The clashing cymbals and resounding gongs of “Desiring God”
The subject of women in leadership has been in the air lately, in the B.C. conference specifically and in wider Christian culture generally, due to popular author John Piper’s blog post, “Is there a place for female professors at seminary?”
I am a positive person who is incredibly grateful for the Mennonite Brethren denomination of which I am a part, that has helped to shape me over the last 35 years. So, may I make some observations from my experience.
It was a woman seminary professor who encouraged me not to leave the MB family two years ago.
It was a woman seminary professor who encouraged me to continue to have a humble understanding of biblical interpretation and see the Bible as beautifully inspired and authoritative; an ancient text with much to say to us today; a text that directs us to follow the Jesus way.
It was a woman seminary professor who, in a sense, helped me to “keep the faith.”
It was an incredible privilege to sit under, learn from, and be inspired by Dorothy Peters. She and other woman seminary professors are a gift to all pastors! Thank you, MB Seminary (through partnership with ACTS Seminaries), for making available someone like Dr. Peters – and other woman seminary professors that I have yet to study under – to teach and lead us.
The theological and biblical interpretative orchestra John Piper is conducting sounds a bit like clashing cymbals and ringing gongs.
Lord have mercy.
Open door to new ideas
I agree with the majority of Janessa Giesbrecht’s “Who is missing?” (Intersection, November/December). I strongly agree that gender and age representation are very important. We need this basic diversity as a core for success, and to strive for 100 percent congregation engagement. We need to feel like we all own it. Churches need to have a plan with the goal of a congregation that is successful for a very long time.
But I think we need to focus on church policy as well as people. An example of this is marriage ceremonies. Back in the day, churches held most weddings; now, in my church, roughly 20 percent of couples get married in a church. The reason for this is because church is too strict about following old rules.
Even though it is sometimes easier not to change things up, the value of new invited ideas inspired by different people, both young and old, leads to better outcomes.
God’s little reminders
I agree with Rose Brechin’s “Losing Baby Jesus” (November/December). Christmas becomes such a busy time for my family that sometimes we forget what’s important, or what it’s really about, but God always manages to remind us in some way. I don’t have to worry about getting all of my shopping done, or getting all of my cookies baked. It’s always nice to read about things like this as a little reminder as well. Thanks for the lesson in a short and sweet story.
Bill Hogg in his commentary on Article 5 (While we witness, November/December 2017) concludes that salvation is by grace alone, based on Ephesians 2:8–9.
1 Peter 1:5 refers to people being kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. Hebrews 4:2 says the message they heard was of no value to them because they did not combine it with faith.
These verses contradict the grace-alone gospel.
This grace-alone gospel is gaining popularity in MB churches.
This is a watershed issue that is determining our spiritual health today and in the long-term. We need Bereans on this. Our forefathers gave their lives for freedom of conscience with a biblical theology to proponents of this other gospel. Romans 1:17; 3:22–24; 4:3,9,16; 5:2; 8:10–12; 10:9–10 all teach the opposite. If the MB distinctive emphasis in salvation is changed to the prospective of grace-alone, should we not rename the document Confession of Grace?