Here’s another pairing of fine articles for your enjoyment and edification, in light of the recent vote by the General Synod of the Church of England rejecting legislation that would have allowed for women bishops, and the reaction by N.T. Wright:
The essence of most of the commentary I have read is: the church has voted for oppression of women and has made itself irrelevant; it will no longer have a voice on major cultural, political and economic issues….One of the key failures of the currently trendy Christian cultural engagement movement is that it takes the questions which the culture is asking too seriously. We often assume that it is the answers which the world gives which are its means of avoiding the truth. In actual fact, there is no reason to assume that the very questions it asks are not also part of the cover-up.
First, Wright clears his throat nervously, because he is smart enough to know that there are other smart people out there in the world, and if they happen along, they will see right through what he is doing. Not only is he blowing smoke, it seems that he knows that he is.
“I fully acknowledge that the very different reading I’m going to suggest may sound to begin with as though I’m simply trying to make things easier, to tailor this bit of Paul to fit our culture. But there is good, solid scholarship behind what I’m going to say, and I genuinely believe it may be the right interpretation.”
Well, yes. That is exactly what it sounds like. And did you notice that it does make things easier, doesn’t it? Paul does fit into the current climate a little better than before, doesn’t he? What a relief! Fortunately, there is good, solid scholarship (all rise!), six yards of it and all wool, to cover our butts here. You know what these gender equality conferences need? Some horse laughs from somewhere in the ventilation ducts.