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Two Views on Women in Ministry (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) Paperback – September 13, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Revised edition (September 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031025437X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310254379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What does the Bible say about the role of women in the church? With pros and cons on either side of a heated, ongoing debate, no definitive conclusions have emerged. The purpose of this book is to furnish concerned readers with a clear and thorough presentation of the two primary views on women in the ministry so they can better understand each one’s strengths, weaknesses, and complexities. This revised and strengthened edition presents two essays representing the "egalitarian" and the "complementarian/hierarchical" views of women in ministry. Each contributor offers thoroughly qualified insights based on careful biblical scholarship and personal experience. At the end of each of the four essays, a brief question-and-answer section provides further clarification. The general editor adds a commentary at the conclusion of both the hierarchical and egalitarian sections. Contributors Include: • Linda L. Belleville (Egalitarian View) • Craig L. Blomberg (Complementarian View) • Craig S. Keener (Egalitarian View) • Thomas R. Schreiner (Complementarian View)

About the Author

Stanley N. Gundry is executive vice president and editor-in-chief for the Zondervan Corporation. He has been an influential figure in the Evangelical Theological Society, serving as president of ETS and on its executive committee, and is adjunct professor of Historical Theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He is the author of seven books and has written many articles appearing in popular and academic periodicals.

James R. Beck is professor of counseling at Denver Seminary and the author of many books, including Jesus and Personality Theory: Exploring the Five Factor Model. The essays are contributed by Thomas R. Schreiner, Linda L. Belleville, Craig S. Keener, and Craig L. Blomberg.

Dr. Linda Belleville is Professor of New Testament at Bethel College and Graduate School in Mishawaka, IN.

Craig L. Blomberg is distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He holds a PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of fifteen books and more than 130 articles in journals or multi-author works. A recurring topic of interest in his writings is the historical reliability of the Scriptures. Craig and his wife Fran have two daughters and reside in Centennial, Colorado.

Craig S. Keener is professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary and holds a doctoral degree in New Testament Studies and the Origins of Christianity from Duke University. He is the author of several commentaries on books of the New Testament.

Thomas R. Schreiner (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament and associate dean of Scripture and interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. The author of numerous books, he is the preaching pastor of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Customer Reviews

The good parts of this book are very good -- meriting 5 stars easily for their coverage of the subject.
Todd Grotenhuis
All in all, I heartily recommend this very irenic and approachable book that generates much more light than heat on a very threatening and unapproachable issue.
A. Omelianchuk
Some of them are egalitarian in their views while others are more conservative, that's how this book goes on.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Todd Grotenhuis on March 30, 2002
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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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A. Omelianchuk on June 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
The best introduction to the debate over women in ministry is by far and away Craig L. Blomberg's and James R. Beck's Two Views On Women In Ministry. Edited by two men, each conservative seminary professors (Denver Seminary) represent the opposing viewpoints, and call upon one man and one woman to each put forth an essay arguing for and against women in ministry. Craig Keener and Linda Belleville defend the Egalitarian position (allowing) while Tom Schreiner and Ann Bowman defend the Complementarian position (barring).

The most exegetically dense essay comes from Belleville in that she answers Wayne Grudem's "6 questions" in his Open Letter to Egalitarians satisfactorily. She also makes many key distinctions between being "pro-mutuality" and "pro-gay" that undermine the charge that accepting women as pastors will eventually lead to accepting practicing accepting homosexual persons as pastors (hence validating their lifestyles). Schreiner returns the favor with an equally strong essay-probably the most well written-building his prohibiting views off of a broader base of gender roles he believes are spelled out more clearly in the Genesis record and the teachings on marriage. He then finishes it off with cogent interpretations of the classic prohibiting texts such as 1 Timothy 2:11-15, 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, and 14:34-35. Keener, draws upon his voluminous wealth of extra-biblical historical literature showing how each instance of the prohibiting texts is plausibly culture bound, and the main point of his essay is establishing criteria that is able to determine what is culture-bound and what not.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John W. Frye on May 21, 2001
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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on February 2, 2002
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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