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Priscilla Papers

Book Review: Biblical Porn: Affect, Labor, and Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Evangelical Empire

Few evangelical Christians have not heard of pastor Mark Driscoll, and few are therefore unaware of his scandalous history at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. After building up one of the fastest growing church networks in America (see www.acts29.com) from the late 1990s to 2014, Driscoll was let go by the very fellowship of churches he helped build, on various charges of unethical behavior.

Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction

The terms “feminism” and “feminist” are thrown around quite a bit these days. But the referent is rarely obvious. For some, feminists are men and women who want generic equality between the sexes. For others, feminists are extreme political, female leftists who angrily propose laws to penalize a whole range of social inequalities—whether in public or private spheres. For still others, feminism is an academic ideology that is currently trendy, especially at universities, which may overlap with pro-LGBTQ and/or Neo-Marxist projects. The list could go on.

Patterns of Ministry among the First Christians

In this second edition of Patterns of Ministry among the First Christians, Kevin Giles states that his primary goal is to provide a detailed study of the historical development and characteristics of Christian leadership that is accessible to a wide range of readers (viii). Accordingly, Giles avoids technical language that might hinder non-specialists. Additions to the 1991 edition include multiple digressions which will be of interest to readers of Priscilla Papers, as well as a closing chapter devoted to ordination.

Book Review: The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity

The terms “page turner” and “doctrine of the Trinity” would not often be found in the same sentence, but they are appropriate in the case of Kevin Giles’s most recent book on the issue. I found this five-chapter account of a recent theological dispute absolutely riveting, even though I already knew how it would end! It is an extraordinary story, told by a major player in the drama.

Book Review: My Daughter a Preacher!?!

Leslie Flynn has made many valuable contributions to the church during his long and distinguished career. He served as pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Nanuet, NY for forty years. He has written thirty-eight books including this 1996 title. I have never seen a long book by Pastor Flynn. His books are brief, not because he writes on unimportant topics but because he has the gift of concise statement and brevity.

Book Review: The Private War of Mrs. Packard

Every time discouragement sets in because of the slow progress of egalitarian ideas, we ought to be able to reach over our shoulders and pull from the shelf a book such as Sapinsley's. The story of Mrs. Packard (1816-1897), set in the American midwest, should remind all of us how much has been accomplished by our forebears.

Book Review: No Time for Silence

Chosen as one of ETERNITY magazine's best books of the year in 1987, this book encourages women to use their gifts fully in proclaiming the Gospel. Dr. Hassey presents the significant contributions made by American women engaged in public ministry in past years, and who were enthusiastically supported by such institutions as Moody Bible Institute. She writes, 'The earliest Bible conferences welcomed women preachers and Bible teachers . . .

Book Review: Building Your Family to Last

The secret of building families to last is found in Kari's emphasis on parents modelling the Christian life before their children. If the mother and father— who are responsible before God for what happens in the home—are not walking with God, and not walking in harmony with each other before God, how can they become models to their children? Hence this modelling has to start with choosing a life partner with the same foundation in life and faith and loving obedience to Jesus Christ.

Book Review: Is God the Only Reliable Father?

This small, highly provocative book by a staff associate for the General Assembly Mission Board, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has surprising premises and conclusions, worthy of the careful attention of pastors and serious students of the Bible. Tennis pleads with readers not to abandon the imagery and language of God the Father. Her conclusion is not surprising—but some of her reasons are.

Volume 12

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
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
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
Many people who know very little about the Bible still have heard that Paul’s teaching is against women: Women should be subservient to men and should not be in leadership positions over men. Read more
Unwelcome, sexually suggestive comments are not a new phenomenon, beginning with the alleged activities of either Bob Packwood or Bill Clinton (depending on your political preference). Sexual humor that degrades an entire gender (or sometimes both genders) into mere objects for sexual gratification has a long history. 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
Paul’s instructions concerning women in the Corinthian epistle (1 Cor 14:34), it should be remembered, were intended for the Corinthian people, and are to be accounted for by the peculiar position women occupied in the Greek cities. This has equal application to the passage in 1 Timothy 2:8-15. It is unsafe and unscriptural to argue from any of these injunctions that women have no right to prophesy or exercise any gift that may be bestowed upon them. Behind the picture of the Christian woman portrayed in 1 Timothy is the picture of many of the women of these Greek communities; and it was to save the women of the Christian Church from any conformity to these debased ideals that all these passages were written.... Read more
From Jacob’s well outside of Sychar there is a beautiful view of Mt. Gerizim—the mountain on which God proclaimed a blessing in Deuteronomy 11, and on which my people, the Samaritans, worshipped Jehovah in ages past, and long to do so again. Both Jacob and his father Isaac met their wives at wells, so I’d always known that wells could be a significant meeting place. But I never dreamed that a conversation with a stranger at the well of Jacob would change my life, and the lives of many others in my town. Read more
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