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In a USA Today article entitled “Year In, Year Out, Women Have Game” (5.24.05, 9C, col. 2-5), journalist Douglas Robson noted that Andre Agassi’s achievement of becoming the man who has played in the most major tennis events, at 58 in number, still has not overtaken Martina Navratilova’s record of 67 or Amy Francis at 65 or Conchita Martinez at 61. Read more
Readers who love music know that a revolution has taken place in the world of A Cappella. Years ago, in the United States, A Cappella meant Barbershop four part harmonizing, and those of us who were children in the early years of the twentieth century remember the Barbershop groups that used to delight us all with old standards in those wonderful blends. Occasionally a group would transition to the pop charts, as did the female Barbershop quartet, The Chordettes, which was founded in 1947 by the daughter of the then president of The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. This rare group of women shouldered its way through the male-dominated movement, winning a spot on the Arthur Godfrey show (the Jay Leno of his day) while still competing in quartet conventions, and ended up partnering with the legendary bandleader Archie Bleyer to record such classic chestnuts as “Mr. Sandman.” Read more
Friends, if we had a coin for every time an opponent of egalitarian ministry claimed that women’s leadership was: a) derived from secular feminism; b) Euro-American in origin; c) invented in the 1960s, we would probably be able to give away all memberships to CBE free. Read more
Every day people reared or still worshipping in very conservative Christian denominations find the reasons for full partnership between women and men so compelling that they make what they consider to be the bold and breathtaking paradigm shift from forbidding to supporting women in ministry. In point of fact, they eventually realize they have merely adjusted to God’s pre-Fall agenda, which was commanded to humanity from the perfect day of creation: joint authority in all areas of life (Gen. 1:26-30). Read more
Humanity reflects the image of God. We know this from the opening of Genesis. How humanity does this, however, has been a matter of speculation and disagreement among scholars. Options proposed have included the power to reason and thereby apprehend God, the power to choose, the ability to rule, a spiritual dimension, original purity, freedom of will, moral consciousness and responsibility, being a type of Christ, divinely reflecting relationships, the ability to subcreate, etc. Read more
After the outstanding work done by Victoria Peterson-Hilleque, Carol Thiessen, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, and all the other splendid women and men who have worked so skillfully to make Priscilla Papers what it is today, I am both humbled and honored to be invited to come on board as editor. I know many of you personally already, since I have been with CBE since shortly after its founding, and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from those of you I haven’t yet been blessed to meet. Read more
It has been said that if we do not remember our history we are doomed to repeat it, but in this issue of Priscilla Papers I think an opposite version of the phrase is more applicable: if we do not remember our history we are doomed not to repeat it. Within the Christian tradition, we can be proud of the rich history of theology developed by thoughtful and God-loving people. Read more
In a world filled with grocery stores, pollution, birth-control, and debates about the definition of marriage, it is challenging to apply God’s mandate to humanity: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Gen. 1:28). This verse clearly outlines God-given roles put forth to humankind. But how are we to understand God’s mandates in modern society? In order to consider this question, we must understand to whom this mandate was given. Read more
While purchasing a vehicle a few months ago, I found myself talking about the ministry of CBE and my work with Pricsilla Papers with a car dealer. He responded to my description with the comment, “I do not think gender discrimination is really an issue anymore. Women have the same opportunities as men.” At that moment, I was caught off guard with his comment and did not provide a strong response to challenge his belief. However, I made a vow to myself to be ready with information the next time someone made the argument that gender discrimination has been eradicated. In her article, Funmi Para-Mallam writes, “I think part of the message the Lord has for women of this time is ‘hurry and prepare yourself’ because something is about to give and God is going to use you.” I am taking this message to heart. Read more
I love words and everything about them, including their shifting meanings and the subtle way they influence one another in a sentence. Like a family that may take on a collective personality, words create a “community” together by forming meaning they cannot impart alone. Read more

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Book Review: Equal to Serve

When I attended the last Sydney Diocesan Synod I was aware that events outside the Chapter House were frequently of greater interest than those inside that hallowed structure. One of the exciting extramural activities was the visit of Mrs.G.G. Hull who spoke lucidly and informatively on the subject of the role of women in the church.

What Mrs. Hull said on that occasion is available on tape from the Anglican Radio Unit and is expanded in this book. The book has as its subtitle, ''Women and Men in the Church and Home".

Book Review: Equal to Serve

"We are to concentrate on the inner characteristics of a person, not on his or her gender." So states author Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, a biblical feminist whose new book, Equal To Serve, comes to grips with the controversial social issues of today. What are the roles of women and men in marriage, parenthood, the workplace? They are to be assumed with complete freedom and shared responsibility, answers Hull.

Book Review: Priscilla's Letter

Ruth Hoppin has spent decades researching Adolf Harnack's hypothesis that Priscilla wrote the biblical Epistle to the Hebrews. A first book, Priscilla, Author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, was published in the late 1960s. Since that time additional relevant material has been published, some of it related to the Dead Sea Scrolls. This book is an update which takes such material into account.

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.)

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