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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 33

When I chose the theme, Character Sketches, for this issue, I was only thinking of the word “character” in its literary sense—a person in a story. But of course, the word can also sum up somene’s exemplary personality—to have character is to have noble character.  Read more
Gretchen G. Hull was instrumental in the founding of CBE. A woman with few equals, she was a gifted mathematician, pianist, author, editor, philosopher, and church leader. One of CBE’s founders, as well as a board member and early pioneering editor of Priscilla Papers, Gretchen was brilliant, gutsy, and never afraid to speak out.  Read more
Photo of Tyler Allred
There are at least two practical applications for churches today that could come out of this reading. First, while many commentators promote the idea of Euodia and Syntyche being prominent figures in the church, this interpretation could help take it further and set them up as the leaders of churches in Philippi.  Read more
In Mark 12:41–44, a woman shows the readers the way to follow Christ as she foreshadows the suffering that lies ahead for Messiah and for the disciples by giving her “whole life” to God. Thus, she should not be overlooked in the Bible’s long list of exemplary women. Through Mark’s artful storytelling, this unnamed woman—whom Jesus witnesses giving an offering in the temple—encapsulates the self-giving life of Christ and foreshadows the lives of all Christians who follow Jesus well. Read more
Photo of Elizabeth Willett
If we translate consistently key terms such as “prophet,” maintain female metaphors such as Daughter Zion and Woman Wisdom, and indicate the gender of feminine actors who exercise various gifts, readers and listeners will gain a grander understanding of how God worked through women and girls in biblical times, and how he wants to work through all his people today. Read more
Photo of Josiah Callaghan
Like many other biblical texts, Gen 17:15–16 invades our worldview and reminds us that God sought out covenant partners—both male and female—to bring blessings to all the nations. The promises for Sarah are promises that extend to all nations and to every woman grafted into the God’s missional purposes. Read more
Photo of Julie Walsh
The promise of Gen 3:15, is a “seed—a small promise that will eventually grow into the full-blown tree of God’s good news, the storyline of Scripture.” This promise—the greatest promise of all, known for centuries as the protoevangelium (“first gospel,” meaning “first [glimpse of the] gospel”)—runs through the OT as a beacon of hope. Read more
Please know that each issue of Priscilla Papers is a team effort (and the same is true, of course, of CBE International’s magazine, Mutuality). For example, Theresa Garbe (associate editor/graphic designer), Katie McEachern (executive assistant), and Mimi Haddad (publisher and CBE president) have each had input into the issue you are currently reading. In addition, our team of peer reviewers consists of six women and five men. To be sure, women influence every item we publish. Read more
Meredith Fraser
Among the first women to emerge as a Holiness preacher was Maria (pronounced Mar-EYE-ah) Woodworth Etter, then known as the Trance Evangelist, but now known as the Mother of the Pentecostal movement. Woodworth Etter (1844–1924) lived and preached in an era when women were required to be silent in church, and to submit to their husbands’ authority, both at home and in the broader social spectrum. Read more
The very title, “The Adulterous Woman,” assumes that this story focuses on a woman and her sin. In contrast, this article argues that the focus is on a group of sinful, male, religious leaders who use their privilege to try to kill a woman to solidify their power. In the process, a woman caught committing adultery becomes the pawn used to bait the trap for Jesus. Read more

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