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Women in the Church's Ministry: A Test-Case for Biblical Hermeneutics
The ordination of women has been one of the most pressing—and passionately debated—issues facing the church in recent years. In this volume, based on the prestigious 1995 Didsbury Lectures, R. T. France explores several important questions of biblical interpretation raised by the serious disagreements among Christians over the nature of women's ministry. France primarily f ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Wipf & Stock Publishers
(first published June 7th 1997)
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Another great read from the egalitarian camp. France does a fantastic job probing the relevant passages (1 Cor 11; 14; 1 Tim 2; Eph 5) and sheds some helpful light on the controversy as it unfolded in the Anglican Church in the 80’s. It is interesting that France seems to maintain a slightly hierarchal view within marriage (based on Eph.5), but does not think it applicable within the church (or society). I need to revisit some of his exegetical musings, but all in all this was a very gracious, i ...more
It’s hard to believe that anybody still believes women should not be pastors, and harder to imagine that anyone, after reading this book, could hold onto that position. France does a great job of addressing the particular issues carefully, and gives a good introduction to how to approach the Bible hermeneutically, with a wider scope to its values. From the assumption that Scripture is the “supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct,” (13) he lays out the texts that traditionally deny ...more
This short book gives a basic overview about how to hold to a high view of Scripture while at the same time how to move from a 'traditionalist' interpretation on gender roles to a more 'egalitarian' view. France writes from an Anglican position, and while it may not go in depth (it is only 96 pages) on some of the thorny exegetical problems, he looks at Scripture as a whole and seems to use a 'trajectory' interpretive model to point towards a more open position on women in the priesthood.