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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
It is such an honor to work as acting editor of Priscilla Papers, and yet, I cannot remember all the times I have longed to pick up the phone and call Carol for help. The sound of her voice has been replaced with silence. Read more
Egalitarian scholarship is burgeoning at an incredible rate. What is even more remarkable is that this scholarship is coming from almost every corner of the church. Even critics of the egalitarian position note this phenomenon. Thomas R. Schreiner writes this in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: “Sometimes I wonder if egalitarians hope to triumph in the debate on the role of women by publishing book after book on the subject. Each work propounds a new thesis that explains why the traditional interpretation is flawed. Complementarians could easily give in from sheer exhaustion, thinking that so many books written by such a diversity of authors could scarcely be wrong.” Read more

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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."

Book Review: Gender and Grace: Love, Work & Parenting In a Changing World

Gender and Grace is simultaneously one of the most challenging and most reassuring examinations of male-female relationships written from a Christian perspective. A professor of interdisciplinary studies at Calvin College, Van Leeuwen brilliantly integrates insights from faith and science, maintaining that the Bible provides the basic framework on which all our more detailed solutions to human problems must be founded.

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