Your Questions, please -- By: Anonymous
Your Questions, please
Controversies over important issues are not only evidence of our sin and ignorance but also are evidence that truth matters, that it is worth striving for, and that harmful error is not carrying the day unopposed1
Since many leading evangelical scholars disagree on the questions of manhood and womanhood, how can any lay person even hope to come to a clear conviction on these questions?
Serious students of the Bible must walk a fine line between two dangers. On the one side there is the oversimplification of the process of interpretation that neglects the disciplines of historical and grammatical study. On the other side there is the temptation to pull rank on lay people and emphasize inaccessible data and complicated contextual problems so much that they despair of confident understanding.
We realize that there are “some things that are hard to understand [in Paul’s letters], which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16). This will guard us from overstating the simplicity of Scripture.
But we believe the emphasis should fall on the usefulness of all Scripture. “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16).
We do not want to discourage any serious lay person that the usefulness of Scripture is out of his or her reach. We also want to stress that under divine inspiration the Apostle Paul was committed to clarity and forthrightness in his writing: “…we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:2).
We would also encourage lay people to view controversies over important issues not only as evidence of our sin and ignorance but also as evidence that truth matters, that it is worth striving for, and that harmful error is not carrying the day unopposed. Paul said to the Corinthians, “I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval” (1 Cor. 11:18–19).
We are far from doubting the genuine Christian standing of evangelical feminists. But controversy is necessary where truth matters...
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