Before I really get into the subject of gender roles, which is where I hope to go next time, I thought it may be worthwhile to mention a couple of key principles – concepts that aid in our study of God and His Word.
The Iceberg Principle is basically a way of saying, “don’t settle for the easy surface stuff.” I am mostly applying this to knowing God and knowing His word, but it can be applied to any subject really. It may not be comfortable to dive below the surface, but it is necessary if you want to truly, fully know something. Think about an iceberg. You can see the top, and many may say they know what the iceberg is now simply from observing what they can from where they are. But the brave and bold, who are willing to plunge below the icy surface, are the ones who truly find out what the iceberg is – they are the ones who really know about the issue. So, we must not settle for the superficial comfort zone we all like to stay in so much, but rather must be willing to plunge deeply into the issue, search the scriptures, test some preconceived notions, and truly seek the truth – wherever that may lead you.
Ravi Zacharias once defined truth as “that which affirms, propositionally, the nature of reality as it is.” R.C. Sproul defined truth as “that which corresponds to reality as it is perceived by God, because God’s perception is never skewed.” However, Satan revels in distortions of the truth. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we seek to find the real truth about all matters. One way to help do this is to look at the big picture. We must never fall pray to the temptation to only look at the side of an issue with which we agree. We must never only study scripture passages that seem to support our opinion. This is something that many struggle with, and I won’t deny that I have trouble with it as well at times. It is very difficult to admit that there are often Bible verses or passages that seem to contradict one’s point of view on something. We must not ignore these passages. Instead, we have to agree to look at the big picture, take those other passages into account, and only then can we start to truly come close to getting at the truth of the matter.
It is very natural to view issues as having two sides, and you are either on one side or the other. It is tempting to decide not to take either side, and claim the “neither nor” position. However, it is important to recognize that oftentimes (thought certainly not always) the correct position is not “either/or” but rather “both/and.” For instance, we are not supposed to either speak the truth (while ignoring the command to love), or to only love (while ignoring the need to bring the truth to light). Instead, we are to both speak the truth, and love others at the same time. We are to speak the truth in love – “both/and,” not “either/or;” not “neither/nor.”
With these very simple reminders in mind, in the next post I will look at the theological foundation that has shaped my views on the issue of gender roles and the relationship between men and women in the church and home.