneagram doesn’t merely lack supporting evidence; the available evidence disconfirms it. One therapist who uses an enneagram assessment described the model to me as “a useful fiction, just like any theory.” That struck me as a creative rationalization, because all theories are not created equal. They must always be judged on how well they are supported by evidence; that’s the most basic principle of science, one of God’s essential gifts for seekers of truth not directly addressed in Scripture.
Bryan J. Dik
Fort Collins, CO
Indeed, Christians can stand on solid biblical grounds for choosing to both pray for and against practices and policies of those in the political arena.
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