Does One’s Hermeneutic Dictate Their Views on Ordination of Women?

McKnight writes in his book, The Blue Parakeet (and I do not recommend it), in concern to debates about women’s ordination at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School,

What I realized as I listened to the debates was that I read the Bible as Story (though that was not the term I was using at the time), and I thought (and still think) that many of the traditionalists read the Bible as a law book and a puzzle. Perhaps a greater way of putting this is to suggest that I think traditionalists read the Bible about women in church ministries through tradition instead of reading the Bible with tradition. The latter challenges the tradition while the former does not. It is always safer to read the Bible through tradition. In this instance, the tradition got it wrong. (146-147)

The problem is that my uncle, who is certainly no feminist, would protest this statement easily saying that he of course reads the Bible as a story. Same with my cousin who would be considered by many feminists to be a traitor to her own gender. So it seems that reading the Bible as a story doesn’t really settle much on this issue.

I of course take on a Christological and incarnational hermeneutic and see the role of the priest as carrying out the same eucharistic ministry as the bridegroom. The liturgy is ultimately a wedding feast between bride and lamb (Eph. 5:22-31, Rev. 19:7-16). I’ll write about more on the image of God and the image of Christ later and of course this is mostly a western argument for an all-male priesthood but ultimately, it does take into account the Bible as story with a heavy emphasis on Christ’s incarnation and eucharistic ministry (“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”–Luke 22:20). But of course, I also read the Bible through tradition because the Bible is ultimately a product of the Church and must be read within the context of the Church. The Eastern Orthodox also view the tradition as scripture so to insist that the tradition is wrong for them is to insist that the Bible is wrong.

Of course, in the Protestant world, when talking about senior and elder pastors, there is no eucharistic ministry involved so the Bible must ultimately be read as a “law” book. At the same time, I really see nothing wrong with that as long as it focuses ultimately on Christ. Christ claimed he was Truth so in essence, the Church must bear witness to the Truth.

About Emperor Thomas I

Catholic monarch of the New Roman Coalition. Consecrated to the Apostle Thomas, the Holy Martyr Sigismund, and the Holy Martyr Olaf II.
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