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Priscilla Papers

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.

Book Review: Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Post-Biblical Antiquity

The four-volume Dictionary of Daily Life in Biblical and Post-Biblical Antiquity (DDL) provides a well-rounded overview of life not only across time periods but also across the several cultures of the biblical world. Thirty-three scholars, including editors Edwin M. Yamauchi (Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University) and Marvin R. Wilson (Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Gordon College), have contributed to the DDL.

Book Review: Gender Roles and the People of God

Theologian and author Alice Mathews recently said in a Christianity Today interview with Hannah Anderson, “Satan knows that if he can keep women out of service, in the church and in the world, he will have won an enormous victory.” Mathews’s most recent book, Gender Roles and the People of God, takes back some of the territory gained by the enemy.

Book Review: Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry

Walter Brueggemann dedicates his seminal work, The Prophetic Imagination: “For my sisters in ministry who teach me daily about the power of grief and the gift of amazement.” As he describes the grief and amazement that together shape the prophetic imagination, he also describes the story of many women in ministry—lamenting what is broken in themselves, the church, and the world while also imagining what can be.

Book Review: The New Perspective on Mary and Martha

Recently, as I was listening to a Christian radio station, the female announcer shared that she was feeling guilty about her busy life. She made reference to the biblical “story of Mary and Martha,” typically feeling at fault because she was not taking ample time to “sit at Jesus’ feet” properly. She went on to say that Martha had it wrong because she was more concerned about her chores than she was about being in the presence of the Lord. These two sisters are examples, one positive and one negative.

Book Review: The Message of Women: Creation, Grace and Gender

As part of the “Bible Themes” series within the larger The Bible Speaks Today collection of Bible commentaries and themes, The Message of Women is an exposition rather than a detailed commentary. It explores the life of women in Old Testament times and in the life of Jesus and the subsequent life of the early church. Without actually saying what is suggested by the title of their work, Derek and Dianne Tidball find a message for the twenty- first century church.

Book Review: Her Story: Autobiographical Portraits of Early Methodist Women

Reading Her Own Story is like looking through an ancient, rusty trunk in your great-grandmother’s attic and finding, hidden under yellowing linens and fading daguerreotypes, the journals of a forgotten female relative. The journals make this unheard-of kinswoman come to life in such a way that you feel you know her intimately. She writes of her spiritual journey in all of its joy, splendor, pain, and frustration.

Book Review: Equal to Serve

When I attended the last Sydney Diocesan Synod I was aware that events outside the Chapter House were frequently of greater interest than those inside that hallowed structure. One of the exciting extramural activities was the visit of Mrs.G.G. Hull who spoke lucidly and informatively on the subject of the role of women in the church.

What Mrs. Hull said on that occasion is available on tape from the Anglican Radio Unit and is expanded in this book. The book has as its subtitle, ''Women and Men in the Church and Home".

Book Review: Equal to Serve

"We are to concentrate on the inner characteristics of a person, not on his or her gender." So states author Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, a biblical feminist whose new book, Equal To Serve, comes to grips with the controversial social issues of today. What are the roles of women and men in marriage, parenthood, the workplace? They are to be assumed with complete freedom and shared responsibility, answers Hull.

