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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 6

THIS IS NOT A NICE SUBJECT. Abuse is a curse in our land. One definition of abuse is, “Repeated and targeted abuse (from both attitudes and actions) designed to instill fear and used as a means of control.” The abuser may or may not be aware of his/her motives behind the attitudes and actions. Read more
Did it ever strike you as being odd, our infernal craving to catalog everything? There is a valid use for cataloging, of course. Telephone books, dictionaries, and those ingenious red wheeled cabinets from Sears and Roebuck, the ones with hundreds of tiny drawers for nuts and bolts: These are all quite functional — although I privately wonder whether that many kinds of nuts and bolts actually exist, or if all those drawers are for the illusion of competence. Read more
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, I had the privilege of preaching in the church where the Reverend LaDonna Osborne is the pastor. With a twinkle in her eye she told me about her grandson, who hears her preach every Sunday. On Christmas he visited a Baptist church to see his cousins participate in a Christmas pageant. After the program the pastor stood up to make his closing remarks. Read more
A few years ago I took a course entitled “Women in Religion” at a state university. The purpose of the course was to survey major world religions with regard to how they valued women. We started with the pagan religions and ended with Judaism and Christianity. Read more
In history as recorded in the Bible, God often gave His revelation specifically to women, and often instructed women to pass on that revelation to others, including men. In the New Testament, at all of the most significant points of Christian revelation and proclamation, women played a role as significant as, or even more significant than, the roles played by men. Read more
I've never heard a sermon on Jesus saying, "Follow me," that was addressed to men only. Yet, my analysis of the meditation is that I've apparently heard a few too many messages in the Church that have, intentionally or not, excluded me. Read more
I know I am not alone, but as a woman I often feel alone. It seems that so few Christians understand the importance of including women in worship and the language of worship and of not speaking of God in solely masculine terms. I am convinced that when we limit our language, we limit God, ourselves, and others. However, in addition to being biblically faithful, making my language inclusive has opened up new ways of experiencing God and the world. But the world doesn't always seem to want new ways of thinking. What is a feminist Christian to do? Read more
We find other metaphors throughout the Bible, in places of great and small importance. "Upon this rock I will build my church," "the body of Christ," "sharper than any two-edged sword," "this is my body," "the Lord is my light," "my Rock," "the Bridegroom," and so on. In some cases, we are so accustomed to hearing the metaphor that we forget it is one. The problem with this is that when we forget we're using a figure of speech, we also forget that the figure gives us only a partial picture, and a highly selective one at that. This is especially true when it comes to the nature of God, which is so vast, abstract, and multidimensional that no single expression could hope to capture it. For example, when we focus on "the Lord is my shepherd" in David's psalm, we forget all about "the Lord is a man-of-war" in Miriam's song. These two images of God are hard to reconcile, except when we remember that each gives only a partial picture of an infinite being. God can be both shepherd and warrior, but only metaphorically speaking. And it's our job to remember that both are only figures of speech. Read more
Various members of the faculty and student body have made significant contributions to the understanding of the sexism inherent in the traditional use of the English language. In order to build on their efforts and in response to the request of the faculty, the Office for Women's Concerns has prepared this booklet as an aid to the use of non-discriminatory language. Read more
As we begin each new day, not knowing what we'll experience, we trust in God's great love. Whether the day be good or ill, whether it be happy or heart-breaking, God's love will surround and sustain our lives. That's the promise in the new Brief Statement of Faith of the Presbyterian Church (USA): "Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child, like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home, God is faithful still" (lines 49-51). Read more

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