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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 3

We are equal, this we know, For the Bible tells us so. Jew and Greek to God belong; Racial barriers are all wrong. Chorus: Lord, we are equal, Lord, we are equal, Lord, we are equal, Because you made us so. Read more
"Feminist" and "feminism" are words that have become polluted by their use and abuse in the secular world. The words feminist and feminism have come to mean more than their original definition. If someone were to call me a feminist in the true definition of the word, I would proudly accept the title. I believe in the social, political, and – more importantly – the Biblically-based equality of all in Christ. But I can not accept the title of feminist because of what it seems to have become in the minds of the secular world and, unfortunately, in the minds of many Christians. Read more
Whereas I see no need to defend, only to lament, the sexism of Christendom, I do think feminine Christians should think again about what Jesus himself taught. Jesus was a man. How did his maleness affect how he related to, and what he taught about, women? Read more
When the term "co-operation" is used, the emphasis is usually on "co" -together, but let us not forget that the phrase means as much "working" together as working "together". There is action involved in "co-operation", but it is an action undertaken in unity. It is not enough for us to nod assent at the notion of co-operation. What is required is a determination to take the initiatives needed to move ourselves, our congregations, our churches, our groups into co-operative endeavour. Read more
To fully understand a book, it's a good idea to start reading at the beginning because you usually get a focus there for what follows. The same is true of the Bible. To really understand what it's all about, you need to begin with the Beginning. That gives you a perspective on cosmic and human history that puts the rest of Scripture in focus. We then see the Bible "through the Lens of Eden," as Mildred Enns Toews from Winnipeg, Manitoba says.   Read more
Are people sick of reading novels that portray women as either victims or villains? Are Christians fed up with fiction that stereotypes believers as simply helplessly innocent or hopelessly immoral? Is the major, moral, middle-class reader in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain growing weary of nearly exclusively seeing endless images of the sinister minister, churlish "church lady", and the dishonest deacon? A groundswell of new literature in the mystery genre strongly suggests that such is the case. A part of the counter revolution is the new wave of women writers who have recently begun filling bookstores and libraries with portrayals of powerful Christian detectives, both women and men. Read more
My doctoral project proposal concerns itself with the issue of black women as Senior Pastors in the Baptist and other black Churches. This is an educational project designed to encourage black women to become more effective leaders in their churches by helping them to appreciate their gifts and talents and not have others to limit their use of them. The issue of black women's ministry limitations is discussed with a view toward change. The project is designed also to empower women to assist in the effort to overcome their limitations within their church tradition. The project is proposed to help black Christian women to understand how their heritage has both limited and created possibilities for their lives.   Read more
As a former missionary I've been intrigued with the American debate over the place of women in the ministry of the church. Some take the position that it is unbiblical to deny leadership and teaching roles to women in the church under any circumstances. Others say that when a church allows a woman to teach, it is denying the inspiration of Scripture. To build the Body of Christ, we must use all our God-given resources. Yet the church is fragmenting itself over the issue of how to use the resources. I argue that the testimony of the whole body of Scripture leaves room for cultural interpretation on the role of women in the church, and thus we must be sensitive to cultural expectations. Read more
There seems to be a game – that you must play, if you would rise. There seems to be a game – and with it lots of compromise You live to impress others, and you're as slick as you can be. But, where – oh, where – are perfect hearts, and deep sincerity?  Read more
There is indeed a noticeable increase in rhetoric from the conservative wing of the church calling for rigid roles for men and women, in effect defining activities in home, church, and society primarily by gender. And very often this rhetoric claims to be representing a Christian world view, thus – at first glance -making its conclusion seem ironclad. Well, any of you who have read my book, EQUAL TO SERVE, know that I am a questionasker. Therefore I ask: What is a Christian world view? Surely it must be more than a televangelist's cliché or an empty religious slogan. A Christian world view must mean a basic, scriptural way of looking at life that will cut across denominational particularities or emotional bias or cultural pressures. So let's explore the matter to see if there is a broad outline to our Christian world view that we can establish before we go on to those particularities, or deal with that emotional bias or cultural pressure. Certainly if someone stopped you or me and said, "Define a Christian world view," we would not begin with particulars but would start with the broader basics. So let's ask some questions about those basics, and see if our answers will shed light on this particular matter of gender roles. Read more

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