EMOTIONS, RATIONALITY, AND GENDER

Tim Savage is the pastor of a church back in my hometown of Phoenix. I vividly recall Tim telling me that Morna Hooker, his doctoral supervisor at Cambridge, seemed to understand the pathos of Paul better than many male, Pauline scholars.

Hooker can hold her own intellectually against any male New Testament scholar, but it does seem many (not all) women may have a bit of an edge in picking up the less than rational components.

Allow me to clarify a few things, but please know my thinking in this area is provisional and partial. Not much is set in stone.

“Less than rational components” does not equal anti-rational. Like Pascal, I think “the heart has its reasons that reason knows not of.” This certainly does not make these “less than rational” things irrational.

As to an example, perhaps we could look at Paul’s affliction which resulted in despair (II Cor. 1:8,9). We don’t know for sure, but perhaps some of that affliction was not physical in nature. And maybe a female scholar might be more sensitive that the non physical affliction of the “concern for all the churches” could’ve contributed to Paul’s despair.

As a male who has a strong gift of discernment, I still find my wife (a summa cum laude graduate of seminary, so plenty capable on the “rational” stuff) picking up clues, especially with our sons, that I miss at times. I must add though that I also pick up clues that she sometimes misses, which is why I said my observations are “provisional and partial.”

TESTIMONIES OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS CAN BE TRICKY TO COMMUNICATE

As Christians, we love hearing testimonies of God’s faithfulness.  It encourages us when our own faith is failing.  We are reminded that God still works in peoples’ lives.  All this is good.

The tricky thing is the hearer must be careful to not become like Simon Magus.  You may recall how he wanted to do miracles just like Peter and John.  Simon erroneously thought he could pay for something like this.  We are not as crass, but we hear how God answered someone’s prayer and we look for the secret which made it all come about.  Let’s say the person communicates that God convicted her to fast one day a week.  Ah, that is the trick.  If I fast one day a week, I can also count on God answering some of my most cherished prayers.

TASTY, BUT ACCESSIBLE COOKIES

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Strobel has put the Jonathan Edwards cookies on a lower shelf while not allowing the treats to taste “store bought.” Formed for the Glory of God is a well-written, accessible, and a beautiful treatment of the spiritual life.

One quote to give you a feel: “The cross is not an event to leave, nor is it a starting line; it is the path itself.”