“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95:2 NRSV)
What deed of God will you remember this Thanksgiving? If you could praise God for his most precious gifts to you this year, what would they be? I thought you would enjoy hearing how God worked at the recent Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) meeting inspiring praise and thanksgiving among CBE members and friends. For three days, evangelical scholars convened to read academic papers, browse an exhibit hall packed with excellent resources, and share meals and fellowship together. CBE joined in by hosting a book booth, a community meal, and by reading original research on topics related to biblical equality. Here are just a few examples of the way God worked in this important event:
– Walt Kaiser, former president of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, dashed up to CBE’s booth. He had just learned that his article “Correcting Caricatures: The Biblical Teaching on Women”, published in CBE’s academic journal, Priscilla Papers, was read in a sermon. Afterwards, the church opened positions of leadership to women. He wanted to know if he might link to this article from his web site so many more might have access to this important scholarship.
– A pastor stopped by CBE’s booth to tell me that his church studied the issue and, without division or heated discussion, moved to become egalitarian in all of its practices. This dear pastor was simply amazed at how eagerly his church embraced an egalitarian interpretation of Scripture.
– During a CBE gathering, a student preparing for the pastorate was in anguish over the lack of internships available for women in Baptist churches. And yet, she cannot complete her training as pastor without this vital experience. She wants to remain a Baptist, but must first find a Baptist church in Charlotte that will accept her as an intern. So, the CBE community spent a few moments praying for her, asking God to open doors. As I was riding the van back to the airport, a Baptist pastor sitting next to me introduced himself, and asked what I did for work. When I mentioned CBE he said that though he is a Southern Baptist pastor, working in North Carolina, he firmly supports the mission of CBE. I mentioned my dear sister looking for churches where she might intern, and he gave me one very strong possibility. In the midst of our discussion we both realized that God had brought us together as a direct answer to prayer. This beautiful Christian said, with tears in his eyes, that nothing would give him more pleasure than to be used of God to support women called to ministry.
As I boarded the plane, I could only praise God for the excellent work of so many Christian scholars who share a high view of Scripture, a belief in God’s power to answer prayer, and a passion to lead the world to Christ. Will you join me this Thanksgiving in praising God for his faithfulness and love—for the way he is always ready to meet each and every need? I also praise God for the ministry of Christians for Biblical Equality, which brings Christians together to share one another’s burdens through prayer, friendship, and through academic work that draws deeply from God’s word, bringing a consistent reading of Scripture to many churches and individuals around the world.
Friends, though ETS is over, CBE continues its important work of publishing excellent egalitarian resources. If you do not receive these, consider becoming a CBE member or subscriber. Give yourself, your family, and friends quarterly issues of Priscilla Papers and Mutuality—both benefits of CBE membership! Will you join me in putting egalitarian resources in many more hands this year so that many more will learn that God has called and gifted men and women equally?
Wishing each of you a very joyous Thanksgiving!