Friday, July 12, 2013

United Nations World Population Day

Today's post is by UM & Global blogmaster Dr. David W. Scott, Assistant Professor of Religion and Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership at Ripon College.

For those of you who (like me) missed it, yesterday was United Nations World Population Day.  In honor of the day, Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson, professor of Old Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and an ordained United Methodist elder, wrote this blog post raising questions about reproduction, our views of women, and how we read the Bible.

Rev. Dr. Anderson's post raises two points that I think are relevant to the global nature of The United Methodist Church.  First, it's another example of that social issues are out there crying for the application of Christian principles and compassion.  The role of women and the issues surrounding reproduction may vary from country to country, but they are nonetheless global social issues.  The church's response to them must take into account these local differences, but it can perhaps also benefit in some way from global coordination.

Second, Rev. Dr. Anderson's post reminds us of the ways in which our heritage as Christians and as Methodists can assist us in responding to those issues.  Rev. Dr. Anderson addresses not just our social attitudes in general but how we read the Bible.  As Methodists, the Bible is the crucial foundation of our theology.  We do, as Rev. Dr. Anderson points out, bring interpretive lenses to the Bible, but that does not mean the we can neglect it.  Instead, the Bible must be an important resource in whatever issues the church engages with around the world.

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