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5 Stars Out Of 5
must read on this subject!
February 15, 2011
Comprehensive, in-depth exposition of the subject matter! What I LOVE is the HUMBLE TONE of its authors and restraint in resorting to name-calling of the opposite view (see, for example, the vitriole exhibited in one of the reviews of this book here) or implying that anyone holding a different position must be UNBiblical, heretical and sinful! As is appropriate to true scholarship and academia, they openly acknowledge weaknesses in exegesis/ positions where they exist--openly admit that their interpretation is not the final answer and that it is, indeed, one of many possible INTERPRETATIONS! They do exhibit the Christlike humility, love, gentleness, and respect we are called to as His followers when in disagreement over any issue with fellow believers--in fact, an entire chapter, titled "toward reconciliation," is dedicated toward healing this rift in the evangelical church today, and this hope is repeated by various authors throughout the book. It uses scholarly, careful exegesis without assuming/ presuming anything that is not explicit (inferred), and with minimal circuitous reasoning.
A very well exposed view of biblical gender equality, with contributions of top notch scholars.A must for anyone who needs to deepen his knowledge about the current debate on the place of women in the Chruch.Whatever one opinion can be, this book does challenge the reader to rethink some essential notions, such as "creational order", "authority" or, simply, the fact that the NT does not develop the same concerns about the matter as we do today.This is not a "feminist credo", but the work of evangelical scholars, really concerned about understanding what the Scriptures really teach.As Gordon Fee expresses at the end of one of his essays : "Thus my issue in the end is not a feminist agenda - an advocacy of women in minstry. Rather, it is a Spirit agenda, a plea for the releasing of the Spirit from our strictures and structures so that the church might minister to itself and to the word more effectively."
As a missionary kid who was brought up in the heart of evanglicalism, and taught that the Bible was to be taken literally, especially the few passages that seemed to forbid women to speak in the church (ignoring all the other broader evidence that when the church came together ALL were to participate in the worship and speaking, and also ignoring the examples of women such as Priscilla, who clearly helped advance the understanding of,i.e.TAUGHT, at least one eminent male preacher ...) I found this selection of writings by numerous serious Bible scholars who honor the inspiration of the Word, but see that the meaning of words, and the significance of context, have changed in the past 2000 years, to be uplifting and inspiring. If we are not willing to take current understanding of words and context into account, we cannot pretend that we are honoring the spirit of truth in our interpretations. I recommend this book highly to any seeker of truth who is concerned about what he/she sees regarding the negative judgments passed on women in the church, and the resulting pride and arrogance that are cultivated in the men, especially those who consider themselves leaders. Let us pay attention to the fruit of certain "traditional" views - and dig a bit deeper to discern the roots from which they spring.