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Romans 16:3-4) One of the church’s outstanding Bible expositors was St. John Chrysostom (died A.D. 407). He preached consistently through the Scriptures, and many of his sermons are still extant. Here, for the first time in English, is his first sermon on Priscilla and Aquila. Translated from the Greek, by Catherine Clark Kroeger, Ph.D., CBE President, author, and classical scholar. Read more
In various cultures around the world, sermons, supposedly based on 1 Peter, are preached on “How all wives must obey their husbands.” As the sermon develops, the preacher brings up numerous verses from other passages to buttress his message. But the idea of evangelistic witness to an unsaved husband is not brought out. And because this key part of 1 Peter 3:1-7 is missed, the message is built on a shaky exegetical base. The accompanying barrage of proof texts and weak arguments only make things worse. Listeners leave with the impression, “There was something wrong with that message, but I’m not sure I can put my finger on it.” Often Ephesians 5:22-32 is used as a cross reference in sermons on “How all wives must obey their husbands.” But Ephesians 5 doesn’t teach anything even close to the that idea. The following thoughts are presented to draw attention to the main thrust of 1 Peter 3:1-7. It is hoped that after reading the following article, whenever these verses are studied, the main ideas of the passage won’t be smothered by other ideas that are illegitimately imported from somewhere else. Read more
Today, March 8, 1991, we are celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, both of which occur during the pre-Easter season of the church year known as Lent. In both Western and Eastern church traditions Lent is a several week period of sober preparation for Easter – in the past, and in some churches even now, a period during which candidates prepared for baptism. Lent is also associated with penitential fasting, as Christians recall that they, along with the rest of humankind, are the sinners because of whom and for whom Christ died. It is a time during which we remind ourselves, as Jesus reminded the devil during his own wilderness fast, that we do not “live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4 NRSV). Because International Women’s Day has its roots in the largely-secular history of organized labor and the international socialist movement, we might well conclude that its celebration in the middle of lent is the result of accident rather than design. And yet I discovered during my research for this talk that the motto of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union (one of the more militant of the early labor unions) is the phrase “Not By Bread Alone” – the same words with which Moses sent the Israelites into the promised land (Deut. 8:3) and by which Jesus rebuked the devil when tempted to break his forty-day fast by changing stones into bread (Matt. 4:1-4). Read more
"Then leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?' They came out of the town and made their way toward him... Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did'." (John 4:28-30, 39, NIV) There are many models of ministry. Women are as diverse as men in the patterns of ministry they follow. But let's look at the response of this one woman to Jesus to learn more about the place of women in ministry. Read more
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood created quite a sensation by paying for a two page advertisement in the January 13, 1989 issue of Christianity Today. The group was begun in response to groups such as Christian for Biblical Equality because, Wayne House explains, “There is a tendency to think biblical feminism is the only biblical view.”1 What a great affirmation to biblical feminists who hold the Bible as authoritative and reliable that some should now see our position as “the only biblical view”!                                        However, this Council believes (among other things) that “Scripture affirms male leadership in the home” between “the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives.” In contrast, many fine studies have been done to disprove the notion that Ephesians 5:22-23 affirms male leadership in the home.2 I would like to reinforce those studies by an in depth look at the literary context of the passage, and also by highlighting the figurative language Paul uses.  Read more
One searches in vain for a focused study of 1 Corinthians 7:1–40 by an evangelical addressing Paul’s extensive call for mutuality in marriage and singleness as it relates to the contemporary gender debate.1 Instead, individual sections of this passage are referenced on occasion by both sides, usually in isolation from their larger context, and generally as peripheral to the debate.2 Read more
The Bible sets forth an ideal and calls the ideal woman an eshet-chayil, which is the Hebrew for a “virtuous woman” (KJV) or a “wife of noble character” (NIV). This Hebrew expression occurs only three times in the Old Testament, but a study of these three passages is likely to reveal what the Bible supports as an ideal of Christian womanhood. Read more
To fully understand a book, it's a good idea to start reading at the beginning because you usually get a focus there for what follows. The same is true of the Bible. To really understand what it's all about, you need to begin with the Beginning. That gives you a perspective on cosmic and human history that puts the rest of Scripture in focus. We then see the Bible "through the Lens of Eden," as Mildred Enns Toews from Winnipeg, Manitoba says.   Read more
There is indeed a noticeable increase in rhetoric from the conservative wing of the church calling for rigid roles for men and women, in effect defining activities in home, church, and society primarily by gender. And very often this rhetoric claims to be representing a Christian world view, thus – at first glance -making its conclusion seem ironclad. Well, any of you who have read my book, EQUAL TO SERVE, know that I am a questionasker. Therefore I ask: What is a Christian world view? Surely it must be more than a televangelist's cliché or an empty religious slogan. A Christian world view must mean a basic, scriptural way of looking at life that will cut across denominational particularities or emotional bias or cultural pressures. So let's explore the matter to see if there is a broad outline to our Christian world view that we can establish before we go on to those particularities, or deal with that emotional bias or cultural pressure. Certainly if someone stopped you or me and said, "Define a Christian world view," we would not begin with particulars but would start with the broader basics. So let's ask some questions about those basics, and see if our answers will shed light on this particular matter of gender roles. Read more
Biblical feminists, as opposed to other feminists outside and within the church, accept the full authority of all Scripture for all the people of God. But they recognize, with all modern people, that we do not absorb Scripture in its pure form into our understanding. Like anything else we read, reading Scripture is an interpretive process. In other words, while Scripture is perfect, our understanding of it is limited. It is limited by the tradition in which we receive it – how it has been interpreted for us by others. It is limited by human incapacity to completely understand God. In other words, there is no error in the Word of God, but there may be error in how we interpret it.   Read more

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