“…through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart…we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:1-2, TNIV).
Do you consider books your best friends? Do you remember reading your first book on biblical equality? The early books sold by CBE were few in number. We continued to add new authors from around the world as time passed and interest continued to grow from all corners of the church. But, then a miracle happened and the dam broke!
Not only did we just add ten new titles to our bookstore, we have never seen so many groundbreaking books emerge in such a short time! Excited readers cannot be contained! They insist these new books will reform the church’s teachings on gender and service. These resources are the result of enormous prayer and years of meticulous work, and, in Phil Payne’s case, 30 years of research. His Man and Woman: One in Christ is a robust exegetical analysis of gender in Scripture. One reader said that if every elder in her denomination were to read Payne’s book, women would soon serve as elders!
Payne’s work is joined by Lynn Cohick’s Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life. An impressive book from a scholar with a reputation for able storytelling, Cohick carries us into the world of biblical women and brings us a new look at life for women in the New Testament.
To complement this scholarship is Kenneth Bailey’s Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes—an analysis of Middle Eastern culture from a scholar who spent most of his life in this culture. Bailey’s fluency with the eastern texts and culture make the words and deeds of Jesus more comprehensible to western readers. This book will deepen your understanding of Jesus’ parables as they impart dignity and authority to women.
Addressing the discipline of biblical interpretation, Manfred Brauch’s Abusing Scripture: The Consequences of Misreading the Bible, exposes errors in Scripture interpretation that abuse women and suppress their dignity, authority and service in churches and families.
Next, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen’s A Sword between the Sexes: C.S. Lewis and the Gender Debates reveals her enormous grasp of psychology, gender and philosophy in the first comprehensive assessment of gender and faith in the writings of C.S. Lewis.
Mary Evans and Cathie Kroeger’s Women’s Study Bible: New Insights for All God’s People explores often overlooked women while tackling difficult life issues (ancient and new) to inform everyone’s daily reading of Scripture.
Curtiss DeYoung’s Coming Together in the 21st Century: The Bible’s Message in an Age of Diversity, and Mae Elise Cannon’s Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World remind us that reconciliation and social justice are biblical virtues that reflect and enlarge God’s renewing work in the world.
And finally, styled as a conversation between two couples, one a complementarian and the other an egalitarian, Marriage at the Crossroads considers vocation, discipleship, decision-making and intimacy. This respectful conversation between humble followers of Jesus inspires thoughtful discussion rooted in love and dignity for differing perspectives on gender and authority.
I have asked these authors and others to contribute to Arise, so that you might get a taste of their work. Please join me in praying for these books, that they will receive a careful reading in every corner of the world.