Welcome to CBE’s Library

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A church historian discusses her perception of recent SBC actions. Priscilla Papers thought it would be helpful in this discussion of the Southern Baptist Convention and women to ask for her perspective on issues that are related to the recent changes to SBC faith statements.

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The subject of Southern Baptists and women in ministry is complex. What follows is my opinion and interpretation of some of that complexity. Having been associated with this discussion for many years, I am cognizant of my subjectivity. My hope is that what I can add as an involved bystander will provide some clarity for those both inside and outside the workings of the SBC.

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Last June 14, the SBC adopted a further revision to their doctrinal statement at their convention, this time disallowing women as pastors. Dr. Trull discussed with Priscilla Papers the history and effect of these revisions. That interview follows in condensed form.

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At its yearly convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America passed a statement opposing abortion, pornography, homosexuality — and female pastors. For Southern Baptist leaders, these issues hang together. They assume that on their side of the culture war, Christians must oppose these practices as a piece. It is only the liberal, secular, or religiously compromised people on the other side who think differently.

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“Delighted” would accurately describe my reaction to discovering Christians for Biblical Equality. I’m a man who knows something about marginalization and alienation — two themes central to CBE’s concerns.

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In 1998, the Southern Baptist Convention made headlines around the nation with the addition of the words “A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband” to the Baptist Faith and Message (B F&M).

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Sometimes, in the midst of this pleasant change, women and men have been set against one another, as if we were enemies rather than allies, competitors rather than teammates, aliens rather than fit companions. That grieves me. I’m sure that grieves God. 

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Slaves, Women and Homosexuals is a hermeneutical tour de force. Webb severs ties with traditional hermeneutical textbooks by offering intra-scriptural and extra­scriptural criteria and a case study approach (akin to W. M. Swartley's Slavery, Sabbath, War & Women) rather than a step-by-step methodology. 

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Following is the response of Japanese Baptist women to recent actions of the SBC concerning the role of women in that denomination. They express their appreciation for Baptist international missions and the history of its influence in Asia. But they also speak candidly on their views about what the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message says about women in ministry and marriage.

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Daughters of Islam: Building Bridges with Muslim Women is a wonderfully relevant book for Christians who have little knowledge of Islam or the people who subscribe to it. This book helps readers peer into the hearts of Muslim women, to perceive what they feel and think, and to understand how they live.

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