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Priscilla Papers

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.

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 . . .

Volume 22

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
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
Gregory the Great clearly expressed a belief in fundamental hu­man equality. This required him to offer some explanation, if only to himself, of his position at the top of the thoroughly hierarchical social and ecclesiastical authority structure of the sixth century. While his biographers have made his difficulty in accepting his episcopal calling well known, they have paid insufficient atten­tion to the role his egalitarian beliefs may have played in creating his distress. Some have minimized or even denied them.1 While, due to cultural or psychological constraints, he may never have openly acknowledged or even fully recognized the extent of the dissonance, it manifested itself in the burden he experienced in pastoral duties, the anguish he felt over his elevation to the papa­cy, and his longing for the contemplative life. In 590, the year he was consecrated as Pope Gregory I, known thereafter as Gregory the Great, he wrote a treatise presenting his ideas about pasto­ral ministry and explaining his reluctance to take the office. That work, entitled Pastoral Care in English translation, was the pri­mary text for pastoral ministry for one thousand years afterward and enjoys the reputation of an enduring classic even today.2 Evi­dence from it, supplemented by facts known about his life and gleaned from his correspondence, establishes the existence of his egalitarian beliefs and suggests some ways in which Gregory at­tempted to reconcile his power and authority with them. Read more
One of my spiritual mentors is a woman who lived six hundred years ago: Julian of Norwich. I admire her for the clarity of her descriptions of spiritual experience, her balanced and orthodox presentation of God as mother, and the divine comfort of her vi­sion of our sin and redemption. Read more
November 16 is the feast day of a remarkable woman: St. Marga­ret of Scotland. Margaret spent most of her early life in Hungary during her father’s exile. She returned to England with her family in 1056 or 1057, and, shortly after this her father died, leaving her brother as a possible heir to the childless Edward the Confessor. But, Edward died in January 1066, and then came the Norman Conquest. Her meeting with King Malcolm altered those plans and set Margaret on the course toward a career of queenship rather than the life of religious contemplation she seems to have wanted. Read more
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