Does the Bible promote only one view of marriage? A survey of marriage as presented in the pages of the Bible.
What we have here is a normative pattern for marriage, upheld by Jesus himself in the Gospels (Matthew 19:3-6, Mark 10:2-9), that sees marriage as a freely chosen, permanent and exclusive sexual relationship that is between one man and one woman and is outside of the immediate family circle. Moreover, as Genesis goes on to make clear through the subsequent story of Adam and Eve (Genesis 4:1, 2, 25, 5:3), it is through marriage that the divine command to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ in Genesis 1:28 is to find fulfillment.
The reason that the New Testament is silent about polygyny [PLS a man having multiple wives] (as about polyandry and same-sex marriage) is that it holds that Christians are called to live with within the pattern of marriage thus established by God at creation and by so doing reflect the eternal marriage between Christ and his Church (Ephesians 5:21-33).
IMHO, you can’t really get around it: biblical marriage is heterosexual, monogamous, until death do us part. You can mitigate it and find reasons to modify this corner or that edge of the issue, but the central core remains unchanged.
RJS on intellectual humility. This is a valuable caution for an age with increasingly little filter, deliberation, or self-awareness. The self-immolation of the SBC continues apace, with authority figures doubling down on their own authority over matters of interpretation (as if it was their interpretations that were God-breathed, instead of the scriptures they are interpreting.)
Intellectual humility is the realization that one almost certainly has some misconceptions and wrong ideas and should be open-minded enough to accept input and consider new ideas. This doesn’t mean lack of confidence or a wishy-washy uncertainty, but a willingness to be continually learning. Intellectual humility is generally thought to be a virtue in scholarship and in science – although it far too often isn’t. Scientists regularly over step reasonable bounds, and sometimes defend a view with the same kind of dogmatic certainty found in other arenas.
I always loved N.T. Wright’s line, “Twenty percent of what I am about to tell you is wrong. The problem is that I don’t know which twenty percent it is.” (After I typed it, I remembered that RJS quotes it. But I typed it first.)
The GREAT Jonah Goldberg’s last G-File. The End of an Era. In the mid-1990’s, Goldberg kind of invented the political blog, and he has always been one of my favorite thinkers and writers. So it’s sad to see him leaving BuckleyLand, even as he goes off to do more of the same with Stephen Hayes.
He devotes the majority of the G-File to the conservative dumpster fire of the week, the Trumpists’ attacks on David French and all who would pursue persuasion instead of brute force:
Conceding the idea that the State should impose one faction’s conception of virtue on the entirety of the country is only a smart play (in the realpolitik sense) if you’re sure your faction is the one that gets to call the shots. When your faction is in the minority with few prospects of becoming the majority, it’s tantamount to turning the asylum over to the inmates.
The idea that observant Catholics — a group I admire and sympathize with — can successfully win the culture war entirely on their terms is absurd, particularly if part of that strategy requires defenestrating the likes of David French — not to mention countless secular conservatives, traditionalists, and libertarians — for the sake of not theological or ideological purity but mere tactical consensus. David’s emphasis on “decency and civility” (Sohrab’s words) offers one of the only plausible ways of converting large numbers to the cause. More importantly: Since total victory is impossible, convincing the unconverted and unconvertible, that religious conservatives nonetheless deserve fair treatment and autonomy in a pluralistic society requires first convincing them that the religious right’s real objective isn’t to seize the commanding heights of the culture and turn their guns on the enemy. If average Americans, forget progressives, think the religious right wants to use the state to force everyone else to heel, the assault on religious liberty will only get worse.
Scot McKnight on Wade Burleson on the SBC’s own dumpster fire. This is really good, both Burleson’s original post and McKnight’s commentary Beth Moore has made a few wobbly choices–e.g., her reaction to the Covington thing, which I don’t think she’s ever backed off on.
But she’s right about the SBC’s treatment of women. And Owen Strachan, Al Mohler, Paige Patterson, et.al. are wrong in ways particular to self-righteous Christian leaders who have lost all sense of self-awareness.
A few other odds and ends that caught my eye:
- Part of a series, “Five Things We Must Understand (But Often Don’t) about the New Testament.” Good stuff about hermeneutics and metanarrative. I haven’t read the series, only this post.
- Peter Enns on ancient history writing.
- Olson continues his series on Moral Therapeutic Deism.