Monday, December 18, 2006
The Redemptive Trend
For a couple months now I've been following Scot McKnight's blog. He is the professor of religious studies at North Park University. He posts a lot, I can't even begin to keep up with the volume (3-4 long posts per day), but ocassionally he posts something that I can't help but take 5 minutes and read. Anyway, if you look at my "shared" list in the sidebar, you'll find a link to his post called "Women in Ministry - The Redemptive Trend." Okay, for you RSS'ers, here's the link. I don't want to get bogged down in a discussion about women in ministry, but I've been really intrigued by "The Redemptive Trend" in theology. He mentions a book, that I haven't read yet, but hope to soon called Slaves, Women, & Homosexuals. In a nutshell, The Redemptive Trend is a hermatalogical (sp?) understanding of the Bible that follows this form X - Y - Z where X is the original culture, Y is how the Bible speaks to that culture and Z is the ultimate ethic. How this varies from my theological training is that we were basically taught that Y & Z are the same. (if this bores you, bail now, cuz I'm going a little deeper). Let me explain with a simple example. I've mostly been involved with churches that look at Acts 2 as a blueprint for how church should work today. So you would hear slogans like "We're an Acts 2 Church." With the Redemptive Trend, you wouldn't hear the same slogan because they would say that there was a cultural context (X) that the early church worked within (Y) and now we need to consider what they may or may not look like today (Z). This example is a little weak. Where it gets hairier is when it comes to an issue like women in ministry, where those that believe in the redemptive trend would argue that while Paul may sound prohibitive, he was actually living in an oppressive culture (X) and he was the voice of freedom (Y), which point to a trend toward increasing freedom for women (Z). I'm not sure, I've represented this well -- if you want a better idea, go to his post and follow some of the links. My point is, I'm intrigued.