Welcome to CBE’s Library

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As a woman preparing to seek ordination to the pastoral office in the Presbyterian Church (USA) I find myself encountering skepticism — a skepticism about my real identity. In light of my gender and career objective, some people immediately assume that I am a radical feminist.

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Several years ago I got an idea for a biblical novel; placing myself in the world of Mary the mother of Jesus’, I would write in her voice — a diary spanning thirty years and titled Mary’s Journal.

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The best example of a woman in leadership over Israel is Deborah, one of the judges, all of whom were responsible for keeping the Promised Land free of foreign domination. Judges 4 is the prose account of Israel’s victory over the Canaanites from Hazor. Judges 5 is the “Song of Deborah” which tells the same story in poetic form.

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I foresee days when the gift of words will feel like a curse. On mornings when the labor is hard, I must remember to hold on to the hope of the joy. I must remember that I’m not alone. Annie Dillard reminded me of this: “At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace...you search, you break your fists, your back, your brain, and then—and only then—it is handed to you.”

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It is interesting to compare Christianity Today’s cover article on John Stott with the cover article featuring “Ministering Women.” 

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Hearing ambulance sirens was nothing out of the ordinary when I worked as a nurse in the emergency department in Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital. But, although I didn’t know it at the time, the sirens blaring one day were signaling a major change in my life. Through the emergency doors came a woman and her 12-year-old daughter. The mother—a single mom— had killed her son, wounded her daughter, and stabbed herself with a knife.

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For whatever our experience of singleness, be it freedom and joyous fulfillment or agonizing aloneness, our life this side of eternity will never be what God originally intended in creation. Regardless of our marital status, we cannot escape the human condition of fallenness. 

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This issue of Priscilla Papers is a celebration of its ten-year anniversary. It is a compilation consisting of articles from the first ten years of the journal. 

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Examining the dilemma of gender hierarchy and the logic of why women make good leaders.

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I’d be the first to acknowledge the importance of strong family life, but I fear that by extolling the virtues of the traditional unit, the church alienates those who don’t have ready-made families.

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