A talk given in London to the Cleopas Society last month has generated a little buzz in the blogosphere. In this talk, Dr. Wijnagaards displays the remarkable facility that religious feminists have for re-writing history. According to him the words of institution Jesus spoke at the Last Supper were also words of commissioning, or ordination. Further, since women have always received the Eucharist, we can see that these words of institution were meant to apply equally to men and women as presiders at the Eucharistic meal.
Odd, isn't it, how those actually present knew less about Christ's intentions than a scholar speaking in London 2000 years later, isn't it? We know this is nothing new. Religious feminists have been indulging in the hermeneutics of suspicion to help them rewrite history from the beginning of their movement. Few were the "scholars" such as Paul Jewett who had the courage to say he simply thought Paul was wrong. Rather, the mass of religious feminists have indulged in a gnostic-like revisioning of the past, re-writing history and standing in judgment of those who have gone before rather than humbly climbing upon their shoulders. Claiming a knowledge apparently unavailable to anyone before, their new methods have uncovered knowledge and practices which are so stunningly obvious they have lain hidden for 2000 years -- hidden even from the eyewitnesses!
But our scholars know more. Dr. Wijngaards certainly believes he understands better than those who were actually present at the Last Supper what Christ meant and intended by his words. How else do we explain his contention that the words of institution were words of commissioning, that since women have always received communion they should also have always presided at the Eucharist? Those poor foolish disciples never understood the very words they heard. Instead, they ignored them and created an all-male fraternity out of whole-cloth and excluded the women - from that day.
But it wasn't just the men, the women participated as well. I will grant the assumption here that women were present at that most famous of meals. And yet, the women seem to have been wholly as foolish as the men. If they were there and they heard the same words and understood the implications as our latter-day scholar has -- why in heaven's name did none of them protest their immediate exclusion? Why didn't any of them stand against the men, interrupt the later council at Jerusalem and demand their place alongside the gentiles as full converts and presbyters, presiders at the holy meal?
Emboldened with the success of their revisionist project, our latter day prophets are re-writing history -- even history that has occurred within living memory. Our friends at Harper Collins, the parent company of prolific bible publisher Zondervan and corporate child of the pornographer, Rupert Murdoch, are giving us a tremendous gift. Our religious feminist friends weren't satisfied with their neutering of every Protestant's favorite patron saint, C.S. Lewis's beliefs about the sexes. Now they have, by sheer audacity of publication, declared him a newspeak feminist as well. Yes, friends, Harper is bringing us the C.S. Lewis bible using the NRSV translation!
In a supreme moment of irony, CSL revisioner extraordinaire had this to say (as quoted in Christianity Today ):
"Evangelicals are very good at picking up some good cause which is overstated. . . Read everything Lewis wrote...before you jump on a bandwagon like this."
She wasn't referring to her own, ahem, overstated case for Jack the Religious Feminist. No, she was referring to Professor Louis Markos' petition seeking to have Harper remove the bible from publication and re-release it with a more appropriate bible translation. I am sure Markos knows how quixotic his effort is. As for Van Leeuwen?
Shall I just say I am glad I don't have her nerve in my tooth?