Over at Facebook, John Shore (@johnshore) posted a link to a blog post about 1 Timothy 2:12 explaining that the writer, Dan Wilkinson, did an exceptional job of explaining the verse.
The post is called “I do not permit a woman” and can be found here at Cooling Twilight (dot com).
You know, that famous, controversial passage in which Paul writes: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”
You know, one of those verses that renders the concept of belief a bit silly, reckless and short-sighted.
I took a look at the post. Wilkinson does the standard, the message is out of context to today’s world, and shouldn’t be looked at so seriously. Not surprisingly, he says that some things are mysterious in the bible. Imagine that.
Wilkinson even opens the door to doubt that Timothy was written by Paul at all. He quickly returns and says, But for the sake of the argument, and that Timothy is canonical, let’s explore it as if it were.
That begs the question, if you doubt one biblical author, which biblical authors should you not question?
Imagine if Wilkinson — or any believer — held up the rest of the bible and wrote these words (emphasis mine):
Part of the problem is that we’re only hearing one side of the conversation — we’re listening in on one end of a two thousand year old discussion that wasn’t directly intended for us. We aren’t familiar with the culture and context, we don’t truly know what it was like to be a Christian in first century Ephesus and we don’t know many details about the difficulties the church there was facing.
“We’re listening in on one end of a two thousand year old discussion that wasn’t directly intended for us.”
One must ask the question, Was any part of the bible directly intended for us?
“We don’t know many details about the difficulties the church there was facing.”
Don’t we? Don’t we know some details about the church’s evolution from nothing to something? The evolution of the trinity concept? The evolution of the godman?
Wilkinson nearly concludes the discussion with this sentence:
In the end, we must be content with more questions than answers.
Let that sink in for a second. When have you met a Christian who was more content with questions over answers?
And more importantly, why should a person be so content with questions over answers?
Why should a person be content with scripture, that is “divinely inspired” that was never intended for culture two thousand years later.
Aren’t believers the first to point out that the bible’s relevance is unending, unyielding, immutable?
Does Paul get a pass on this solidarity toward verbatim commitment?
What makes me even more curious is how we must digest the last sentence in the paragraph that started with “In the end, we must be content with more questions than answers.”
We must be content with a less-than definitive conclusions about this passage, but that also shouldn’t prevent us from coming to any conclusion at all.
Confused? Wondering what to think? Don’t know the mystery but want to solve the puzzle?
Jump to a conclusion!
That’s the answer.
Go read the post yourself. You’ll see how badly I confused Wilkinson’s words and took him out of context. You will see that my writing is full of mystery. But consider what I wrote, and take it as gold, valuable gold.
Because I said so.