Men & Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian Leadship  -     By: Sarah Sumner
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Men & Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian Leadship

Inter-Varsity Press / 2003 / Paperback

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Product Description

Evangelicals stand divided in their view of women in the church. On one side stand complementarians, arguing the full worth of women but assigning them to differing roles, especially within the church. On the other side stand egalitarians, arguing that the full worth of women demands their equal treatment and access to leadership roles. Is there a way to mend the breach and build consensus? Sarah Sumner thinks there is. Avoiding the pitfalls of radical feminism and reactionary conservatism, she traces a new path through the thicket of issues--biblical, theological, psychological and practical--to establish and affirm common ground. Leadership and authority are not the only issues. How we view and treat one another as men and women within the body of Christ are vitally important, and they set the context for our discussion of leadership. This is a book for all who want a fresh and hope-filled look at a persistent problem.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Inter-Varsity Press
Publication Date: 2003
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0830823913
ISBN-13: 9780830823918
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Evangelicals stand divided in their view of women in the church. On one side stand complementarians, arguing the full worth of women but assigning them to differing roles. On the other side stand egalitarians, arguing that the full worth of women demands their equal treatment and access to leadership roles. Is there a way to mend the breach and build consensus? Sarah Sumner thinks there is. Avoiding the pitfalls of both radical feminism and reactionary conservatism, she traces a new path through the issues--biblical, theological, psychological and practical--to establish and affirm common ground. Arguing that men and women are both equal and distinct, Sumner encourages us to find ways to honor and benefit from the leadership gifts of both. Men and Women in the Church is a book for all who want a fresh and hope-filled look at a persistent problem.

Author Bio

Sarah Sumner (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is dean of the A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary in Redding, California. She is also an author and speaker who travels both nationally and internationally to address church congregations and institutions of Christian higher education. In addition, she is a consultant who addresses businesses and nonprofits on the subject of leadership and organizational health. Dr. Sumner is the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her formal training includes a B.A. from Baylor in Education, an M.A. in Theology from Wheaton College, an M.Div equivalent from Trinity, and an M.B.A. from Azusa Pacific University. For nine years Sumner served as a core teaching pastor at New Song Church in San Dimas, California. For almost thirteen years she worked primarily as a faculty member in the Graduate School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University.

Editorial Reviews

"I have felt deep need for someone to enter the discussion of gender and leadership in the church and provide some fresh perspectives and new approaches. Dr. Sumner has listened well. Her work is done in the context both of careful scholarship and of personal experience within the evangelical community. And, I believe, she provides an important contribution to the life of the church."
"Sarah Sumner's practical approach to Scripture offers the church new hope for unity and growth."
"With courage and honesty, Dr. Sumner explores the biblical and cultural assumptions behind evangelicals' disagreements over gender and leadership. This book cuts to the heart of Christian anxieties about sexuality and the church. It gives new hope to women and men who have felt torn between their support for women's ministries and their adherence to scriptural norms. I recommend it very highly."
"This is a deep and important book, with a significance far beyond what the title alone would suggest. . . . I strongly encourage anyone who is concerned about the conduct of visible church life to study this book carefully. It provides a rich discussion of all the major issues concerning gender and leadership in the church, and often brilliantly engages the major voices already on the field."
"Dr. Sumner's book is like a fresh breeze from the New Testament, moving clouds of bias and freeing us to look again at the valuable ministry for women in the kingdom of God."
"Every once in a while someone enters into a theological skirmish and lifts it to a level where rays of biblical sunshine reveal a whole new way of looking at the issue. Honest male readers will repent--at least, I did--of some thoughts. So will honest female readers. And we'll humbly and joyfully explore the new dimension Sarah has helped us see."
"Sarah's solid biblical approach clarified several issues for me personally. Men & Women in the Church is the 'talking point' book on this subject for this generation."
"This book is a tribute to Sarah Sumner's academic devotion and puts to good use her theological training. Her analysis is fresh and much on the mark. Helga and I are praying that her ministry will have a great and holy impact."
"Sarah Sumner's book has the promise to break the divisive deadlock between egalitarians and complementarians that continues to hinder the effectiveness of the church. Sumner's clear, carefully argued message challenges all of us regardless of our position. A must-read for Christian leaders and potential leaders."
"This landmark book by theologian Dr. Sarah Sumner is long overdue. I predict this book will engender helpful discussions among concerned Christian leaders for decades to come."
"I've met with hundreds of female students, youth workers and pastors desperate for a balanced biblical view on women in leadership. Finally, we have one."
"Dr. Sumner's Men & Women in the Church is one of the most carefully and sensitively written and argued works available on a topic of vital concern for the churches, their leaders and their people in this new millennium. Even among readers who have already taken definite stands, egalitarians can learn modesty, complementarians moderation."

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  1. Kelly Pelton
    Kerrville, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    a must-read for women in the Bible belt
    October 8, 2010
    Kelly Pelton
    Kerrville, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Sumner takes Piper to task and makes a great case for what the metaphor "head/body" really means. I only wish she did not spend so much time trying to convince the reader that she is not angry; why would righteous indignation discredit her book? This author and Craig Keener are two eloquent voices in today's church with ultimate regard for scripture who conclude that the Bible does not support the subordination of women.
  2. Elizabeth Goolsbay
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 31, 2009
    Elizabeth Goolsbay
    I just finished this book and was very impressed. Dr. Sumner did a very thorough job of logically leading the reader through the information and supported every assertion with scripture. I would highly recommend this to anyone who has struggled with the question of God's intentions for His children (both male and female) who are called to lead. I just wish the sub-title - "Building Consensus on Christian Leadership" - had been the main title because that was definitely the main objective of the book.
  3. Sue Micetic
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 26, 2008
    Sue Micetic
    This is the most balanced view on church leadership I have read. Sarah begins by setting the discussion in an atmosphere of compassion seeking understand. If we all worked together with this Godly attitude, we would be growing in Christlikness no matter where we settled on the issue. And that is the real goal of the Christian life, isn't it?
  4. Kristen
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 9, 2007
    Kristen
    This book presents a new look at a very old issue. It will challenge us to dig deeper into the meaning of the scriptures and question traditions that have been passed down since the beginning. It is well written and farely easy to follow for theology. The thing that impressed me the most was this author's presentation. Even as she questions the differing opinions on this subject and offers a new biblical perspective, she does so respectfully and graciously. I highly recommend this book to anyone searching for balance or unity in the church.
  5. Christian Woman
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 25, 2004
    Christian Woman
    Finally a book about the importance of men and women seeking after Christ rather than the hypothetical "Biblical view of manhood and womanhood." For all of those who are seeking an alternative to the unconvincing views of egalitarianism and complementarianism, this is a good book.
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