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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 7

When the star in the sky is goneWhen the kings and the princes are homeWhen the shepherds are back with their flocksThe work of Christmas begins— Read more
I was well into mid-life before I overcame the fear of my sexuality. That fear prohibited me from enjoying quality non-sexual relationships with women. When I finally overcame that fear, several wonderful gifts of life came to me. Read more
The specific experience that moved me to write this article grew out of telling Bible stories to neighbor kids who were expressing concern about the dangerous drug dealers who daily stalk the street. One eleven-year-old girl, most of whose female teenage relatives under her roof have babies, has a bleeding ulcer and cried when I told her that I was leaving town for a few days. When she asked me to be her godfather, I suspected what inquiry soon confirmed: Her father had abandoned his family and broken her precious heart. Read more
For many people today, singleness feels like an embarrassment, a reason for apology, a motivation for therapy. We are asked if we are “called” to singleness, but no one ever asks if one is “called” to marriage. We have to “deal with” singleness. No one ever talks about “dealing with” marriage, although all marriages are sometimes stressful experiences. We may be asked “Why are you single?” but no one would ever think to ask “Why are you married?” Read more
Most discussions of human relationships center on questions about marriage and the family, but to be inclusive we must examine another area: the needs of singles. It in no way undermines the God-ordained institution of the family for Christians to recognize that we are in danger of developing an almost cultic emphasis on family that discriminates against singles. Many singles today get the message that their concerns will always come last on the church’s agenda. Pious affirmation of “welcome to our fellowship” has a hollow ring to singles. Read more
In our society we have been taught to view marriage as the only natural arrangement and singleness as somehow “deviant.” Adulthood and emotional maturity are synonymous with marriage and parenthood while social psychologists tend to refer to singles as “those who fail to marry,” or as “those who do not make positive choices” (Stein, 1976). Although there is a notable dearth of research on this topic, latest studies show that a growing number of women are remaining single by preference (Peterson, 1981). Read more
For many people today, singleness feels like an embarrassment, a reason for apology, a motivation for therapy. We are asked if we are “called” to singleness, but no one ever asks if one is “called” to marriage. We have to “deal with” singleness. No one ever talks about “dealing with” marriage, although all marriages are sometimes stressful experiences. We may be asked “Why are you single?” but no one would ever think to ask “Why are you married?” Read more
Jesus and the New Testament authors everywhere assume that women are made in the divine image. By affirming the inherent worth of women, Jesus and the early church departed from the cultural norms of their day. This attitude engendered a sense of confidence and freedom in women that encouraged them to participate fully in Christian worship and ministry. Just as earlier God called Eve to inhabit and rule the Garden with Adam, now, through Christ, God gives women and men an opportunity to respond to the two highest callings imaginable as co-heirs of salvation (1 Pet 3:7) and co-laborers with Christ. Who are some of the women in the New Testament on whom the Lord particularly confers this honor? Read more
Feminism is supposed to be good news for women; but does that mean it is automatically bad news for men? Many people assume that it is. What is given to women must necessarily be taken away from men. This is the old “slice of the pie” or “limited good” theory. There are only so many pieces in a pie and therefore a limited number of people may be served. And when people believe that theory, battle lines are drawn. In this case, if women are to get more of whatever share of the pie men have traditionally been given, men will lose something. Read more
The use of inclusive language in contemporary hymn texts has gained fairly wide acceptance in recent years. However, the selecting and editing of existing texts for inclusiveness have been far more controversial: should we insist on unequivocally neutral pronouns and titles to refer to God, the people of God, or both? How do we make judicious changes to meet poetical, legal, and aesthetic requirements while still maintaining (and, in some cases, possibly enhancing) the intelligibility and integrity of the original text? Read more

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