The Challenge Of The Re-Imagining God Conference -- By: Catherine Clark Kroeger

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 08:2 (Spring 1994)
Article: The Challenge Of The Re-Imagining God Conference
Author: Catherine Clark Kroeger

The Challenge Of The Re-Imagining God Conference

Catherine Clark Kroeger

Catherine Clark Kroeger is President of Christians for Biblical Equality, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Cordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is author of “I Suffer Not a Woman” ...Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence (Baker, 1992). A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she received an M.A. in Greek and a Ph.D. in classical area studies from the University of Minnesota.

In their desperate hunger for new and meaningful ways of knowing and worshiping God, thousands of women gathered in Minneapolis in November 1993 at a conference whose theme was “Re-Imagining… God, Community, and the Church” Certainly today’s women have the right to choose their own forms of religious expression. However, they also have a right to understand the antecedents of those forms. Because various conference presentations and liturgies went beyond orthodox Christian faith and practice, we need to examine the historical roots of these so-called “new” ideas.

But just as important, the Re-Imagining conference issues a call to each one of us to proclaim God’s nature more fully, to worship more truly, and to practice more honestly the kindness and righteousness of Christ.

An Unhappy And Unholy Past

All too many in the orthodox churches have been egregiously insensitive to the deep needs and intense yearnings of many of our sisters. As Frances Willard expressed it long ago, women have often been “driven from the altars of Mother Church” Their legitimate and unfilled spiritual desires have propelled some of them down a wrong path, one that has — time and again— been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Where did this path start?

Before the call of Abraham “our fathers worshiped other gods on the other side of the River.” (Joshua 24:2) Since then God’s people have not always been as single-minded as we might hope in the worship of the True and Living One who is revealed to us in the Scriptures.

Moses on several occasions adjured the children of Israel to put away the gods that they had brought with them out of Egypt. These were not deities whom they were worshipping instead of Jehovah but rather in conjunction with the Almighty who brooks no rivals. Recent archaeological evidence points to a syncretistic Israelite practice of worshipping the Lord as an abstract and invisible God while also venerating an accompanying

female deity portrayed in sexualized human form.1 Thi...

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