This will be my last interaction with McKnight’s book, The Blue Parakeet. I can’t say it’s been a great read. Most of the book is junk and senseless misunderstanding of the other side. I would neither recommend it to an egalitarian nor to a patriarchalist. If this is the best the egalitarians have though, they will have to do better.
According to McKnight, the solution to 1 Cor. 14:34-35 is not to throw it out of the Bible but to interpret in a sense that prohibits women from asking disruptive questions in church because they are not theologically trained. The problem I have with this is that even someone who is theologically trained is going to have questions during the liturgy as well. For instance, what if the priest, in his homily, says something that is controversial? Of course, a theologically trained specimen is going to be the only one in the liturgy who will have questions concerning the controversial statement (like “what did you mean when you said ‘God’s wrath’?” or “when you say that this the Gospel according to St. John the Theologian…?”, etc., etc.).
But then if this is only referring to women who are not theologically trained, then when a woman becomes theologically trained is she then therefore allowed to ask questions disrupting the liturgy? I’m also not certain if this interpretation has been read into the text. The full quoatation is “women should be silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” (NRSV-CE)
There is nothing in the text that would imply that this is referring only to inquiring questions. Of course, I don’t take this verse as referring to a universal situation. I take this as specifically refraining from women giving the homily. But to insist this only applies to those that aren’t theologically trained assumes that all theologically trained specimens are ordained which is an egregious mistake to make.