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Two Views On Women In Ministry Paperback – Sep 8 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan Carr; New edition edition (Sept. 8 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031025437X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310254379
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #216,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

For decades, the church has looked at the role of women in ministry from two points of view--the complementarian/ hierarchical view and the egalitarian view. This latest addition to the Counterpoints series presents both views in four essays with a man and a woman writing from each position.

Each position (complementarian and egalitarian) is followed by a brief response from the editors who argue that both positions have been refined over the past decade and are closer to one another than previously thought. Both positions can and do exist within the bounds of evangelicalism.

All the contributors affirm a strong commitment to the authority of Scripture and all the essays represent a centrist rather than a radical stance. The essayists and editors have demonstrated an irenic spirit, something badly needed in this vital and ongoing discussion. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Stanley N. Gundry is senior vice president and editor-in-chief of the book group at Zondervan. With more than thirty-five years of teaching, pastoring, and publishing experience, he is the author or coauthor of numerous books and a contributor to numerous periodicals.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on Sept. 23 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is one in Zondervan's "Counterpoints" series. Each book in this series deals with a discrete topic in theology with contributors from differing evangelical point of view. Although the book is certainly worth reading, it shares the poor editing that has plagued some of the other Counterpoints books.
The editors are both professors at Denver Seminary. Prof. Blomberg is an advocate of the "complementarian" approach to women in the ministry (against) and Prof. Beck advocates the "egalitarian" approach (in favor). This leads to my first complaint. It seems to me that people who are opposed to women in the ministry should be called "traditionalists" and those in favor "feminists." However, the editors tell us that these terms are "pejorative." Then they go on to refer to the traditionalist view as "hierarchalist." So much for not offending anyone. (Another Amazon reviewer noted this as well.)
Moving on to the substance of the book, the essays by Profs. Keener, Belleville and Schreiner are quite good. Most of the relevant biblical passages are discussed and the reader will get a good understand of why each side takes the position it does. The big disappointment is Prof. Ann Bowman's essay. Although she discusses the question of women in ministry, it is more focused on the concept of Christian ministry. In addition, it contains discussion of her days in seminary, her missionary work in Sierra Leone, her friend Londa, etc. Maybe the editors felt obligated to have a woman defend the "hierarchalist" approach, but this essay is a dud. (Moreover, she argues that women can be "pastors," just not "senior pastors," so how traditional she is is an open question.
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Format: Paperback
As with previous "Counterpoints" books, this book is very technical, and the authors make much use of the original Greek and Hebrew biblical texts. The good parts of this book are very good -- meriting 5 stars easily for their coverage of the subject. Specifically, the essays by Keener and Belleville (promoting equality of roles in the church) and Schreiner (promoting male authority) are very well-researched and well-written. Anyone wanting a current understanding of the debate on gender roles in the church would do well to read the book for these essays alone.
I only give this book 3 stars, though, for 3 main reasons:
(1) The 4th essay, by Ann Bowman, really doesn't fit with the format of the book. She writes very compellingly on how women are equal to men before God, how women are equally called to serve in ministry, and how women are equally gifted with the same spiritual gifts. What she does NOT cover, though, is the specific roles that the Bible deems appropriate for women (which is what I thought the book was supposed to be about). In short, she spends all but about 7 pages writing on what everybody else would agree on anyway. She does a good job of establishing the equal value of women in the church, but contributes almost nothing to the discussion of what leadership roles they should occupy.
(2) The format of the book is different from earlier Counterpoints volumes, in that the authors do not respond to each other's articles. The editors simply ask each of the writers a series of questions after each essay, and then comment on each position. Gone are what I thought were some of the most insightful portions of previous Counterpoints books -- seeing writers POINT OUT THE WEAKNESSES of the other writers' positions.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a few of the other reviews on this book, and I must respectfully disagree with the idea of it being biased against the complementarian view. On the contrary, I feel the main text is very balanced, with the large appendix by Blomberg (a complementarian) tipping the scales towards the complementarian position.
I doubt if this work will change anyone's mind who already has a firm grasp of where he stands on this issue. It does, however, provide a fair and accurate presentation of both viewpoints so that they can be thoroughly examined. There are actually a total of five essays here; two essays by egalitarians, two essays by complementarians, and one large appendix by Blomberg, which is somewhat of a hybrid between the two positions.
As a complementarian, I have developed an even greater appreciation for the role of women in ministry as a result of reading this work. The spirit of Ann Bowman's remark (as a complementarian) is particularly memorable for me: "Rather than focusing on what women should not be doing, I believe it's important to focus on what they should be doing."
This work is the third title I have read in the Counterpoints series. Although the scholarly tone may be rather heavy for some laymen, pastors and teachers will be greatly benefited and enlightened by the presentations found here. I recommend it highly as a good, concise summary of today's viewpoints on the issue of women in ministry.
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Format: Paperback
I applaud Beck and Blomberg and the four contributors to this well-researched, provocative, and honest discussion of the role of women in ministry. The high caliber scholarship combined with an irenic spirit on a volatile topic brings the discussion to a new level of openness and respect. The contributors help defuse the ugliness in the discussion that prevailed when this topic surfaced in earnest in the evangelical community. Neither view (egalitarian and complementarian) is "heretical" because scholars/pastors on both sides are seeking to honestly deal with the Scriptures, cultural realities, and contemporary applications. TWO VIEWS OF WOMEN IN MINISTRY presents the important and significant impact women have made in the unfolding of God's redemptive purposes. Yet, the central issue is whether the hotly debated texts from Paul (in 1 Corinthians 11 and 14, and 1 Timothy 2) are ad hoc directives, i.e., applicable only to the specific problems in Corinth and Ephesus at the time Paul wrote, or timeless directives that apply to all women in all cultures in all ages. I think this book compels the extremist proponents of each view to move to an honest, biblical middle where significant progress can be made. Zondervan is to be commended for this excellent presentation of a serious subject facing the evangelical community.
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