We must conclude that Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza’s goal to reconstruct early Christian history is a valiant attempt, but severely misguided, due to her presuppositions and her methodology which results from her frame of mind. She unfortunately lets her view of the world dictate her attitude towards the Scripture, rather than letting Scripture dictate her view of the world.
However, studying her work can give us some insights about what is moving the feminist community at the time and give us impulses about where to search the Scriptures for better formulated answers. The answers that are found there will in the final instance have to be backed by the fact that we view all of the Bible as authoritative, even the parts that feminists would reject as “androcentric” or “patriarchal” and thus not pertaining to reality. In that sense it might even be considered a losing battle to try to argue the Scripture before the world. The bottom line about the understanding of the Word of God is, to quote Anselm of Canterbury, “I believe in order to understand.” If you don’t accept the claims of the Bible in faith, you won’t understand the claims of the Bible to be Truth. You may not even understand them at all and end up with such strange heresies (from a biblical perspective) as feminist liberation theology.
However, in contrast to the non-Christian “Christian” theologians, we have the possibility of going before the Throne of Grace and pleading for their eternal souls. Their views may subvert and damn for eternity, but true faith in the true Christ of the Bible will save. Would it be that the All-wise would cut through their foolishness and show them that the folly of God is greater than the wisdom of man (1Co 1:25).
So we follow God’s own fool,
for only the foolish can tell.
Believe the unbelievable
and come be a fool as well.31
- 31. Michael Card, “God's Own Fool”, Scandalon, as re-released on Michel Card, The Early Years, Sparrow SPD 1539.