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Volume 23

One of my first experiences as an intern with Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) involved my staffing a CBE booth at a conference. Here, I met a woman who was very excited about egalitarianism; however, in spite of the enormous favor toward egalitarianism that she found in the Bible, she still considered herself a complementarian. Why? She said it was due to the “order of creation.” The creation of Adam before Eve was the last and major “obstacle” that she could not surmount. Read more
My three-year-old daughter, Lórien, is just beginning to ask that perennial human question, “Why?” I find that I need to take a deep breath before attempting to respond. Sometimes I have an answer. Sometimes I do not have patience to explain the real reason. And sometimes I find myself using that line that parents have employed for generations: “Because I said so!” Read more
First Timothy 2:11–15, and especially verse 12, has long been a focal point in modern discussions of the ordination of women. Traditional reservations about the ordination of women as pastors and elders have generally made two assumptions in the interpretation of this passage: (1) that the meaning of authentein in verse 12 is clearly known and should be translated simply as “have authority,” and (2) that the appeal to the creation narrative naming Adam and Eve in verses 13 and 14 implies a universal, “transcultural” principle that prohibits the exercise of ecclesiastical authority by women over men in all (or some) circumstances. Read more
Among the most beautiful passages in the Bible are those precious glimpses of life before the fall, when God plants a garden in the eastern land called “Eden,” graces it with flowering fruit-bearing trees, and waters it all with a river that flows out of Eden and winds through lands of gold, onyx, and pearls (Gen. 2:8–14).1 Into this natural paradise, placed as the central jewel in a setting of green and gold and black and white, God settles the first humans, entrusting them with its care (Gen. 1:26; 2:15, 22), blessing them (Gen. 1:28), and delighting both in their company and in strolling through the exquisite, pristine orchards in the airy (ruah) part of the day (Gen. 3:8). This last phrase is often translated “the cool” of the day, and I assume it means dusk, when our first parents’ daily work was done and their heavenly Parent visited them and enjoyed their reports of what they had done. Some of us might think of our own families, as we look forward to arriving home and catching up in the evening with our children. This primal image is a beautiful one to savor, the last pure moment, as it is, before the night of misery falls and humanity suffers through the consequences of the curse, longing down the ages for what was lost, as millennia pile upon millennia. For now, just as the Lord God, we sometimes arrive at home to our children and find instead not sweet communion, but the need to mete out punishment. Read more
  Hand in hand, I know thee. Heart to heart, I love thee. Side by side, walk near thee. Face to face, work with thee. One hope, in Him we’re set free.   Read more
I often hear well-meaning parents talking about improving their parenting skills. Over the years, I have attended my share of parenting seminars and read books on the subject. Since I teach educational ministry courses at a seminary, numerous churches have assumed that I know something about parenting and have asked me to speak on parenting at their churches. I, too, have participated in the improvement of parenting skills as a Christian on both the receiving and giving ends. Read more
The greatness of marriage is surely evident by its chronological place in the divine plan of creation, its crucial importance in the permanency and development of the human race, and the pivotal place of the great statement of Genesis 2:24: A man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh. (TNIV) Read more
I am teaching an interactive class on family in a theological college in South Asia. Mothi Mary has organized her group to act as a mother, son, and daughter at the table. Daughter asks for a second helping. Mother says, “No. You do not need it.” Son asks for more. Mother gives him extra food. The children are leaving for school. Mother gives son a cup of milk. None for the daughter. Mother welcomes the son from school with tea with milk. Daughter complains, “Mother, you did not put milk in my tea.” “No, daughter. We must attend to your brother’s needs.” Read more
One searches in vain for a focused study of 1 Corinthians 7:1–40 by an evangelical addressing Paul’s extensive call for mutuality in marriage and singleness as it relates to the contemporary gender debate.1 Instead, individual sections of this passage are referenced on occasion by both sides, usually in isolation from their larger context, and generally as peripheral to the debate.2 Read more
I have often told my parishioners the biblical truth that we live in God’s schoolhouse. The world God created for us is a visual lesson of God’s existence and God’s watch-care over us. As one example, we are enveloped in a protective placenta of water vapor that shields us from the sun and filters its power down to a diffused treatment of rays that warm us; nourish us with vitamin D; dry the ground so we can travel and build our homes on it; grow the trees that replace our oxygen, the plants that supply our food, and the animals that serve us in a variety of ways; provide light by which we can conduct business; and, in short, make living possible. The complex interweaving of such conditions testifies to an intelligent Creator who has intentionally fashioned and shaped our environment so that “the heavens are relating the glory (or majesty) of God1 and the sky is announcing the production of his hands” (Ps. 19:1, v. 2 in the Hebrew Bible). In fact, there is a message that pours out through all the earth, according to Psalm 19:1–4, that is not audible and yet is an informative declaration of knowledge imparted by the very interwoven fabric of life itself. Read more

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