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Priscilla Papers

Consider the Women: A Provocative Guide to Three Matriarchs of the Bible

Making my way into this book, I increasingly felt I could not write a review without knowing at least a bit about its author. Debbie Blue is co-founding minister of House of Mercy, a Christian congregation in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her earlier books affirm the Incarnation (Sensual Orthodoxy, 2004), decry bibliolatry (From Stone to Living Word: Letting the Bible Live Again, 2008), and explore the symbolism of birds in the Bible (Consider the Birds: A Provocative Guide to Birds of the Bible, 2013). Her bio at houseofmercy.org says she “approaches scripture . . .

Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible

“We must revisit what the Scriptures say about some Bible women we have sexualized, vilified and/or marginalized. Because, above all, we must tell the truth about what the text says” (16). So writes editor Sandra Glahn in the preface to this volume. Glahn teaches media arts and worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. She holds a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and a PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is author or co-author of more than twenty books, including several volumes in The Coffee Cup Bible Study Series.

Book Review: What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women

The Rev. Dr. Kevin Giles is a longstanding supporter of women in leadership. Over the course of more than forty years, he has written at least nine books on the topics of women, ministry, and the Trinity. Many of his books on women have been published in Australia (e.g., Women and Their Ministry [Dove Communications 1977], Created Woman [Acorn Press 1985], and Better Together [Acorn Press 2010]). Now he has written What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women with a North American publisher (Cascade Books).

Book Review: Phoebe: A Story

In this work of historical fiction, Paula Gooder presents an imaginative telling of the life and ministry of Phoebe. While Gooder does not offer an introduction to the book, she does provide helpful comments in the endnotes. She states that her purpose in writing this story is not simply to provide an entertaining novel, but also to inform readers of the reality behind the NT text (225). Gooder sparks the imagination of her audience by disclosing scholarly information concerning the Greco-Roman world through the medium of narrative.

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.

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Volume 22

What price do women pay in following God’s call to ordained ministry? For Lou­ise Woosley in 1889, her ordination in Nolin Presbytery cost her the support of her father, her colleagues, and many in the larger Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee, of which the presby­tery was a part. Read more
Considered the most influential woman affiliated with the Welsh Revivals (1904–05) and earlier the Keswick Conventions (1875–1910), Jessie Penn-Lewis (1861–1927) distinguished herself as a writer, speaker, and advocate of women’s public ministry. A cru­cicentrist of the highest order, Penn-Lewis’s egalitarian theol­ogy grew out of her understanding of Christ’s completed work on Calvary. For Penn-Lewis, the cross provides not only forgive­ness for sin (redemption), but also victory over sin and preju­dice (sanctification). Crucicentrists like Penn-Lewis celebrated the social consequences of Calvary that included unity and rec­onciliation, not only between men and women, but also among individuals once hostile to one another. Thus, Penn-Lewis’s sote­riology (what she understood about the work of Christ) shaped her egalitarian ecclesiology (what she understood about the work of the church). She promoted this view through her writings and leadership initially within the early Keswick Conventions and ul­timately within evangelical circles around the world. Read more
O, blessed fountain of love! Fill my heart more with [Thy] Divine principle. Sink me lower in the depths of humility, and let me sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn of Him. Enlarge my soul, that I may better contemplate Thy glory. And may I prove myself Thy child, by bearing a resemblance to Thee, my heavenly Father! Read more
Women played an important and often overlooked role in the de­velopment of the Adventist movement in the nineteenth century United States. As a reform movement that set aside established traditions and looked afresh at Scripture, early Adventism found and espoused biblical support for women in ministry. Eventually, debates about women preachers ensued, foreshadowing contem­porary arguments about gender. This article will summarize the development of Adventism and the role of women within the na­scent movement. It will then look at the lives and ministries of three of Adventism’s most influential women: Harriet Hastings, Ellen White, and Anna Smith. These women were contempo­raries, each active in ministry while married and each living into her eighties, but with notable differences. Read more
The recently released book of the same title (Scarecrow Press, 2007) is essentially the first biographical study of the extraordi­nary yet largely unheralded life of Mabel Lossing Jones, wife of the famed evangelist E. Stanley Jones. Mabel was an American pi­oneer in mission, education, and evangelism in the early to mid- 1900s, primarily in India. Here, she emerges out of the shadow of her celebrated husband as a multifaceted woman leader of the world Christian movement. Read more
His hands resting on his bended knee Remember Pounding the gavel that justice be done Throwing the ball to a little one Clasping others when deals are done Wrenching machinery to make it work Shaking the hand of a friend Read more
Ministries come. Ministries go. For the last twenty-six years, my wife and I have been teaching with Gordon-Conwell Theologi­cal Seminary (GCTS). Occasionally, I pause and wonder: How exactly did A. J. Gordon and Russell Conwell pull this off? How did they each establish a ministry that not only lasted throughout their lifetimes, but went beyond and today continues to thrive to­gether? Did they ever imagine that, some­time long after their deaths, people they never met would fuse their two ministries into a powerful institution that would propel their vision for training pastors on into a second century? Read more
The American holiness movement of the mid-nineteenth cen­tury provided a fertile seedbed for women preachers responding to the Spirit’s prompting. One such woman became the mother of a whole army of daughters, following their heroine into battle for the Lord. It was Catherine Mumford Booth (1829–1890), co­founder with her husband of The Salvation Army, who argued the innate equality of women and promoted them to clerical par­ity with men. Read more
he Salvation Army began rather inconspicuously in the East End of London in 1865. William Booth, an itinerant Methodist minister, had moved to London with his wife, Catherine, and their family so that Catherine would be enabled to conduct a preaching mission there. While preferring the provinces rather than London for his ministry, William nevertheless accepted an invitation to minister in London’s East End, and there he began a ministry eventually known as The Christian Mission. As the numbers of converts grew, William and Catherine Booth or­ganized that mission into an Army—a Salvation Army, taking advantage of the military imagery so common in nineteenth-century England with all the pageantry that such imagery afford­ed. The Army grew rapidly in Great Britain, and its ministers (of­ficers) and laypersons (soldiers) became common sights on the streets of cities and towns. By the early 1880s, the Army began to expand as a missionary organization to such places as Canada, America, France, and India. Read more
Catherine Booth was a formative influence in the founding of The Salvation Army. The movement, in fact, was co-founded by William and Catherine Booth. True, William Booth has been most often referred to as the Founder and Catherine as the Army Mother, but her influence was pervasive. She was his closest confidant and most candid critic. “Thou art to be my guardian watcher!” he once wrote to her during their courtship. And so she became. Before he knew her better, William made bold to express the popular understanding of the time that women were less endowed intellectually and spiritually than men. Catherine lost no time in disabusing him of any such notion, insisting that he come to “settled views” on the issue of women’s equality or they had little prospect of a future together. He did. Read more

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