Welcome to Carnivorous Caribou

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Worst Nightmare

Last night, we had a lovely evening with our elders, their wives and a few other people involved in ministry at our church. We all sat at tables of about eight people each and enjoyed incredible food and great conversation. Tracing a woman out our table's testimony from coming out of Catholicism and Episcopalian background, we somehow landed on the issue of headcoverings. After discussing the unique perspectives on the head coverings issue, one of the ladies then asked:

Now I've always been intrigued, how do we know when to appeal to culture to understand an issue and when do we know a concept is not cultural?

A meal just doesn't get better for me. Not only do I get to enjoy great food with a group of people that are a tremendous encouragement to me, but now we get to talk about God's Word, how wonderful it is that He has chosen to reveal Himself, and how we can strive to be good stewards of what He has given! We begin to walk through some of the fascinating aspects of Corinthian culture and what "headship" seems to mean. It really was a delight. Then another lady asks:

I grew up in a different tradition than where we are now. We agreed on issues of the gospel and salvation, but we also said other issues involving women in ministry were just cultural. I still find it hard not to claim the women in ministry issue is just a cultural one. (My paraphrase. Her question was much more gracious than I stated it.)

Now this perfectly good meal with safe conversation has escalated to the controversial issues of egalitarianism/complimentarianism...

and I'm loving it!

I had absolutely no problem with this lady's question. She loves the Lord and His Word. There shouldn't be anything in the Word of God that brothers and sisters can not enjoy an edifying conversation about, even if they end up disagreeing. So I leaned forward and started to explain why it appears that I Corinthians 11 and I Timothy 2 are completely different animals.

And then, the nightmare came...

Our table was dismissed to get our main course, and the conversation was lost. By the time we returned to our table, people were engaged in other conversations and it did not feel right to bring things back to where we were. It was like taking a giant bite of pumpkin roll and being told you are not allowed to swallow. I was so disappointed.

Fortunately, I have this blog. I don't know if the lady reads my blog or not, but I hope to tackle a few issues in the next couple posts.
    1) How can we determine a text is cultural? Do we destroy the authority of God's Word when we do so?
    2) Are there clues in the text that I Corinthians 11:2-16 is cultural? (I admit that I may be in over my head on this one. I would love feedback from those within such a tradition and those who have ministered from this tradition...if you're out there.)
    3) Are there solid clues that I Timothy 2 is not culturally driven?

No one else may be intrigued by the posts, but at least it will get the nightmare to end for me!


  • At 3:30 PM, Blogger ~d said…

    so glad you aren't asking me for any of those answers.

    and if that is your worst nightmare, you've led a sheltered life :p

  • At 4:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am intrigued, especially on the


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home