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Book Reviews

Reading List for Women in Ministry

FEARLESS DAUGHTERS OF THE BIBLE: WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM 22 WOMEN WHO CHALLENGED TRADITION, FOUGHT INJUSTICE, AND DARED TO LEAD

J. Lee Grady (2012, Chosen Books, Bloomington, Minnesota, 238 pp., paper)

Christian women are often led to believe they were created as inferior to men, destined to play a secondary role in life. Proverbs 31 gets morphed into a judgment, the sole standard against which many feel like frauds or failures. But the Bible has much more to say about women. Looking into the lives of 22 mold-breaking women of the Bible, bestselling author and women’s advocate J. Lee Grady shows how God trains, protects, and empowers all His daughters. He enables them to do amazing — even impossible — things. The biblical examples Grady shares challenged stereotypes, fought injustice, and ruled nations. Grady also reveals the often-overlooked gifts God gives each of His daughters—gifts like wisdom, fruitfulness, boldness, and leadership. When women accept and use these gifts, they can live the fearless and beautiful lives of purpose God has ordained for them.

Troubling Her: A Biblical Defense of Women in Ministry

By Jessica Faye Carter (Purple Girl Books, 2010. Pp. 139, paperback.)

Jessica Faye Carter has done the Pentecostal church a great service. Her new book, Troubling Her, is an impressive contribution to the ongoing discussion among Evangelicals regarding woman ministers. Though early Pentecostals affirmed woman ministers, this conversation sadly continues among latter Pentecostals. The problem revolves around an even larger issue: the lack of Pentecostal scholarship on this topic. While we stand side by side with many Evangelicals on many important issues, we run a great risk of losing our Pentecostal distinctive — which unquestionably includes women in ministry — by questioning the classical Pentecostal position of Spirit-inspired woman ministers. The solution: we Pentecostals need to rearticulate our position in light of Scripture. This is why Carter has done us all a favor. But, while she could have constructed a lofty academic tome, Carter — who herself is no academic lightweight, holding both an MBA and JD from Duke University and an M.Div. from Princeton Seminary — has instead produced a user-friendly manual for pastors and laypeople alike. Read More

Beyond Sex Roles: A Guide for the Study of Female Roles in the Bible

Gilbert Bilezikian (1985, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 352 pp., paper)

Although some will disagree with Bilezikian's conclusions, Beyond Sex Roles provides much food for thought to men and women concerned with being obedient to God in how they conduct their relationships.

Beyond the Curse: Women Called to Ministry

Aida Besancon Spencer (1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New York, New York, 224 pp., paper and hard cover)

From the biblical account of creation and "the fall" to other relevant Old Testament passages, this book carefully examines the attitudes toward and teaching about women—especially those of Jesus and Paul. Women in leadership roles and the many implications are viewed firsthand by the author.

Daughters of the Church

Ruth A. Tucker and Walter L. Liefield (1987, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, paper)

Rich in historical events and colorfully written, this account of women in the church spans nearly two thousand years of church history. An exegetical study of Scripture passages offers stimulating thought for discussion and serious reevaluation.

Front Line: A Daily Devotional Guide for Christian Leaders

Carolyn Tennant (2004, North Central University Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 454 pp., paperback)

Carolyn's new book provides a devotion with a leadership/spiritual focus for each day of the year. These devotionals were placed on the Women in Ministry website during 2003 and 2004. Her compilation is full of insights for leaders in the church and in the marketplace. Dr. Tennant's storytelling skills come out in this lively book with a friendly style. The book will encourage and build leaders who desire to integrate their everyday leadership tasks with a walk in the Spirit. It is the first book from the new press of North Central University where Carolyn has served in leadership for more than 20 years. Dr. Tennant is ordained with the Assemblies of God and has an active preaching and teaching ministry across the U.S. To order contact Carolyn at orderfrontline@aol.com.

Frontline Women—Negotiating Crosscultural Issues in Ministry

Marguerite G. Craft (2003, William Carey Library, Pasadena, California, 245 pp., paper)

Embark on a refreshing, contemporary journey viewing gender issues in mission, one that will encourage women and enlighten men. This book realistically describes the personal and spiritual problems that women encounter when caught up in the crosscultural and spiritual task of proclaiming and demonstrating the good news of the Kingdom.

God's Women Then and Now

By Dr. Deborah Gill and Barbara Cavaness.

Maintaining a high view of Scripture, the authors explain foundational texts from both the Old and New Testaments pertaining to role of women in the home, the church, and society. Sections such as “Bible Answers to Today's Questions,” “Maleness and Femaleness in the Old Testament, and “Jesus' Treatment of Women” lead to discussions of “Specific Issues in Local Churches.” Easy to read explanations and practical applications help both male and female readers understand how they can interpret what the Bible says about God's Women—Then and Now. The book contains a Bibliography, Glossary, and downloadable index. Available from Gospel Publishing House. For further information on this book and its authors, please visit the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Download the book's index (PDF).

Paul, Women & Wives

Craig S. Keener (1992, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts, 266 pp., paper)

Paul's letters stand at the center of the dispute over women, the church, and the home, with each side championing passages from the Apostle. Now, in a challenging new attempt to wrestle with these thorny texts, Craig Keener delves deeply into the world of Paul and the apostles. Acknowledging that we must take the biblical text seriously, and recognizing that Paul's letters arose in a specific time and place for a specific purpose, Keener mines the historical, lexical, cultural, and exegetical details behind Paul's words about women in the home and ministry to give us one of the most insightful expositions of the key Pauline passages in years.

What Paul Really Said About Women

John Bristow (1988, Harper Collins, San Francisco, California, 144 pp., paper)

This book covers several topics including where the idea that women are inferior to men began. You will learn about new roles for husbands and wives. You will see the concept of women as leaders in the church as well as educating women.

Where We Stand

Assemblies of God (Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri, paper)

A complete collection of the Assemblies of God position papers in book format, including an explanation of the A/G view on ordination. Includes Scripture and subject indexes. Loose leaf.

Why Not Women?

Loren Cunningham and David J. Hamilton (2000, WYAM, Seattle, Washington, 279 pp., paper)

The issue of women in missions, ministry, and leadership is dividing homes, churches, communities, even societies. We must respond responsibly, for we never want to find ourselves working against God's purposes, quenching His Spirit at work in the lives of those He has called. We must respond carefully, since God's truth often stands in direct opposition to what the majority of people believe

Women and the Genesis of Christianity

Ben Witherington, III (1990, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 289 pp., paper and hardback)

This book attempts to clearly present New Testament material dealing with women and their roles in the context of the movement Jesus began.

Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry

Stanley J. Grenz (1995, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, paper)

This painstaking work will enlighten people on all sides of the issue, though Stanley Grenz makes no secret of his bold conclusion. Historical, biblical, and theological considerations, he writes, converge not only in allowing, but also in insisting, that women serve as full partners with men in the work of the church.

Women in the Maze: Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality

Ruth A. Tucker (1992, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 276 pp., paper)

In an accessible format, this book poses dozens of questions ordinary Christians are asking. Then it responds briefly, practically and responsibly.

Women, Authority, and the Bible

Alvera Mickelson (1986, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 304 pp., paper)

The 26 evangelical leaders represented here ask the hard questions about women's roles. Not all of them agree on everything. But they do agree that we must begin with the question, "What does the Bible teach?"