Palmer's underlying thesis is that the promise of the Father to pour out his Spirit on all flesh, male and female, and that sons and daughters would prophesy, relates to the role of women in the church today.
Forbes now is in secular academia, teaching rhetoric in writing, and she's turned her research attention to selected women who have unwittingly wielded a great deal of influence if not power, particularly in the twentieth century: devotional writers or compilers.
Paul Wesley Chilcote has found a treasure trove of autobiographical literature written by Methodist women who lived from the early 1700s to the middle 1800s. Chilcote gives informative introductions to each woman’s writings, placing her in her historical context.
The stories of eight incredible women and their desire to spread the gospel against extreme adversity will overwhelm the heart with passion, love, and forgiveness. Each experience personifies Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”
In a time when men like Billy Sunday and Dwight Moody were gaining national recognition, significant numbers of women were also making major contributions to American evangelical faith—yet without the same levels of fame. This book fills in some of those missing pieces.
The view that only men can use their gifts in service to the Lord is too widespread in our churches today and should be countered by the evidence. I believe that Eminent Missionary Women, though gently written, is an antidote to unscriptural teaching by patriarchal groups. It is tragic that in our day so many people in the church actually believe that women are only called to serve men in the home.
Every time discouragement sets in because of the slow progress of egalitarian ideas, we ought to be able to reach over our shoulders and pull from the shelf a book such as Sapinsley's. The story of Mrs. Packard (1816-1897), set in the American midwest, should remind all of us how much has been accomplished by our forebears.