taking the Bible, seriously?16-12-2013 - Posted by Andre Piet
In the evangelical, monthly newspaper “Uitdaging”, I read an interview (December 2013) with theologian Almatine Leene. Based on the idea that God is a trinity, she philosophizes with abandon and projects this on the man-woman relationship. What it has to do with the Bible is beyond me, but in theology this usually is no hindrance. She refers to “the Church as being the bride of Christ”, likely not realizing that this also is not known in the Bible. Time and again, in Scripture, Israel and Jerusalem are presented as the bride, not ‘the Church’. And then this statement of Almatine:
If you take the entire Bible seriously (…), you can not help but come to the conclusion that man and woman are created in the image of God and, therefore, are equal to each other and are valued by God, equally high.
With undoubtedly the best of intentions, Almatine communicates, here, pure nonsense. For if you take the Bible seriously, you would note that only the man is created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27 says:
So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created HE HIM; male and female created HE THEM.
Could it be true what this theologian (like many others) claims, then, here it should have read: in the image of God created He THEM, plural, such as, indeed, in the second part of the sentence is the case. But it says “in the image of God He created him” and not them. Paul refers back to this (1Cor.11:7) and notes:
For a man, indeed, ought not to be covering his head, being inherently the image and glory of God. Yet the woman is the glory of the man.
Can it be any clearer?! Why the apostle makes the connection with head covering is another story, but it is undeniably clear that Paul only points to the man as being the image of God. Not the woman. That is precisely the starting point of his argumentation. And Almatine’s conclusion that men and women would be equal to each other is not correct either. Fortunately not. Men and women are, thankfully, very unequal and different from each other! Man and woman in the Bible are highly valued, says Almatine. That is certainly true. But not “equally high”. Also in it, the Bible makes a difference. The man and the masculine refer to God as Creator. Accordingly, God is a He, and not a she. The woman and the feminine, on the other hand, refer to creation. The woman, also, is out of the man and for the man (1Cor.11:8.9). The man (husband) is her head and is to take care of her. All that pictures the relationship Creator-creation. Also, the creation depicted, as a woman, is in joyful expectation (Rom.8:22). These are Biblical associations. It underlines sufficiently how much God the creation and thus “the feminine quality” loves and appreciates. For this, we do not need the thought-acrobatics of this theologian.