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Priscilla Papers

We give special thanks for the encouragement and prayer support from those back home – a support that has uplifted us during moments of frustration and potentially devastating mishaps. Read more
One of my objectives in visiting Central America – and particularly Nicaragua – was to attempt to see this tragedy through the eyes of women and children. Upon arriving at the Jarmie Mayer Study Center in Managua, my eyes caught the title of a book on a shelf in the entrance hall: Sandino’s Daughters by Margaret Randall. Having been acquainted with the author’s previous writings, I knew her book would provide me with a clear picture of the extensive involvement of women in the revolution (although I would need to work through her personal ideological bias). Read more
Our biblical text is Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”, and in the light of that text we will discuss the following questions: Should Christians grieve? What is grief? What are some of the stages of grief? Moving forward into new life (growing through grief) How can we help? Read more
Traveling home from the summer ’89 CBE conference unearthed a flood of sad memories that surprised me in the light of the supreme joy I had experienced at the conference itself. Although the still, small voice whispering “This too shall pass” brought comfort, the memories, once uncovered, reflected a pain and anguish familiar to those acquainted with such suffering. Read more
It is so with the transforming power of God’s Word which cleans and illuminates. When the true worth of a human being is revealed to us, we can never again treat that individual as a second rate person. Read more
My doctoral project proposal concerns itself with the issue of black women as Senior Pastors in the Baptist and other black Churches. This is an educational project designed to encourage black women to become more effective leaders in their churches by helping them to appreciate their gifts and talents and not have others to limit their use of them. The issue of black women's ministry limitations is discussed with a view toward change. The project is designed also to empower women to assist in the effort to overcome their limitations within their church tradition. The project is proposed to help black Christian women to understand how their heritage has both limited and created possibilities for their lives.   Read more
The silent loom. Silent? How can we even think about the cessation of activity at a conference centered on promotion of activity – weaving a tapestry of peace? Why, we’ve all got so much to do for God! In our personal lives, we’re striving to fulfill God’s plan while working through past hurts. In our homes we’re raising little Christian soldiers and modeling the Christ-lifestyle. In our careers we want to impact the world for Christ. In our neighborhoods we want to be salt and light. How can we suggest shutting down the loom at a time like this? And moreover, what about the big issues of world evangelization, of working for the equality and dignity of women and men of all races, ages and classes; what about encouraging all women and men to fully use their God-given gifts in ministry? How then can we even consider a silent loom? Read more
I had the pleasure of worshipping with the Bear-Barnetson family at the annual Wiconi International Family Camp and Pow Wow in Turner, Oregon, in 2008 and 2009, and found myself amazed at the beauty and freedom Cheryl and others expressed as women and as followers of the Jesus Way. Cheryl is Bear Clan, from Nadleh Whut’en First Nation within the Carrier Nation of British Columbia. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pacific Life Bible College, Surrey, B.C.; an M.Div. from Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.; and a Doctor of Ministry from The King’s College and Seminary in Van Nuys, California. Cheryl and her husband, Randy, travel full time with their three teenage sons, Paul (17), Randall (15), and Justice (14), who also have their own band. I interviewed Cheryl in 2009. Read more
Come and go with me to a Navajo camp about 20 miles away. It can easily take one and a half hours. We will go in a truck because deep irregular ruts and wide deep mud holes or ponds will require a good engine. Our driver is a woman – a missionary who has made this daring trip dozens of times. Shortly after leaving the mission compound, we encounter a “wash.” Winding down the steep sandy road, we wonder if the wash will be running. If so we will ford the “river” if its depth permits. Of course, if the water depth is more than two feet, the flow will be too swift and we will turn back. More than one life has been lost to the violent waters of a treacherous wash. Read more
What a joy it was to be around Cathie! We met seldom, and it was always too short. She had so much information and so many new ideas and insights to share that there was never enough time to do all the discussing we wanted to do. And, underneath the intellectual excitement of learning more about our faith, Cathie always had a related concern for the wellbeing of others. Read more

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Book Review: Women and Men: Gender in the Church

This book emerges out of a rich Mennonite heritage that rather consistently deals with major social issues as they relate to biblical faith. Carol Penner's panel of authors, representing various segments of the North American Mennonite scene, have produced a very usable book suited both for adult Bible study home groups and for adult Sunday School classes. The authors are all egalitarian in their approach to Scripture and practice.

