Editor's Reflections | Spring 2000

by Carol R. Thiessen | April 30, 2000

A Daunting Challenge

When CBE’s leadership contacted me last fall to ask whether I might consider becoming the next editor of Priscillia Papers, I was taken by surprise. At that moment I was in the throes of selling a home in which I had lived for more than three decades and packing up all my worldly goods for a move to Florida. While I was in no way contemplating a life of idleness in my retirement from full-time editing with Christianity Today magazine, I had not expected God to lay at my feet the opportunity to use my editorial experience in furthering the work of CBE. CT had reported on CBE ‘s growth and development from the very beginning, and I had followed it eagerly; I recall having written a news story for the magazine about an especially memorable national conference in the Colorado Rockies. I had become a member following some turbulent times at my home church over the question of women in leadership in which I was personally involved. Thus CBE’s invitation to me became a challenge I could not refuse.

At the same time, the task of following Gretchen Gaebelein Hull is a daunting one. Gretchen’s presentation of the biblical basis for gender equality in the arena of a well-written scholarly journal provided early and ongoing legitimacy to CBE’s belief in the equality and essential dignity of men and women of all races, ages, and classes. In a recent survey of readers, one respondent said the articles had “confirmed in my heart the value of all people—men and women—and how God desires both to work together as partners in all areas of life.” I am personally grateful to Gretchen and her groundbreaking work. I know all of you join me in heartfelt appreciation for all that she has meant to this important ministry of equality.

On another note, you will have noticed a number of visual changes in this issue of Priscilla Papers. We are indebted to Nathan Brouwer for our first designed cover. Though survey respondents did not make this a high priority, we felt adding some visual attractiveness would be a plus, especially for those of you who pass on your copies to others when you have read them. People unaccustomed to perusing scholarly journals may find more initial appeal in an attractively presented publication. For this reason we have also added some drawings to enhance the articles in this issue. I hope you enjoy the issue and the mix of longer and shorter articles.

Finally, have you ever wished for an opportunity to respond to something you’ve read? If so, please note the box at left, for beginning with the next issue (Summer) we want to be able include your letters about the articles that we have published. I have discovered that lively exchange in readers’ letters almost always adds something to everyone’s understanding of a subject. So we will welcome your comments, good or bad.

Friends, pray for me. I believe God has raised up CBE for such a time as this, and I truly want to do his will in working with you in publishing this journal.