Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ben Witherington Strikes Again!

When I was studying in TTC, I had a crisis of faith. The issue was whether we had misunderstood Jesus. The idea was that the theology of Christ and the self identity of Jesus may be very different. It become more and more troubling for me as I go down the rabbit hole of the quest for the historical Jesus. At that time, one book came to my rescue: The Christology of Jesus by Ben Witherington. In a well organized manner, Ben outlined how we can understand Jesus' interpretation of himself, and the conclusion was that Jesus' idea and our traditional idea isn't very different. The book was very well-reasoned, and I felt convinced.

As the years passes, I continue to see him as my idol, and often respect his opinion on theological subjects. His reply on the Da Vinci code is an example of well thought out scholarship: The Gospel Code. However, he does lean towards the more conservative camp, I so see that we disagree on the more controversial topics. My beliefs are still traditional, but I lean liberal on politics. I am simply more convinced about equality and social justice when applying the law.

Today, as I was catching up on his blog. This post is especially good: Why Arguments against Women in Ministry aren't biblical. Some of the more conservative bible-thumping parts of the Presbyterians in Singapore still use literal readings of the bible to justify their stand against woman pastors. This post is a perfect explanation of why they are so misguided.

"As I have learned over many years.... the problem in the church is not strong and gifted women. ... ... No, the problem in the church is not strong women, but rather weak men who feel threatened by strong women, and have tried various means, even by dubious exegesis to prohibit them from exercising their gifts and graces in the church." Witherington

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