22.8.08

NEW BOOK RECOMMENDATION


Read extract of Rosie Ward's book here

As you know I started this blog to better understand the way my 'heart had been troubled' by my local church's attitude to women leaders. When I listened to a local vicar preach on 1 Tim 2 11-15 and thought my heart was going to explode through my chest, I had to find out whether there were other women and men feeling as passionate about this issue as me. (See my June posts particularly). I was gifted with friendship on both sides of the argument and went on an interesting journey- viewpoint in tact, that yes, the church needs women leaders as much as it needs men. Rosie Ward's book is launched at a time when I have found peace over this issue and move on accepting differences exist and yet excited by the prospect of women in all positions of the church 'hierarchy' (such an inappropriate word, really) since July 7th synod decision promoting women to the episcopate.

I look forward to reading this book, when it is available later this month and have already had my attention grabbed by the sample posted by BRF:


From Rosie's book:

Many women find themselves called to lead but also hear competing claims:
• It says in the Bible that women should not be leaders.
• Women should not lead, because they are weaker and more gullible.
• We’ve never had women leaders in the Church, so why start now?
• How would you manage to be a proper wife and look after your children?
• Can women make the hard decisions of leadership? Can they ‘do vision’?

Ever since a fellow student told me he could not be in my Bible study group because ‘it says in the Bible that women can’t lead’, I’ve been passionate about finding out what God really says about women as leaders. To some people, that issue is yesterday’s question; to others, it is very much alive and often painful.

She discusses some of the books that I have found hugely helpful including Gilbert Belizikian's to which I owe a great deal.

Gilbert Bilezikian had written Beyond Sex Roles, Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen had written Gender and Grace, and Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Equal to Serve.

She writes about how:
While we might have expected women to be increasingly free to move into leadership, there are churches where both men and women take a definite stance against women in certain leadership roles. (!)

and

While I do not wish to underestimate biblical argument, sometimes those who question women’s leadership do so more out of ignorance and prejudice than thought-out conviction.

and:

Before women can step forward with confidence as leaders, they often have to navigate their way through all kinds of scepticism or downright opposition. In this book I want to encourage women to step up and lead—but sometimes they are able to do this only when the confusion of opposing voices has been cleared away. (!)

and

I am convinced that women should step up to leadership in the Church not because of justice or equality, but because the Bible supports women in leadership. For me it is primarily a theological issue, a biblical issue.

Thank you Rosie Ward (CPAS)

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A little background reading on the two theological integrities in the Church of England regarding women in ministry.