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“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my Spirit” (Joel 2:28, 29).

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Although we may idealize the early church, most of us would not have enjoyed a visit to a worship service at Corinth. The impression which one was most likely to receive was that of chaos and delirious insanity.

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The church in China is different from that anywhere else in the world. But then, China itself is also quite different from other countries. China, more perhaps than in any other place and time since of beginning of USA, is a nation trying to forge its destiny in new ways that are not really copied from anywhere else. It has made many mistakes, as its current leaders readily admit. That in itself makes it quite different from most other nations!

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As women, many of us have found out how wonderful it is to be loved by our families. But then we venture out beyond the shelter of our home and loved ones and go to the edge of the woods--into the male world--and we discover that we are not taken seriously.

 

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Late in 1981 I dug up one of Ellul’s early articles from the Protestant weekly Réforme: ‘La Femmes et les esprits’ (Women and the spirits) and found what we expect when we know Ellul: a maddening mixture of apparently reactionary views and revolutionary ideas.

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People sometimes write us to ask where they can find evidence that actual women held official positions of church officership. Professor Greg Horsley of Macquarie University, Australia, has kindly supplied us with the following partial list of references to  women in church leadership. 

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This article will examine briefly the views of headship expressed by three leaders in the early Holiness Movement. They claimed that the doctrine of headship or submission was irrelevant in arguments opposing women’s ordination and limited the discussion of headship to relationships within marriage.

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The two divergent approaches to the question of the role of women which are common among contemporary Evangelical Christians we might call the Traditional View (the majority opinion) and the Egalitarian View (the minority opinion).

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Reproduced from The Chinese Recorder and Missionary Journal, vol. 27, no. 6, June 1896.

 

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In Eden we glimpse the larger purposes of God for humankind. These glimpses offer the framework within which the debate about the specific roles for men and women in the Christian ministry must take place.

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