We begin with the next section of their paper, entitled:
Comment: What barriers? None have been pointed to, let alone detailed or explained.
Christians are not only permitted but are duty-bound to reconsider whether any portion of the material offensive to the culture may be modified without compromising the fundamentals of the Christian faith. If Scripture gives us a command that clearly prevents us from affirming something in a culture, then being mission-oriented requires Christians to stand against that component of the culture.
Since, at the very least, it is unclear whether Paul’s prohibitions are transcultural or not....
Comment: Please tell us, in detail and with supporting facts, just why the entire Church, East and West, has been wrong for 20 centuries during which it has believed that these were mandatory, “transcultural” prescriptions.
...we must use other principles to determine whether we understand his specific prohibitions as (1) binding in our own culture as specific prohibitions (i.e., the specific prohibitions themselves are transcultural) or (2) simply particular examples of how enduring principles are to be applied (i.e., the specific prohibitions are not themselves transcultural though the principles underlying them are transcultural). This is the difficult task of attempting to interpret Scripture faithfully when so many faithful Christians have come to different conclusions. How are we to proceed?
Comment: Well, one mode of proceeding would be to align oneself with what the Church has unvaryingly taught about what St. Paul wrote, viz., that he meant what he said. Of course, that would have the disadvantage of not leading to the conclusion that this paper rather clearly set out to reach.
Initially, traditionalists have the presumption because of the mere fact that the Church has taught and practiced certain things for a long time. But, the mission-oriented approach can shift the presumption in favor of women’s ordination.
Comment: No, it can’t. The traditionalists’ “presumption” is the interpretation by the Church, as Christ’s divinely-instituted means of making Himself present in this world, of what we believe to have been divinely-inspired Scripture. The “mission-oriented approach” is a human construct, and an exceedingly recent one at that, designed specifically to evade the clear and unvarying teaching of that Church. If this approach were valid, then we would be justified in disregarding any teaching of the Church on the ground that some group, somewhere would prefer that we abandon that teaching rather than submit itself, in humility, to it.
Comment: All of this is the facile application of the rhetorical trick of setting up what, in this politically-correct age, we may call “persons of straw”. “If the Church’s traditional teachings should prove to be an obstacle, etc.,” but the fact is that they have not been shown to be any such barrier. Thus it is an unfruitful use of time to spend it speculating about purely hypothetical circumstances. Nor is it logical to assume that if any such obstacle were ever to be shown to exist, the cause of difficulty would be solely the composition of the Church’s ministry. Indeed, it is far more likely that the cause would be the unthinking, knee-jerk reactions of uninformed non-Christians who simply assume that whatever the Church does must be malign in intent and oppressive in origin.
(Editorial note: It is instructive that the writers of this paper say a lot about studying the Scriptures, but they never draw any argument from Scripture itself. Well, of course, how could they? The best they come up with is try to explain away only two passages, as if that argument were solid-inasmuch as "husband of one wife" in I Timothy 2 [and Titus 1, by the way] is stated clearly and obviously as a universal standard- and as if this dismissal alone would answer the entire weight of Biblical evidence. That they, very Protetsant in every way, try to make their stand on the authority of the See of Rome, shows that absurdity begets surrealism.)