Monday, 15 January 2018

Monday quote

Few are so conformist as rebellious youth.

Theodore Dalrymple

Monday, 8 January 2018

Monday quote

The standard for how fast and in what direction the car should go cannot be how fast and in what direction the car is currently going.

Douglas Wilson, The Deluded Atheist.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Monday quote

Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living.

Jaroslav Pelikan.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Monday quote

Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: "a virgin's womb and an empty tomb". Jesus entered our world through a door marked,"No Entrance" and left through a door marked "No Exit."

Peter Larson

Monday, 18 December 2017

Monday quote

Legalism arises when Christian communities try to have the fruit of discernment (the ability to make fine distinctions) without having the maturity that is necessary.

Douglas Wilson, Hebrews Through New Eyes.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Monday quote

Sober advice to keep quiet and carry a large stick trumps sounding off while wielding a toothpick.

Victor Davis Hanson

Monday, 4 December 2017

Monday quote

The up-coming generation don’t seem to realise that democracy has two drivers: the right to advocate, and the right to dissent. It would quite possibly come as a surprise to many to learn that the latter persists even after legislation has been passed.

Barend Vlaardingerbroek.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Monday quote

God designed your emotions to be gauges, not guides. They’re meant to report to you, not rule you.

Jon Bloom.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Monday quote

The atheistic view of evil is totally inadequate in light of reality. It is subjective, arbitrary, and meaningless.

Steve Kumar and Jonathan Sarfati. Christianity for Skeptics, p56.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Monday quote

For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—he had the honesty and courage to take his own medicine. Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He has himself gone through the whole human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When he was a man, he played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile.

Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957).

Monday, 6 November 2017

Monday quote

I have learned in other fields of study how transitory the "assured results of modern scholarship" may be, how soon scholarship ceases to be modern.

C.S. Lewis, "Modern Theology and Biblical Criticism", Christian Reflections.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

An egalitarian interpretation of the woman's curse

The first 3 chapters of Genesis profoundly impact on the rest of Scripture. Many discussions of other passages of Scripture hinge on what Genesis means. Previously I have written on the curse placed on the woman in Eden. The conclusion was that the curse could mean
  1. Your desire is against your husband [curse] but he is to lead you [right action]; or
  2. Your desire will be against your husband [curse] and he will dominate you [curse].
With the first seeming more likely.

This is based on the parallel between the phraseology in Genesis 3 and 4.
To the woman he said,
“I will greatly increase your pain in conception;
in pain you shall bear children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3)
And Yahweh said to Cain,
“Why are you angry, and why is your face fallen?
If you do well will I not accept you?
But if you do not do well,
sin is crouching at the door.
And its desire is for you,
but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4)
Others have pointed to the use of "desire" in Canticles.
I belong to my beloved,
and he desires me!
This is a positive use of the term desire, though desire need not be intrinsically positive. The context can show whether a term is positive or negative, as seen by the use in Genesis 4. But if "desire" is being used in a positive sense in Genesis 3, how can we make sense of it?

If the passage should be translated, "Your desire will be toward your husband", then the curse is in him ruling over her in a way that was not intended. Taking a cue from Canticles: the man desires his wife. It may be prior to the Fall that man desired his wife much in the way that Solomon desires the Shullamite. Canticles is an example of the pre-Fall situation. God created man to desire his wife and a wife to desire her husband. The curse is then the change in attitude of the man from desiring his wife to dominating his wife, all while she maintains her desire.
“I will greatly increase your pain in conception;
in pain you shall bear children.
Your desire will [continue to] be for your husband,
and he [will no longer desire you but instead he] shall rule over you.
This interpretation is more egalitarian.

Although this interpretation is worth contemplating, there are a couple of potential difficulties.
  1. The curse on the woman is God forming a sinful attitude in the man.
  2. Men seem to desire women generally, and sexual desire in a man for his wife may be greater than her sexual desire.
The first is of some concern as it could suggest that sin in more of a male problem. It is not uncommon in the modern West to blame men for their failings as being intrinsic to them, and to excuse women for their failings as being reactions to sinful situations extrinsic to them. While external factors do come into play, externalising our failures and not acknowledging them as our sin is unbiblical. Also, by making the problem one of a husband's domineering attitude it may imply that difficulties within marriage are predominantly due to husbands.

The second is not so much concerning but rather it does not seem to match reality. Men often (though not always) sexually desire their wives more than the other way around. To resolve this one could argue for a desire of women to be cared and protected. This may be true but it removes the connection to Canticles which has a strong romantic and sexual overlay.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Monday quote

My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.

Jean Rostand

Monday, 23 October 2017

Monday quote

I am certain that large percentage of the money that I spend on taxes is wasted and in many cases, worse than wasted—that is, it is wealth destroying. I would rather give out money to random people on the street than pay taxes to a destructive government.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Monday quote

Sometimes life is not about being happy, it's about doing what is right.

Mrs Patton.

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