Still? Yes, Still

Kathryn Applegate, on Hidden Figures:

Fifty-five years ago Katherine Johnson helped put a man in space. Why are we still struggling with this stereotype now? I don’t know. It’s a complicated issue and there are no magic bullets. I do know, however, that—contrary to the screeds of atheists—faith in Christ ought to bring hope and confidence, not false humility and fear of failure. The Gospel is the great leveler. “There is neither Jew nor Geek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). God created all people in his image, both male and female (Gen 1:27). This doesn’t mean there aren’t significant differences between the sexes (I’m on the more conservative end on this point), but the presence of the image of God in all people means we, the Church, can and should embrace the inherent worth and giftedness of all people—ourselves included. We impoverish the Kingdom when we fail to encourage young people—whatever their sex, color, or class—to do what they are capable of doing. Let’s exercise our own gifts and boisterously encourage others to do the same.

Hidden Figures uncovered some hidden feelings for me, which I’m still processing. I bet I’m not alone. Did you see the film? How did you react? What do you think about the male-brilliance stereotype? Are we guilty of what Michael Gerson has called “the soft bigotry of low expectations”? Does the Church have a role to play in vocational discernment and support of STEM professionals?

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About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.