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Women in the Church's Ministry

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  7 reviews
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, 98 pages
Published April 20th 2004 by Wipf & Stock Publishers (first published June 7th 1997)
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Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joe Hightower
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the book to be thought provoking at 3 levels.

First, the challenge to see that many passages my complentarian position are not without unanswered or difficult to answer exegetical issues. I need to remember that my position is the best I can discern, but God is the final answer

second, that many differences are hidden at the hermeneutical or application level, yet are not clearly stated by either side.

third, that many who disagree do so with honest intentions and a desire to please God. I
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I've always appreciated about RT France as a biblical scholar is his readability, and on hot-button issues like this one, it is a needed characteristic.

In this book, France concisely speaks to the debate within his own Anglican tradition on the role of women in the church particularly as it relates to the authority and interpretation of the relevant Scriptures. Spoiler alert: He lands on the more egalitarian side of the fence.

Though I do not embrace all of his conclusions (an
Jeff Ragan
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Seldom have I read such a clear, enjoyable book with which I disagree! Every sentence is packed with meaning, yet reads with joy and light. Reminds me of C. S. Lewis!
Hansen Wendlandt
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
David Blankenship
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.

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Useful. Interesting reading it. Felt like the CofE in 1995 (when the book wasublished) was at the same stage in debate as the CofS was at in the 60s.
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Richard Thomas France was a New Testament scholar and Anglican cleric, and Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Wales, Bangor.

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