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In summation, Westfall’s book does not offer the church merely an egalitarian reading of a few isolated texts. Instead, she paints a broad and coherent mosaic that will force complementarians to grapple not only with her judicious exegesis of the relevant texts, but also with the reality that the totality of Paul’s theology supports women in ministry. Paul, as Westfall has amply established, is more than the sum of a few verses; indeed, Paul is the apostle not just to men, but also to women. Read more
In short, Bain’s study demonstrates first that studying women in the Hellenistic cultures of the first two centuries AD is more complex than has typically been recognized. Gender is not an isolated indicator of status. Rather, gender, marital status, and socioeconomic status are interwoven. An understanding of women’s religious leadership therefore rests on integrated knowledge of these and other factors. Read more
Alice Guinther
Does God Make the Man? is a fascinating look at how evangelical and ecumenical men process the messages they hear about masculinity from religion and media. The authors organized focus groups and recorded hundreds of hours of conversations to see if religion is vital to developing masculine identity. They conclude that, although evangelical men may claim to learn gender roles from the Bible, the actual sources of this knowledge are media and culture.  Read more
Lindsay Hardin Freeman
In the new Common English Women’s Bible . . . Seminary professors, pastors, congregational leaders, and several novelists all contribute, successfully, to the goal of helping Bible women be more accessible in Scripture . . and indeed those Bible women light up the text. In dozens of character sketches, sidebars, and reflections . . . the writers help set each woman in her nuanced context, bringing theological, historical, and ethical considerations into play. Read more
Lucy Peppiatt
Gary Hoag revisits the topic of wealth in the letter of 1 Timothy, asking whether the teachings found there are consistent or inconsistent with other teachings in the NT, or whether it might be a mixture of the two. Scholars are divided on this question. Hoag’s findings rest on cross-referencing the terms in 1 Timothy with a novel, Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus. This novel was originally thought to have been written in the 2nd or 3rd century CE, but having been recently codified as an ancient Greek novel of the mid-first century CE, we now know that it was written at the same time as Paul’s ministry as portrayed by Luke in Acts. It’s a valuable source in shedding light on the social setting or Sitz im Leben of the letter, and Hoag studies in particular five passages: 1 Tim 2:9-15; 3:1-13; 6:1-2a; 6:2b-10; 6:17-19. Read more
When I first read the title of this book, I thought that it was not really possible . . . I did not expect to read an account of one woman’s journey to the priesthood in Kenya nor of her determination to influence change within the Anglican Church in Kenya. I almost wouldn’t call this a book. It reads more like a journal telling the stories of individuals and cultural issues on a continent that many people have not been to and the difficulties of changing cultures that do not honor women . . . If you have a heart for change, for gender equity, and for loving others as we love ourselves, this is a must-read. Read more
If Eve only knew how her desire for wisdom would be distorted and misused down through the centuries! We know, of course, how women have had to fight for any measure of equality in both the church and the home. But what many do not know about is the powerful religious machine that is keeping women in what is termed “biblical womanhood” and the extremes women have accepted as being “God’s design.” Read more
At last we have a historical analysis worthy of its subject— Katharine Bushnell, who began her career as a missionary doctor in China and went on to become a theologian, missionary and perhaps the most significant gender reformer of her day. Through eight page-turning chapters, Kobes Du Mez introduces Bushnell within the context of American Protestantism where she rises to a “household word” (1). Read more
I have read nothing quite like Elaine Storkey’s book, Scars Across Humanity. It tells the story of violence against women in today’s world. The book is very well researched and accessible; moreover, it is spine-chilling. As I sat with the book in hand after reading it I felt both pleased that someone had so powerfully told this awful story and depressed by what I had read. Read more
Fred Everson
In Mentor for Life, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson gives us a fresh challenge to develop committed followers of Jesus through mentoring. I found her model and exhortation fresh for its small group approach (in contrast to one-to-one) and for its balance between recommending structure or content and encouraging adaptability as mentors get to know their mentees. The book provides a solid framework rather than a prescriptive “ how-to” manual—or maybe it is inviting because the ample “ how-to” is situated among reminders that God’s gracious work is primary. Read more

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