NO TIME FOR SILENCE is a very well documented study of the advocacy of women ministries by evangelicals between 1880 and 1930. This book ought to sound the death knell for two myths that appear with astonishing regularity in the arguments of the opponents of women's ordination: (1) The myth that believers in biblical inerrancy are bound to dispute the legitimacy of women's ministries, or, vice versa, that supporters of such ministries are bound to reject the complete authority of the Bible. (2) The myth that the feminist movement among evangelicals is simply a misguided effort to emulate the secular feminism which has gained ground since the 1950's.
Debate over women's public ministry tends to focus on biblical and theological issues without grappling with the historical questions. Janette Hassey counters the popular but misleading claim that evangelical feminism (the movement for women's equality rooted in Scripture and evangelical Christian faith) is simply an accommodation to recent secular feminist and theologically liberal movements for women's rights. Rather, evangelical feminism in America first surfaced in the mid-nineteenth century and accelerated at the turn of the century. Those who endorsed women's public ministry were convinced that a literal approach to the Bible, and especially prophecy, demanded such leadership by women.