What I’m Thinking: Questions About Wisdom

The figure of Wisdom takes center stage in Proverbs 8 – but why not in human life? And why do we (men) resist the authority of women?

Here’s a transcript:

My apologies for the dealy in producing What I’m Thinking this week. Last weekend was the ‘Aha Pae’aina of the Hawai’i Conference of the United Church of Christ, and we elected the Rev. Dr. David Popham to be our new Conference Minister starting in September.

Welcome – e komo mai – to you, Dr. Popham. I’m really looking forward to the season of your leadership for the Hawai’i Conference.

But it also meant that I had less brain to do some thinking with over these last couple days.

Nevertheless, I’m thinking now, and I’m thinking about the eighth chapter of Proverbs (Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31). Although it is Trinity Sunday coming up, the eighth chapter of Proverbs (as is appropriate for an Old Testament book) contains no real sign of the Trinity, at least not the way it would be considered and developed in the New Testament writings. The eighth chapter of Proverbs focuses on the figure of Wisdom, a pre-existent Wisdom that was with God at the creation of the world.

A Wisdom who is female.

There are a couple of things that I always wonder about Wisdom.

First of all, I keep wondering why we are not more eager to seek it; why we do not consider what may happen or what is likely to happen when we do things; why we persist in transferring carbon from the ground to the air when we know perfectly well the effects that it is already having upon our planet and the effects that are likely to come? There are people living on islands who will become homeless because those islands will no longer be habitable in their lifetime.

Why aren’t we wise?

And why, also, are we so dismissive of women in leadership, in religious circles in particular and in the wider world? Is it because we are afraid that they might bring that wisdom, like the figure of Wisdom in Proverbs? Or is it because we are – we men are – simply so much in love with power that we will not let it aside for justice, for wisdom, for the very love of God?

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on June 11, 2019

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