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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.

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Volume 24

I came upon the delightful account of the Wise Women of Waban as I was researching my chapter on “Equality and Native Americans in North America” in the recent book I had the delight to edit with our CBE president, Dr. Mimi Haddad, and my wife, the Rev. Dr. Aída Besançon Spencer, Global Voices on Biblical Equality: Women and Men Serving Together in the Church. Read more
I stand at the gate. I look back at what was. I look forward at what should be. My name is woman, and so I wait. I stand here with my Bible And read the signs that form the gates’ barrier. It is made of Scripture fragments. 1 Timothy 2 is the whittled stake that holds it up. Slivers of Ephesians 5 block my view. And splinters of 1 Corinthians bar my way. God, what did you mean them all to say? What answer can I give? I wonder why? I hold the whole of Scripture in my hand. I don’t understand Why these few shavings of passages block my way.   Read more
Not long after I was confirmed as an Anglican, my then rector uttered words that have proven, and may yet prove, to be prophetic. He said, “The Anglican Communion is going to split: first, over the issue of homosexuality and, second, over the issue of women in ministry.” While the first of his predictions has clearly come true, my sincere hope is that the second will not become a wedge that separates otherwise orthodox, Nicaea- and Chalcedon-affirming Anglicans from living and ministering in unbroken fellowship. So it is in a spirit of hope tempered by fear that I offer the following reflections. And though they apply most directly to the Anglican context, they may also bear important implications for the larger evangelical debate over this issue. Read more
Cautious though one must be in thinking that one can entirely understand someone in terms of their circumstances, C. S. Lewis (CSL) virtually invites us to pay attention to his by the publication of his Surprised by Joy (1955). This text, which we can now read as a classic of “textual male intimacy” in religion,1 is one of those resources particularly important when we try to grasp what CSL meant and could not mean by “masculinity,” as will become clear in the last part of this article. In addition, we need to attend to a whole range of his publications when we attempt to assess his understanding of “femininity” and its relation to “masculinity.” One can hardly be understood without the other: “Gender” is not simply a matter of problematizing what it may be to be female/feminine. In addition, quite apart from what CSL reveals about himself in his publications, it is helpful to juxtapose with his self-presentation perspectives on his context in a way not possible in his own times, alert though he himself was to political, social, and economic change. Read more
In my earlier article1 on 1 Timothy 2:12 and the ordination of women, I argued that Paul’s contextual and church-specific reading and application of the creation texts indicates that the limitations on women’s teaching roles in the church are circumstantial rather than universal prohibitions. Now, I wish to address arguments in a specifically Anglican2 context that were not addressed in the first article, namely, arguments based on the incarnation and the Father/Son relationship within the Trinity that are thought to bar the ordination of women as priests and bishops. For the purposes of this study, I will focus on two documents as sources for the main arguments to be considered in this Anglican context: the essay “Priestesses in the Church?” by C. S. Lewis,3 and “A Report of the Study Concerning the Ordination of Women Undertaken by the Anglican Mission in America,” Rev. John H. Rodgers, chairman.4 Read more
When I was a child, my mother taught me the chant with the accompanying finger play, “Here’s the church and here’s the steeple, open the doors and see all the people.” Deeply embedded in this rhyme is a cultural image of the church: a special building with lots of people sitting in rows looking toward the ordained minister out in front. Most of us bring this understanding to the text of Scripture. When we find Luke or Paul writing about “the church,” we imagine he is speaking of a gathering of fifty to several hundred people meeting in a specially constructed building, taking part in a liturgical service led by one or two people out in front, with one ordained and paid pastor/minister/priest who does most of the preaching and teaching and, in most denominations, usually presides at Holy Communion.  Read more
The church has not only the right, but the duty, to be the church of Jesus Christ. . . . The job of the priest isn’t to give you the answers to all of your questions for all of your life. But the priest is there to help you frame the questions and to point you toward the one with the answers. The goal of the priest is that you might enter into a mature relationship with God. We believe in the priesthood of all believers. Have you taken to heart the implications of your own priesthood? Read more
Today, I am a rebel. I forget about the laundry and dishes. I turn all my phones to silent And write. Yesterday, I cared what others thought. I primped and prepped to please. I scrubbed in detail on my knees For what? Read more
Human beings begin to develop gender identities very early in life as they pick up on cues and clues given off from the sociocultural contexts in which they find themselves. As people and institutions demonstrate socially appropriate ways of being male or female, children become apprentices and learn what it means to be a boy or girl in their culture. Read more
Many adolescent girls face psychological struggles. For example, eating disorders disproportionately affect adolescent girls compared to the rest of the population. Approximately 40 percent of anorexia nervosa cases occur in females ages fifteen to nineteen.1 The prevalence of this disorder is of special concern given that the mortality rate for anorexia nervosa is more than twelve times greater than the annual death rate due to all causes of death for girls ages fifteen to twenty-four years in the general population.2 Read more

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