Monday, April 21, 2008

Ben Stein Exelled in Expelled

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Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," is by far the best movie I've seen in quite some time. It's actually a docu-drama on the free speech crises in modern academia; specifically when it comes to sharing one's opinion on the origin of the universe. Ben Stein catches the Darwinists red-handed, and uncovers what none of them want you to know. Filled with entertaining cartoon and old movie clips (to satirize and simply), this documentary is by far the most amusing one I've ever seen. I encourage everyone to see this film, not just for its entertainment value, but also for its accuracy and seriousness subject matter. There is an excellent challenge towards the end of the film that goes out to everyone, whether scientist or not. I won't tell you what it is, because it would spoil the ending for you. Please, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It's worth the eight bucks to support something positive from Hollywood.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

1 Tim. 2:9-15, The Role of Women

If I could some up this entire section in one sentence, I’d say, “Woman are to be humble.” Paul is responding to the distracting manner in which women would convey themselves. By drawing attention to themselves they were essentially stealing from the Lord. This principle can be applied to men just as it can to women, however in the case of the Ephesians it seems that woman were the main culprits. Paul’s instructions for women to, “adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,” shouldn’t, I believe, be seen as a legalistic set up of rules. Rather Paul is instructing a principle, and giving specific examples of the violation of that principle. The principle is that women should be clothed “modestly and discreetly.” Modesty refers to the idea of being orderly and decorous. There is an underlying humility that is to motivate the female when she dresses herself. Discreetly refers to having self control over sexual passions. In short, women are not to distract the men by drawing attention to their body during a worship service especially. Women use to braid jewelry into their hair as a sign of wealth and beauty. This is what Paul was referring to when he mentioned braided hair. The gold, pearls, and costly garments are likewise signs that someone is rich. This probably caused a great deal of jealousy inside the church, as rich women allured men with their bodies, and flashed their wealth before those who were poor. Paul contrasts this prideful attitude with the action of “good works.” Women are to humble themselves to the point of being a servant to others, not trying to get others to serve them.
Paul switches gears slightly starting in verse eleven. He’s still talking about the role of women in the church, however he now addresses the problem of women leadership. Of course, in the time that Paul was writing women weren’t held in high esteem by Greek or Jewish culture. The church would have been a place for women to gain freedoms that hadn’t been granted to them in the world. However, some women were taking these freedoms way to far. They were being disruptive in the church services, and even exercising authority over men. Paul’s instructions to the former was to “quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” Women were to learn in the context of church. How could they learn if they weren’t quiet? I’m not sure whether it was gossip that was going on during the services, or outbursts of emotional zeal, but whatever it was, it was disrupting their ability to learn and submit to authority. To the latter group (those exercising authority over men) Paul states, “ I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” I do not believe Paul is prohibiting them from teaching in every single circumstance because in Titus 2:3 he instructs older women to teach younger ones. Likewise, in Acts 18:26 Priscilla and Aquila privately instruct Apollos. However, women are not to teach men in the context of church. This doesn’t mean we can’t have women professors teaching men things that don’t have to do with theology, in a different context. However it does mean that there should be no spiritual authority over men given to a woman. Many try to take Paul’s words in this passage and somehow say that they are “just cultural.” In other words, back in Paul’s day, women shouldn’t have taught men because of the cultural setting, but today things have changed. It almost sounds like an application of evolution to the society. Nevertheless, the text does not allow one to do this. Why? Because Paul’s argument is not based on culture but on something that transcends culture. His argument is based on creation. Paul writes, “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” While Adam is the one responsible for the fall of man ultimately, partially because he wasn’t deceived, but willfully sinned (Rom. 5:12-21); Eve violated her subordinate role as man’s suitable helper. Eve left Adam’s security and assumed his headship onto herself. This left her vulnerable to the deceptions of the devil. In short, Adam was created first, and Adam was given the authority to lead Eve, not the other way around.
The last verse in this section is perhaps the most difficult verse in the whole Bible to interpret. Paul writes, “But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” We know this can’t refer to salvation because of all the other passages that make it clear we are saved through grace. So what could this mean? Since it says, “shall be preserved,” we know that it’s a future tense. It’s not referring to Eve. I believe the best explanation for the verse is this: Women were the initial instrument that caused the human race to fall into sin. Therefore, by raising up a godly generation they can be freed from the mark of having set humanity on this wrong course. Women, unlike men, have a unique ability to shape children. There is more of an emotional connection, as well as a sacrifice in time that goes into raising kids.