Articles

Review of Raised from Obscurity
A Narratival and Theological Study of the Characterization of Women in Luke-Acts
Greg W. Forbes and Scott D. Harrower. 

Reviewed by Margaret Mowczko

This 2015 publication written by two Australian scholars provides information about every woman mentioned in Luke’s gospel and the Book of Acts. The book is truly inspirational and thoroughly scholarly. Read the review here.


The Most Important Text in the Bible: The Genesis of Equality
By Rev Dr Kevin Giles

In this article Kevin Giles looks at the Genesis chapter 1 to 3 and he poses and answers the questions: Has or has not God permanently subordinated women to men? Is leadership male?  Read the article here.


Together
A poem by Jeanette Fogarty

Side by side
Hand in hand
Together in unity
Nothing to divide

Read the rest of the poem here.


Michael Bird on inconsistent complementarian attitudes to women teachers

Australian scholar and theologian Michael Bird has published an ebook in which he discusses the issue of women in ministry.  He has a paragraph on the discrepancies between the ideology and practice of some complementarians who allow women to lead and teach men in some instances.  This paragraph is included in the article here.


Galatians 3:28 – Our Identity in Christ and in the Church
By Margaret Mowczko

For two thousand years, many devout Jewish men have thanked God every morning saying: “Blessed are you God of the universe who has not made me a Gentile, who has not made me a slave, who has not made me a woman.” Scholars have termed this kind of prayer “a blessing of identity”. Paul may well have had this prayer in mind when he wrote Galatians 3:28.

Is Galatians 3:28 only referring to our identity and status before God? Or is it also about our identity and status in the Christian community (i.e. the church)?

Keep reading here.


Leon Morris on “Head” (Kephalē) in the New Testament

At the moment I (Marg) am reading through a short book called “The Bible and Women’s Ministry: An Australian Dialogue”. I especially like the chapter written by the (late) esteemed New Testament scholar Leon Morris. Morris cautions us to not make hasty assumptions about the metaphorical meaning of “head” in the New Testament. I’ve included an excerpt from his chapter.

Read the post here.


A response to Michael Hill’s book “The Heart of Marriage”
By Irene Voysey

Click here to read Irene Voysey’s personal response to Michael Hill’s book on Christian marriage.  Irene Voysey is a member of CBE Sydney.


Jesus Teaches the Woman at the Well
A poem by Margaret Barnes

Jesus made a long journey,
And then feeling weary,
He sat down to rest;
Though He knew He was blessed,
In doing the Father’s will.

Read the rest of this poem here.


Paul’s Masculine and Feminine Leadership
by Margaret Mowczko

Some Christians believe that being a leader is a man’s role, and that it is unfeminine for women to be in leadership.  These Christians dismiss female leaders mentioned in the Bible as rare exceptions and anomalies.  They maintain that God does not generally allow women to be leaders in society, in the church or even in their own homes.  Does the Bible teach that leadership is masculine?  Or that leadership is unfeminine?

Read this article here.


Raising Women Leaders: Perspectives on Liberating Women in Pentecostal and Charismatic Contexts
Australasian Pentecostal Studies Supplementary Series Volume 3
Eds Shane Clifton and Jacqueline Grey (APS, Sydney, Australia 2009)
Book review by Jeanette Fogarty

Raising Women Leaders is a collection of essays discussing perspectives on liberating women in pentecostal and charismatic contexts (abbreviated as PC).  The problem the book addresses is that contemporary PC churches generally affirm that the Spirit gives gifts of leadership to men and women at a theological level and yet, in stark contrast to the early days of the Pentecostal and charismatic revival, many PC churches today are predominantly male led. In response the editors and contributors exhibit a “passion to see the next generation of pentecostal and charismatic women, along with Christian women in all churches and denominations, provided with the opportunity to follow the leading of the Spirit and flourish in life and ministry”.

Read more of this review here.


Questions about how to Interpret 1 Timothy 2:12
by Margaret Mowczko

Some Christians think that the prohibition of a woman teaching a man, mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:12, is clear and straightforward in meaning, yet the various ways this prohibition is understood and implemented in churches seems to indicate otherwise.

The meaning of 1 Tim 2:12 is, in fact, not clear.  We can only guess at the original context, reason, intent and parameters for this prohibition. And the original Greek of 1 Tim 2:12 poses linguistic challenges which hinder our understanding of the author’s meaning, force and scope.  The ambiguous context and language of 1 Tim 2:12 (and the verses that follow it) raise several important questions about how we should apply this verse.  This article looks at some of these questions.

Read this article here.


Man and Woman, One in Christ
by Philip B. Payne
Book review by Jeanette Fogarty

Man and Woman, One in Christ is an exegetical and theological study of Paul’s letters. This book is essential reading for those on both sides of the gender debate.  It is very readable, full of in-depth textual analysis, and theological reflection.  The fact that Payne’s conclusions stem from a rigorous exegetical and theological study of Paul’s letters, rather than philosophical or libertarian factors, make it a book that has the potential for honest, open dialogue in the pursuit of understanding the message of God’s Word; holding on to biblical inerrancy and letting go, where warranted, views that are shaped more by tradition than sound hermeneutics.

Read this review here.


Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity without Hierarchy
Edited by Ronald Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis
Book Review by Jeanette Forgarty

Discovering Biblical Equality is a compilation of essays by twenty-six evangelical scholars. The central thesis of the book is gender equality in the church, home and society. The catalyst for such a book is the conviction of Pierce and Groothuis that ‘both the world and the church urgently need to hear and take to heart the message of biblical equality, because it is at once true, logical, biblical and beneficial’ (Groothuis and Pierce 2005, p.13).  Rather than the ‘equal but different’ notion espoused by ‘complementarians’ (who contend that God ordains different roles to men and women, roles that are ordered by the hierarchy of male headship), this book takes an egalitarian approach, arguing for complementarity without hierarchy.

Read this review here.


How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership
Book Review by Thomas Mayne

This book contains twentyone essays written by respected Christian leaders including Bill and Lynne Hybels, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, I Howard Marshall, John and Nancy Ortberg and Cornelius Plantinga. All have a story (some painful) to tell about how they grew up in Churches that prohibited women from teaching men the Bible or assuming leadership roles and how they were compelled to change their minds after carefully studying the scriptures.

Read this review here.


Interpretations and Applications of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
By Margaret Mowczko

Several New Testament passages are regarded as critical in the current debate about the roles of women in the church.  1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is one of these passages.  Throughout the Church’s history many explanations have been offered by Bible scholars, about how 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is to be interpreted and applied.  The purpose of this article is to present brief summaries of some of these interpretations by a few well-known classical and contemporary theologians, and attempt to determine what 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 might mean and how it may be applied in contemporary church life.

Read this article here.

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