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Showing posts from March, 2019

Naomi's Best Friend's Wedding

In Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, the protagonist is repeatedly approached with proposals to adapt her novel into a screenplay, all of which eschew the challenging societal critique at the heart of the book in preference for comfortable, familiar-story-arc reductions likely to please and appease a wide audience. It got me thinking about how we frequently and instinctively do that with the Bible – and about how much we risk missing or diminishing when we default to readings that conform to our prior expectations, rather than allowing scripture to conflict with and challenge those expectations.

No doubt I’m desensitised to this when it suits me. But I’ve grown quick to notice when the Bible’s accounts of female characters, already fewer in number than its stories of men, are read through a filter of familiarity and a priori gender assumptions. The book of Ruth is a prime candidate – partly because we do love a good love story, and partly because it is hard for us in the here and …

What Will I Write About Jordan Peterson’s Pen of Light?

A few months back, increasingly anxious about Jordan Peterson's growing influence among Christian men, and wanting a fuller picture (beyond the eek-inducing soundbites) of exactly what it was they and so many others were embracing, I gritted my teeth and, to Mr. W's horror, read 12 Rules for Life. It left me with Many Thoughts, but too disturbed and weary to share them straight away. I hope I will get around to doing so properly one day – I'm especially keen to unpack the aspects of the book's ideology that seem to me so flagrantly at odds with Christ-like self-giving and the subversion of dominance hierarchies characteristic of God's royal reign. In the meantime, here is a poem which it may or may not have had something to do with.

'And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord [...] He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.…