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Priscilla Papers

Book Review: I Suffer Not a Woman

Until now, this reviewer had to acknowledge he simply did not understand Paul's statement: "I suffer not a woman to teach nor to usurp authority over the man" (1Tim 2:12).

No explanation rang scripturally true: e.g. "rabbinical male bias" or "a local cultural problem." Exceptions for women teaching or preaching ("only occasionally" or "under male authority" or "if there aren't male missionaries") sounded like semantics.

Book Review: Beyond the Curse

Subtitled "Women Called to Ministry," Dr. Spencer's book presents a new look at Scripture's description of women's roles. She writes, "Whole dimensions of God, ministry, education and theology are being obscured and ignored if women are not properly trained, then invited, even more so welcomed, to participate as significant and affirmed once they do lead." Dr. Spencer reminds the reader that "God has often surprised the church by the workers He sent out."

Book Review: How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership

Alan Johnson, emeritus professor of New Testament and Christian ethics at Wheaton College (Illinois), has put together autobiographical accounts of twenty-seven evangelical leaders, both men and women, from many denominations. These stories recount journeys from belief in a restrictive role for women to a realization of freedom for women to use all their gifts and callings for God’s kingdom. In many of these accounts, the implications for Christian marriage are brought out: a side-by-side partnership of mutual love and submission, where no one is “boss” and no one needs to dominate.

Book Review: Christian Standard Bible

The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a revision of the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB). The CSB was published in March 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
 

Book Review: Does God Make the Man? Media, Religion, and the Crisis of Masculinity

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.

Book Review: Women's Socioeconomic Status and Religious Leadership in Asia Minor in the First Two Centuries C.E.

This book is a PhD dissertation, published in Fortress Press’s selective “Emerging Scholars” series. Indeed, it reads like a dissertation, and only specialists will resist the urge to skim through the survey of scholarship and explanation of method in the introduction and first chapter. (That is not to say these sections are of no value.)

Book Review: Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle's Vison for Men and Women in Christ

In the often-heated evangelical debate concerning the ordination of women, one struggles to find a coherent and exhaustive work that covers more than the relevant Pauline texts. For example, the respected works by Philip Payne and Craig Keener provide concentrated exegesis on the significant Pauline texts.1 Cynthia Long Westfall’s recent book offers a larger interpretive framework for the evangelical gender debate, a framework that is lucid, compelling, and profoundly refreshing, and one which does not miss the theological forest for the exegetical trees.

Book Review: What's Right With Feminism

Many people are aware that women's wider opportunities to use their leadership gifts in both society and the church are due primarily to the efforts of women's movement—a feminist movement that began in this country in the mid-eighteen hundreds and was closely allied with the abolitionist movement. Yet as Christian women confront the complex (and often negative) baggage carried by the word "feminist" today, these women can often feel ill-equipped to sort out the many social and theological issues regarding women's roles in the nineteen nineties.

Book Review: Call Me Blessed: The Emerging Christian Woman

Faith Martin begins her book by stating: ''In the eyes of the church, a woman's humanity is overshadowed by her being perceived as a sex. Woman is the spiritual equal of man, but the church teaches that a woman's sex prevents a practical working out of that equality...All of this contrasts with the Holy Scriptures. When reading the Bible I am not conscious of my sex but conscious of my humanity. And so felt the women who flocked to Jesus. No man before or since has treated women as so completely human."

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Volume 12

Make me like Mary — Faithful Believer in miracles, in the impossible. Make me like Mary — Humble Implant new Life in me by your Spirit. Read more
While fulfilling recent Bible teaching responsibilities in Australia (for the Anglicans), in Canada (for the Armenians) and in Latvia (for the Lutherans), I found the same topic under intense discussion—the place of women in the ministry of the church. As American Presbyterians we have crossed bridges that the Australians, the Armenians and the Latvians are currently approaching. This text speaks to churches at both ends of those particular bridges. It is perhaps especially significant for us to look anew at this story as we remember our Reformation heritage. Read more
When we look at this Man [Christ Jesus] we see the negation of all distinctions. I quote from Paul in the Galatian letter for the sake of conciseness and brevity: “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male or female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Read more
I attend a Bible Study at my church, Saint John the Evangelist Episcopal in St. Paul, Minnesota. For the season of Advent, we decided to examine the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of Christ and his mission. Read more
When was the last time you went into a bookstore to buy a new Bible for yourself? I mean, really buy a new Bible; not just one with a new cover and intact pages—a new version of the Bible. Were you amazed and confused at the plethora of versions, formats, sizes, bindings, colors, and sizes of print available? Did you struggle to understand some of the versions? Or did you delight in the clarity and readability of others? Did you notice the changes in gender language? Or did you wonder if you can trust this different way the Bible speaks to you? For evangelicals these are important questions. Read more
Currently there is a cloud of confusion surrounding the subject of “spirituality.” From “creation spirituality” to “feminine spirituality” to “secular spirituality,” the proliferation of seminars, articles, and books attests to the burgeoning interest in this field. Perceptions of spirituality are often ill-conceived and indistinct. Furthermore, the means to spiritual growth presently advocated include deep breathing, Mongolian chanting, seeking jolts of psychic energy from crystals, and even donning a magnetic helmet which is claimed to induce “mystical states” on par with St. Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus. With the plethora of options available to explore spirituality, it is not surprising that confusion abounds both inside and outside the Church. Read more
There is another important role model in the familiar biblical Christmas story: Joseph. Because we know so few hard facts about this man, it has commonly been assumed that he died before Jesus reached adulthood, but such an assumption is gratuitous. We do not know how old Joseph was or how long he lived after that trip to Jerusalem, when Jesus was twelve. But while we do not know much about him, we do know this: Joseph was not afraid or ashamed to take second place. Read more
All too often people fail to grasp the balanced biblical teaching on a subject because they fail to study the material in its immediate context; nor do they try to understand how the material relates to the totality of Scripture. Few areas have suffered more from these omissions than the subject of wifely submission. Read more
No one takes all of Paul’s writings completely literally. Egalitarian and nonegalitarian scholars alike agree that some of Paul’s writing is conditioned by the time and place in which he lived. So how do we distinguish between passages that are situation-specific, and those that should be universally applied? Regarding 1 Timothy 2:8-15, egalitarians share the same basic approach to interpretation: We recognize that knowing the first-century background can make a significant difference in understanding the biblical text. Read more
Sex is discussed openly, explicitly and directly from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelation. If the Scriptures are our only infallible rule of faith and practice, then as C. S. Lewis said, there’s no use being more spiritual than God! Read more

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