This post from Intellectuelle got me thinking. She starts off with “It seems just so ridiculous to me that women of faith need to be convinced that it is as important for women to be theologically, philosophically, or more broadly – intellectually informed – as men. The more I think on this, the more frustrated I become.” and goes on from there.
I’ve always agreed with her argument. My mom always thought that. My Grama Helen thought it. My Grama H- thought it, and she only had a third grade education. So what’s the big deal? –“women of faith need to be convinced that it is as important for women to be theologically, philosophically, or more broadly – intellectually informed – as men.”
Then I remembered an email I had sent to one of the elders of my church, the one in charge of missions. Our church’s mission work is all in Venezuela with national preachers.
“My experience with missions includes a two year experience as a missionary apprentice in 1983-84. I worked with Don VL, a Catalunan Spaniard, in the Iglesia in Geneva, Switzerland. L, at that time, was only partially supported from the States and made up the difference driving a cab. But, in addition to the Geneva church, he also had started six churches in Spain from the immigrants who had come through Switzerland. Members in the church included the ambassador from Argentina and an immigrant from Peru, as well as Spanish nationals.
My short term missions experiences were three weeks in Brazil, two weeks visiting missionaries in Thailand, and one week leading a group to Seattle.
I have eighteen graduate hours in missions, including Latin American Peoples and Urban Anthropology.”
There’s experience in there and education as well. But I don’t talk about any theological grounding. Do I not have any? No. That’s not true.
And much that I have done that is related to missions specifically or Christianity in general is not in that list. There is no mention of my master’s thesis on Biblical Marriage in Hemingway. No note about my doctoral dissertation on missionary newsletters. No long list of service as a teacher in the Bible classes (not even the one for women on church history) or as a small group leader.
So, does this mean I have always been intellectual about my faith? Yes, I think it does.
But then I got to thinking more and I realized that it might not be true for others. One woman in my congregation, whom I admire for her study and teaching skills, is constantly saying to others how smart and intimidating I am. Intimidation wasn’t my intention and it may be that showing smarts is rare enough that it’s something worth talking about at church.
I’m not sure, yet. I haven’t come to a conclusion, but I am still thinking.
Some faith related posts:
This entry on faith would be a basic statement of why I believe.
Why a Good God Would Allow Suffering. I wrote it. It’s reasonable. Sometimes I need to re-read it.