Egalitarian scholarship is burgeoning at an incredible rate. What is even more remarkable is that this scholarship is coming from almost every corner of the church. Even critics of the egalitarian position note this phenomenon. Thomas R. Schreiner writes this in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: “Sometimes I wonder if egalitarians hope to triumph in the debate on the role of women by publishing book after book on the subject. Each work propounds a new thesis that explains why the traditional interpretation is flawed. Complementarians could easily give in from sheer exhaustion, thinking that so many books written by such a diversity of authors could scarcely be wrong.”
As Schreiner astutely notes, Christians from diverse traditions are embracing the egalitarian cause and coming to the same conclusion. Is this not the definition of a reformist movement? Historians suggest that the church is always reforming itself. That is, the church is always returning to its foundational core and biblical moorings to inform its teachings on life and faith. One mark of reformist movements is that though Christians differ on any number of other issues, they stand united to promote a common cause.
Perhaps this explains why there are more than ninety different denominations represented in CBE’s membership. Christians are seeing the Spirit anew in the biblical text, just as they did during the Protestant Reformation and the abolitionist movement. What a privilege to be part of God’s reforming work on the matter of gender. For further evidence of God’s renewing activity in the church you will want to see page 22 which features CBE’s Orlando Conference, August 8-10. Orlando will become the epicenter of biblical equality this summer as Christians from around the globe gather to study and celebrate the priesthood of all believers. For more information and to register for this conference, visit CBE’s Web site at www.cbeinternational.org
With great honor I introduce the articles in this issue of Priscilla Papers, where we observe our reformist movement gaining momentum. Catherine Clark Kroeger, CBE President Emerita, has written the lead article entitled “Melchizedek and the Universality of the Gospel.” Because of Dr. Kroeger’s background in the Classics, she brings powerful insight and a new perspective to the Book of Hebrews.
Brenda Warren’s “A Woman’s Work” offers a decisive response to those who claim that only men exhibit leadership in the Old Testament. Consider giving your pastor or denominational leader a copy of this important article. Brenda’s extensive research will enrich and inform the serious Bible scholar.
We welcome back Glen Scorgie to the pages of Priscilla Papers. His paper “Tracing the Trajectory of the Spirit: Egalitarian Hermeneutics and Biblical Inerrancy,” which was read at the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, explores a method of distinguishing “the overall direction the Holy Spirit is taking the church as he unfolds God’s will in a progressive way.” His article will inspire and inform the way we read the Bible.
Gilbert Bilezikian offers a piece that begins with a satirical note when he claims he is a defender of male headship. Those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Bilezikian will quickly learn he is no proponent of female subordination. The article offers a clever means of garnering attention to this important matter.
We also consider a question scholars have debated for centuries: Was Junia a female apostle? For a well researched response to this question, refer to Dennis J. Preato’s article entitled, “A Female Apostle: Was Junia a Man or a Woman?” Preato’s work is also available on CBE’s Web site.
And finally, CBE is now 15 years old. Will you join me in wishing CBE a happy birthday? If you would like to give CBE a birthday present, consider making a contribution towards CBE’s endowment project. For more details see page 26.
I thank each of our authors and invite our readers to join CBE in Orlando this summer.
Mimi Haddad, President of CBE