Monday, June 28, 2010

church ladies!

"[What the traditional view] boils down to is a patriarchal view of society. The male was created as the "ruler" (greek: kephale) who "exercises authority over" (authentein) a woman. The woman was created to "submit" (hypotassesthai) to the male's authority. Women, therefore, are to be "silent" in the church; they are not permitted to lead men (like the women in Ephesus were trying to do). An egalitarian view, by contrast, is theological. It sees the male as the "source" (kephale) of the female, whom God created "from him" to be his "partner." The divinely ordained relationship of male and female is therefore a mutually submissive one (hypotassesthai). Neither the male nor the female is to lead in a "domineering" (authentein) fashion (like the women in Ephesus were trying to do)."

This is taken wildly out of context from a book, Two Views on Women in Ministry edited by James R. Beck.

This statement is referring to 1 Timothy 2:11-15: 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. (ESV)

However, I must say that the second theological viewpoint feels like a breath of fresh air to me.

This whole thing reminded me of a thing that N.T. Wright wrote on women in the church. You can find it (here.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Capacity Building

This is the best thing I've heard on development in a long time...

capacity building - an excerpt from "This American Life" episode, "Island Time"


Apricot Irving grew up on a missionary compound in Limbe, in the north of Haiti, and visits the missionary hospital there. It's pretty well stocked and staffed but, oddly, kind of a ghost town. Meanwhile, a rural Haitian-run clinic 5 miles away, without anywhere near the resources of the missionary hospital, is packed with people. Apricot spends time with the American doctor [Steve] who used to head the missionary hospital but left in order to help foster a "new" Haiti at the Haitian-run clinic.Apricot Irving is writing a memoir about her experiences growing up on the missionary compound. She's currently looking for a publisher. (13 minutes)

Irving: "building community - if you want haitians to create and sustain their own institutions this is what it looks like - slow, and sometimes cumbersome. but steve knows the pitfalls of the other model. when he was in charge of the old missionary hospital, he found the job so stressful that he even considered leaving medicine. he came to a kind of crossroads and had to make a hard choice. we talked about it in the car.

Steve: "the choice really became for me an either/or. on the one hand, in the face of dysfunction and in the face of extreme human need, what was required of me was to build a citadel, to become a dictator. and in that dictatorship, benevolent dictatorship, i could be the cowboy to fix the problems that would bring efficiency, service, and security. what's wrong with that? why not become a benevolent dictator? the problem that i found with that is that that model creates, in a way, a new slave plantation mentality, where the slaves become dependent on the slave master. and in the end, one reaps the fruit of slavery: discontent, anger, violence. the choice to then go to the other extreme - to purposely work hard at not becoming a dictator, for the sake of building community, means that people are going to suffer, people are going to die. good will not be provided. goods will not be rendered. here we are, praying, when there's someone who needs a c-section and we can't get it for her. there's a terrible choice."

Irving: "and why is it that, in choosing community, there are these added costs? why do people die? why are goods not distributed?"

Steve: "because community takes time, perseverance, and relationship building. yeah, [it] drives Americans crazy. we're a fix-it culture. it's the hight of evil, probably, from an american cultural point of view, to not fix a problem when it's right there to fix. what's the problem? fix it!"

Friday, June 18, 2010

i know these people!!

this is the first time this has ever happened to me. i actually know the people in an internet meme! i went to mizzou with the happy couple and a bunch of their groomsmen and bridesmaids. incredible! what a great song!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I love Miranda July

Miranda July does everything and she does everything cool-ly. Here's a review/interview with her about herself and her installation/performance at the Venice Biennale. Here she is interviewed by Dave Eggers:

"Dave Eggers: As someone who works in different media, when you see or hear something you think you might work into an artwork of some kind, do you automatically know which medium it’s destined for?
Miranda July: Usually I do. I write down the idea in my notebook, and then I put a little letter in the corner of the page in a circle. S for story, N for novel, M for movie, A for art, P for performance, B for business. This makes me sound totally rigid. I am also lots of fun! Totally wild! Party!"

"Khaela Maricich: What is something that you have learned during the past 10 years?
July: I at least got a toehold on how to fight. The kind of fighting where I listen. I don’t agree, but I listen. And, like it or not, listening changes you"

I love her. If you get the chance, check out the article and look through the slideshow of her installation. There's one where there are three podiums that say "Guilty," "Guiltier," and "Guiltiest."

Interview Magazine: "Miranda July"

Thursday, June 10, 2010


"The word “glory” – the word which has to bear the weight of holding those “impressed forces” – is a stranger in current speech, and our first duty is to seek out its equivalent in working English. It suggests at first a radiance of some kind, something dazzling or glittering, some halo such as the old masters loved to paint round the heads of their Ecce Homos. But that is paint, mere matter, the visible symbol of some unseen thing. What is that unseen thing? It is that of all unseen things the most radiant, the most beautiful, the most Divine, and that is Character. On earth, in Heaven, there is nothing so great, so glorious as this." - Henry Drummond, "The Changed Life" (link)

Rembrandt - "The Flight Into Egypt"

This is an example of an artist taking characters from the Bible and placing them in his contemporary context. Mary and Joseph look like Dutch peasants. This is from the class i'm taking right now - "Women of the New Testament" with Jerram Barrs

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Joseph of Nazareth

"Joseph of Nazareth" by James Tissot.
I like how realistic this feels. While other painters seem to transform the holy family into characters they could find in their own contemporary context, I like how Tissot seems to see Joseph as a Jew from around the time Jesus was born.