God spoke to Noah, saying:
Go out of the Ark, you and your wife, your sons and your sons’ wives with you. – Genesis 8:15-16 (Everett Fox translation)
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The women, especially, stand as silent witnesses. They have been entombed for the duration of the tempest and flooding. (A night of hurricane can be terrifying enough. A month can drive a person into madness.)
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One of the reasons I value the Godwrestling approach to Scripture is that it welcomes many of the issues raised by feminist critiques. We are now free to question the actions of patriarchy or the assumptions imposed later.
We are free to recognize that the text itself can be faulty. Besides, the text is largely in what Erich Fromm calls The Forgotten Language (Rinehart & Company, 1951), the symbolic language of both myths and dreams; in this, the manifest story contains a much longer latent story that is waiting to be released. An issue of Atlantic Monthly, on Feminism and the Bible, quoted a number of observers who felt the research being led in large part by feminists has the potential of being the most revolutionary and socially profound scholarship of our time.
So here they come, off the boat, as if leaving Gotterdammerung. In a way, it’s yet another Creation story, with a whole host of new perspectives.
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But if any shall sit down by the Way, on this Side the Mountain of true Holiness, notwithstanding they began in the Spirit, yet if they end in the Flesh, how far soever they have travelled on in their Journey, still may their Carcasses fall in the Wilderness. Howbeit I write this not to discourage any, but to provoke to Diligence, as well myself, as others, that after we have set out towards the promised Land, and had a Sight of it, none of us may grow weary, nor faint in our Minds and so fall short of the everlasting Rest; for ’tis not a bare Convincement of the Truth in our Understandings, which may produce a Change in the Judgment, Opinion and Profession, that will serve our Turn, without there be a Change wrought in the inward, as well as the outward Man, whereby the Heart may be throughly sanctified and made clean, else there can be no real Conversion. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)