Editor's Reflection: Winter 2021

by Jeff Miller | January 30, 2021

“International.” It’s the final word of “Christians for Biblical Equality International.” It’s in our web address. It’s in our logo. It’s on the front and back covers, in the masthead, and on literally every page of Priscilla Papers.

Though no single organization can tackle injustice toward women everywhere in the world, CBE International nevertheless takes seriously the global task of promoting egalitarianism. CBE International works side by side with Christians all around the world. CBE International has, for example, held conferences in Australia, Canada, Colombia, England, Finland, India, Kenya, South Africa, and the United States. The next conference, in August 2021, will be in England at the London School of Theology.

Another example of CBE International’s global work is President Mimi Haddad’s tireless commitment to establishing international relationships. Through her work—traveling, lecturing, preaching, consulting, encouraging, praying—CBE International has been involved with organizations and events such as G.L.O.B.A.L. Justice, Churches for Middle East Peace, the World Evangelical Alliance’s “Global Consultation for Women in International Christian Leadership” in the Netherlands, the Shaq’ eq Network in Egypt, World Vision’s “International Women’s Day Celebration,” Women’s Leadership Development in Cambodia, and the Institute for Faith and Gender Empowerment in Kenya.

CBE International has chapters in Australia (Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney) and enjoys official relationships with the Atlantic Society for Biblical Equality (Nova Scotia, Canada), RaTas – Kristillisen tasa-arvon poulesta ry (RaTas – Christians for Equality, Finland), and CBE South Africa.

This issue of Priscilla Papers continues CBE International’s global reach. The opening article, by Katrina “Kat” Armas, describes abuelita theology. With roots in mujerista theology, abuelita theology ponders whether the greatest theologians are those whom the world would not consider theologians at all—namely, widows and grandmothers. Next, Kristin Lassen seeks to promote respect and dialogue by unveiling “Ties the Bind Women in Islam and Christianity.” The third article, by Christine Marchetti, surveys women’s ordination in the Eastern and Western church from the second through the eleventh centuries. Christine wants women who aspire to ordained ministry today to be encouraged by the rich history of women’s ordination. In the final article, Kay Bonikowsky explains how Asian feminist theology is open to viewing God not only as Father: “Asian feminist theologians have no qualms about a theology of the womb, which explores and celebrates our intimate relationship with God as also Mother.”

After these four articles, Elizabeth “Libby” Willett reviews the book, Rediscovering the Marys: Maria, Mariamne, Miriam, edited by Mary Ann Beavis and Ally Kateusz (T&T Clark, 2020). Libby trains and consults for mother-tongue Bible translators in Latin America. Our final piece in this issue is unique. It is an open letter from long-time friend of CBE International, Daniel Fan. Daniel makes a persuasive case for relationships and redemption as keys to overcoming racism.

I end my editorial as Kristin Lassen ends her article—with Psalm 34:3, placing emphasis on the last word, together: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” (NRSV). 

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