Book Review: What Does She Want From Me Anyway? Honest Answers to the Questions Men Ask About Women

In an ideal world we would not need a book like this. Husbands would frequently fulfill one of their basic marital duties by sitting down and listening to their wives. Wives would be able to express their needs, wishes, and desires with clarity, and husbands would be committed to working on solutions. Likewise, wives would be eager to sit down and listen to their husbands to provide a similar function for them. But we do not live in an ideal world and apparently there are countless husbands who have no idea how to function in their marriages.

Book Review: Mae Elise Cannon's Social Justice Handbook

As the director of finance and planning services for a community action agency, I spend my working hours "engaging the community to end poverty." Yet, it is my belief that the Bible calls upon the Christian community to be associated with the economically vulnerable and, as part of church life and discipleship, to seek to address the issues of poverty. It is my passion to connect Christians to those affected by poverty and to help the Christian community to think about the ways they can engage the issues of social justice.

Book Review: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's Half the Sky

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide is intended for a broad readership with the aim of uniting those who might otherwise be divided because of their religious and political convictions. The authors, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, were the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism on an earlier project. They use their expertise to cast a light on the global sex trafficking industry of young women.

Book Review: Wayne Grudem's Evangelical Feminism

Evangelical Feminism is written to further a cause that has consumed the author's working life: the permanent subordination of women as God's ideal. It judges all fellow evangelicals who disagree on this matter to be "theological liberals," or implicit liberals. The fundamental seismic fault in the author's thinking is that he cannot differentiate between the interpretation of Scripture and Scripture itself.

Book Review: Carolyn Custis James's Half the Church

Carolyn Custis James is an established author; she has three previously published books, When Life and Beliefs Collide, Lost Women of the Bible, and The Gospel of Ruth. She holds an MA in biblical studies and is the founder and president of Synergy Women's Network. In this, her fourth book, Half the Church, James writes with passion and intensity to encourage women to fulfill God's call on their lives.

Book Review: Nancy Hedberg's Women, Men, and the Trinity

This very accessible book is an excellent place to start one's exploration into what has come to be called the "New Subordinationism" in current evangelical discussions of the Trinity. Author Nancy Hedberg, who is vice president for student life at Corban University in Salem, Oregon, is accustomed to communicating with young college students and brings that clarity over to her discussion of theology. She is a philosophical thinker who is gifted in understanding what an author is communicating as well as in relaying an accurate description of that position to readers.

Book Review: Submission within the Godhead and the Church in the Epistle to the Philippians

This volume by Sydney Park started life as a doctoral dissertation in New Testament studies. The style of the work is very academic, and the price of the hardback means very few, if any, nonspecialists will read it. This review will be devoted primarily to explaining the author's main argument, but I will indulge in just one critical comment toward the end.

Book Review: Responding to Abuse in Christian Homes

Responding to Abuse in Christian Homes: A Challenge to Churches and their Leaders represents the final book edited by Catherine Clark Kroeger, together with her colleagues Nancy Nason ­Clark and Barbara Fisher-Townsend. Similar to other publications by the late Dr. Kroeger, this book addresses the link between violence against Christian women by their (oftentimes) believing husbands and the incorrect theological presuppositions which enable the violence to persist.

Book Review: No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction

Marnie Ferree presents a deeply moving and sometimes disturbing investigation of sexual abuse from the perspective of the injured, as one who was deeply wounded through sexual victimization, and the healer, as an actively working counselor and minister to those who have experienced similar abuse. And, as if such revelatory investigations from the first-person perspective were not difficult enough, Ferree takes the discussion to an entirely new depth of difficulty: she presents herself as the perpetrator as well.

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