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October 10, 2011


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Natalie -
Scot McKnight is quoted in a video from last year, "If everything is the Gospel then nothing is the Gospel." This quote comes to mind every time I hear someone tie their cause celeb with an all or nothing statement about the Gospel Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

McKnight also invokes Nietzsche who wrote something to the effect that the text gets lost in the interpretation.


It makes sense you would think of Nietzsche, because the cultural relativism that resulted from early anthropology is sort of seen as the beginnings of postmodernism. I've only read Beyond Good and Evil, which questions "objective truth." I suppose that's what I'm doing here in the context of gender, yet I would hope my ideas aren't as nihilistic. Knowledge and purpose of the Gospel are still possible, they're just culturally rooted and don't only come from those in power.

Anyway, I like that McKnight Gospel quote. Can't wait to check out his new book.


I agree with this, and very much relate to that tension.

What I find most fascinating (and surprising) is that it was found that conservative women get up in up in arms about needing to limit women's role in church more so than men. Sorry, I can't remember where the info is from (whether from a Barna survey or somewhere else).

One of my favorite books on this topic is "Finally Feminist." - it covers how the two views interpret the major texts and explores the strengths and weakness of both. In the end the author concludes that we should work to get rid of all differences that have no basis in reality (acknowledging that working through true differences, and cultural constructs is very difficult - which should mean that the church is a place that allows a lot of room for different perspectives).

Also, I wouldn't get concerned with being nihilistic, especially when being compared to Nietzsche. He wasn't nihilistic, he greatly feared nihilism, which he saw as one of the possible results of the world not believing in a god anymore. He wasn't so interested in whether or not god existed - he was more of a pragmatist. His response to there possibly not being a god was not, "now we can do whatever we want", but "since morality may be up to us, it is a weighty task that must be taken very seriously." I think the thought process that begin with people like Nietzsche was the beginning of a healthly humbling of the enlightenment's unhealthy level of certainty. Maybe you agree? I'd like to hear you thoughts on it.

Have you read anything by Peter Rollins?


Hi Ben!
I've heard that before too, that women are often the most active participants and supporters of patriarchy. I googled Finally Feminist and it definitely looks like something I would want to check out.

I've only read one work by Nietzsche, and it was 7-8 years ago in college, so my fuzzy memory is probably why I thought he was more nihilistic. But yes, I do see him and others that he later influenced (Foucault, Derrida, etc) as a helpful, healthy critique of enlightenment certainty.

I HAVE read Rollins! How (Not) to Speak of God and at least one other book whose name I can't remember at the moment. He's challenging. His new book is on my winter break reading list, for sure. I'm assuming you've read his stuff?

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In God's eyes, we are all equal. Why should we look at each other differently because of gender?

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