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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 13

I’m a number cruncher and concept designer, an engineer by training. By up-bringing, I’m an Evangelical Christian, having leaned toward fundamentalism throughout my early life in my search for all truth in the literal words and expressions of the Bible. Read more
When we tell a woman that the Lord hates divorce, why do we fail to add that the same verse declares God’s hatred of violence? “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering his wife with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. “So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” (Mal 2:16, NIV) Read more
I’m really not against the family—honest. Just ask my wonderful wife of 18 years and my three (great) kids. I’m really not against the Bible—really. I spent 13 years working toward a doctorate so that I could teach the Bible as a Southern Baptist seminary professor. What I am against is the disgusting and deceptive way that some use the Bible to oppress and manipulate faithful, honest church folks. Read more
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against his wife” (Mk 10:11). While I leave aside for the moment other matters of interpretation in this passage, I want to draw attention to the phrase, “against his wife.” In Jesus’ day some Pharisees allowed husbands to divorce their wives for almost any reason, but the law did not permit wives to divorce their husbands (though under extreme circumstances courts would force the husband to grant his wife a divorce). The wife had no legal recourse to prevent the divorce. In a society where only men received fair pay for their work, divorce put women at a severe economic disadvantage. Read more
If you are a conservative Christian, you may be worshipping at the altar of Baal. A conservative is anyone who wants to preserve the existing social order. While a conservative Christian may identify himself or herself as one who safeguards the orthodoxy of Christian doctrine, often there is also blind allegiance to customs having no divine sanction. Read more
Have you noticed how much competition is part of modern life? It is all around us, influencing us in ways in which we are not even aware. There is competition between academic and athletic teams of various high schools and colleges. There is competition between politicians, political parties, political philosophies, and sometimes between the various branches of government. There is competition between businesses, and between labor and management. Read more
In the summer of 1998, when the Reverend Kay Ward was elected as the first female bishop in the very conservative Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America, she stated: We never know what will happen when men, clearly led by God’s inclusive Spirit, choose to break open tightly bound fists of power and authority. And so I understand that [my election to bishop] takes place in a much wider context, a much longer journey. Read more
The New Testament is the earliest source for Mary. Galatians, possibly written around 57 AD, speaks of Jesus being “born of a woman” (Gal 4:4); that is our earliest reference to the mother of Christ. All the Gospels, probably written between 70 and 100 AD, testify to the existence of Mary. Read more
I was raised all over the world. I carry a United States passport, but that may be the most American thing about me. I love America, and I am very aware of the heritage that is mine, being born in this great land. But the world in which I have grown up and that I really call my home, is what I call “the real world.” It is a world close to the earth, a world desperate for good news, a world that does not know all that we know and therefore does not engage in all of the arguments that divide us. It is a world in bondage to all the effects of sin and separation from God. The people of this world do not know why they are in the condition they are in. They are just there, waiting for a voice, a hand, a message, an expression, and an answer to their problems. Read more
In the early 1800s, Texas was frontier territory. As one historian noted, settlers believed “Indians were to be killed, African Americans were to be enslaved, and Hispanics were to be avoided.” In the 1830s these “Texicans” built a Baptist church at Independence that had two doors: one for white males and the other for “women and other creatures.” Read more

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