Tag Archives: gender equality

Perichoresis, The Dance of The Trinity: A Christmas GIF Post!

Unseating The Chairs Of Hierarchy Through Trinitarian Rhythm!

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies [YHWH], and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” […] He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.”- Luke 1:46-17;52

Merry, Christmas, one and all, and goodwill towards men ….and women (thank you, Batman Returns)!

Today, I would like to reflect on the Trinitarian logic of Mary’s Song, in her praise for YHWH and what YHWH does for the faithful in Israel and Judah. Mary’s song is not unlike Hannah’s Prayer in 1st samuel 2. How many Christians got to hear Hannah’s name mentioned from the pulpit? Hummm, anyone? Anyone? Anyone?

Normally, when we read Luke 1, Hannah is an after thought, but, like Mary, they have a YHWHistic spirituality that allows them to see things that God is going to do. The passages I briefly quoted do actually go together, and should not be separated arbitrarily (as some do with spirit/body). Mary’s spirit rejoice IN God; Mary is just not the passive recipient of divine action. The Blessed Mother’s Yes to God’s spirit, as well as her joy in knowing who God is and what God is going to do. It is this joy as a gift from the Spirit of God that is something that is not kept to Mary’s self, but that is shared with, with persons like her cousin Elizabeth, who’s child leaped for joy in her womb (Luke 1:39-45).

Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s husband, the priest Zechariah’s like:

Now, like Zechariah back then, there’s a lot of well meaning folks who get offended when someone brings up perichoresis as a divine dance, and they start falling out of their chairs.

They claim there’s an “AGENDA” behind Christians and theologians viewing perichoresis as a dance since it’s not “historical” trinitarian language. Uh hmmmmmmmm okay, right dude…..

Perichoresis doesn’t mean dance in the Greek, it’s vaguely related to another term, yes we get it! However, Perichoresis has historically been translated into not ONE, BUT TWO Latin words.

Leonard Boff notes this, and argues that circuminsession, “derived from sedere and session, being seated, having its seat in, seat.” (Trinity and Society, page 136). It is this vision of communion, of sitting in YHWH’s life and God being seated in our everyday existences that inspire a Christian vision for liberation from oppression, and a liberation for justice.

Of course, when the “orthodox” gatekeepers use scare words like “social justice,” “feminists” or “liberationists,” they make their displeasure obvious. The gatekeepers show their pettiness (much like their forefather Zechariah) in showing shade for others’ joy:

No doubt that arguments against Perichoresis/Circuminsession as dance come from a place that fears change, but language changes, the Trinity for Christians is a historical truth inspired by revelation in God’s Word, Jesus Christ, but the language throughout the centuries used to convey such a mystery is limited and changing. Mary’s, Elizabeth’s, and the child John the Baptist’s resounding joy in the form of dancing with the divine:

This dancing is out of joy that only YHWH can provide, the freedom from the thrones and hierarchies of this world. Advent is that radical season where Transcendence has arrived, where we experience the movement of the Triune God in the universe, as the Most Moved Mover works through the bodies of the poor, women, and children. Evangelist Billy Graham once asked, “Can you see God, can you see Him? We can’t see the wind, but we can feel the effects of the wind.” Not only can dances of the Spirit be found in charismatic and Pentecostal churches, but also in homeless shelters and in prisons and in public schools where God is leading people to take care of the less fortunate. And that is truly something to dance and celebrate about.



Blerd JOY!!!!: Gail Simone Named @DCComics #BatGirl Writer Again


10.9.10GailSimoneByLuigiNovi2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)







On December 10th, I felt like all was lost, when Gail Simone was fired by her editor. There was outrage throughout online fandom sites everywhere. I was making plans to find another comic book to follow to replace Batgirl when today I got an email from Optimistic Chad with some great news, that Gail Simone was re-hired as the writer for Barbara Gordon’s story. There aren’t many details, but according to Simone herself, it isn’t a hoax.

For more, see Bleeding Cool as they update the story: DC Comics Puts Gail Simone Back on Batgirl

Well, this was an early Christmas present. Joy to the World, indeed!


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More Than Equals: Women, Men, and the Bible #Mutuality2012

This is my contribution to Rachel Held Evans synchroblog Week Of Mutuality

One of the biggest fears I have if I ever become a senior minister at a church is that I will be type-casted as both the “celebrity power hunger black male preacher” as well as the Angry Black Man. Just as an honest assessment of my experience, I support women’s equal standing the Body of Christ, and ordination, but because of the histories of a large group of men who call themselves pastors, who have blocked black women away from the pulpit, I know I will always be looked at with suspicion.

Yet I am more than my race. I am more than my gender. I am more than my (non)marital status. More than my accomplishments or labels (both those that I have accepted and those imposed on me) as Sarah said it best. So, I am not asking for anyone’s permission to write this post.

Complementarians, Christian men and women who believe that “the Bible requires Christian women to submit to male leadership in the home, church (and, according to some*), society” would say that the Bible requires us to experience life in a patriarchal hierarchal order, or rather in some cases, “patricentric” (centered around fathers); for an example, see Denny Burk’s latest post in response to #Mutuality2012. Others, perhaps from the field of non-believers, would say that the fact that the Bible is hopelessly patriarchal means we should do away with the text and its god to boot!

Both complementarians and those who would discredit the Bible altogether rely on different ways of reading Scripture. Is one reading the Bible more literally than the other? We could go back and forth on whose is being more literal, but that would just lead us to an abstract and distracting debate. One of the contentious passages of Scriptures that complementarians suggest that women are placed under submission to men is 1st Corinthians 11:3 (NIV), “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” I think the best way to read and understand this passage is not to separate it from the letter’s corpus of a whole, but to maybe even read it together with 1st Corinthians 10. In that passage, Paul is reverting back to the Hebrew Bible, and the formative stories of Israel. He re-tells the story of the rock as the source of the people’s water, and finds the tale’s meaning in Christ and if we fast forward to chapter 11, Paul praises the church at Corinth for not only remembering him, but holding on to the traditions (which one can presume to be the Jewish traditions and stories from the Old Testament).

The term kephale (which is translated by English writers) as head can also mean “source”, concepts such as Zeus is the source of life, etc., were used back then. It’s reasonable to argue that Paul is reminding the Corinthian church of the story of Adam and Eve [if we buy into the whole ribs thing], that Adam (Man) is the Source of woman (Eve), Christ is the Source of Man, and God is the Source of Christ. Paul continues, “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God” (verses 11-12) The passage has a very Trinitarian conclusion: Just as the Triune God is the Source of the Messiah and is interdependent of Christ, so do men need women, and vice versa.

Bottom line: Men and women are more than equals. We can be considered “equally made in the image of God” and still there be no reciprocity in the relationship, while gender segregation is still tolerable. However, because the Holy Trinity is the Source of all there is, we have a Life we can partake of, humanity as One in Christ, the New Adam, with both genders living interdependent of one another, for one another.