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Two Views On Women In Ministry (Counterpoints #20) [Paperback]

By Stanley N. Gundry (Editor), James R. Beck (Editor) & Linda L. Belleville (Contribution by)
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Item description for Two Views On Women In Ministry (Counterpoints #20) by Stanley N. Gundry, James R. Beck & Linda L. Belleville...

This revised and strengthened edition presents two essays representing the egalitarian and the complementarian/hierarchical views of women and ministry.

Publishers Description
What does the Bible say about women s roles in the church? With pros and cons on either side of a heated, ongoing debate, no definitive conclusions have emerged. This book furnishes you with a clear and thorough presentation of the two primary views on women in ministry so you can better understand each one s strengths, weaknesses, and complexities. Each view---egalitarian (equal ministry opportunity for both genders) and complementarian (ministry roles differentiated by gender)---is represented by two contributors. This revised edition of the book brings the exchange of ideas and perspectives into the traditional Counterpoints format. Each author states his or her case and is then critiqued by the other contributors. The fair-minded, interactive Counterpoints forum allows you to compare and contrast the two different positions, and to form your own opinion concerning the practical and often deeply personal issue of women in ministry. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Zondervan
Pages   359
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 13, 2005
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
Edition  Revised  
Series  Counterpoints  
Series Number  20  
ISBN  031025437X  
ISBN13  9780310254379  
UPC  025986254377  

Availability  160 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 07:18.
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More About Stanley N. Gundry, James R. Beck & Linda L. Belleville

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

Stanley N. Gundry currently resides in Grand Rapids, in the state of Michigan.

Stanley N. Gundry has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints
  2. Counterpoints (Zondervan)
  3. Counterpoints: Bible & Theology
  4. Counterpoints: Bible and Theology
  5. Counterpoints: Church Life Counterpoints: Church Life
  6. Counterpoints: Exploring Theology

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Womens Studies > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Leadership
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Womens Issues
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Feminist
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Contemporary Theologies

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Reviews - What do customers think about Two Views On Women In Ministry?

More Light than Heat   Jun 23, 2005
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. Though, he does not develop this in detail, he brings to light many women in the Bible that had influential ministry roles that transcend the idea that the Bible permits some ministry to women, but not all. Bowman's essay was the weakest in my view in that it did not put forth much of an exegetical argument (except an interpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-13) pertaining to women in ministry, but mostly focused on the nature of ministry in general. She, however, argued that almost all ministries-even some pastoral positions-are open to women except for the nebulous concept of a "senior pastor."

Blomberg, perhaps sensing a misbalance in the essays, concludes with an attempt at a mediating position called "Neither Hierarchalist nor Egalitarian" which, though biased towards a complementarian view, takes a broad look at the issues and polarities in the controversy and admits that there is much ambiguity and unsolved problems left to explore. His essay finishes the book nicely showing holes that egalitarians often fail to recognize, yet he also fairly shows that they haven't been adequately filled by the Complementarians either.

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. One will be left, after finishing the book, thinking that egalitarians do in fact argue biblically rather than culturally, and that complementarians do in fact love and cherish women and their ministries rather than denigrating them.
Counterpoint Series  Nov 15, 2004
I'm going to apply this commentary for the entire Counterpoint Series published by Zondervan Publishing Company. My compliments to that company for creating this series. I initially purchased "Four Views on the Book of Revelation" but soon realized it was only one in a series. I got so much out of that volume, that I decided to purchase the entire set to study and keep for reference. My spiritual growth has been remarkable as a result. Seminary students and professionals would probably enjoy this series, which seems geared for them. But this series is also excellent for those college-educated laypeople who feel inclined to enhance their understanding of Christian theology. That is, with one caveat: Buy a decent theological dictionary to refer to at first. It probably won't get used much after about the third book you choose to read, but initially you will be need it to be confident of some of the terms used among advanced theologians. Then, the Counterpoint series will give you a full understanding of many different concepts and concerns of the Christian faith which have been applicable from early on until the present. I've learned a lot, and the only way I think I could do better is if I were enrolled in Seminary. A list of all the titles I am aware of from this series is:

Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?
Five Views on Law and Gospel
Five Views on Sanctification
Four Views on Hell
Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World
Four Views on the Book of Revelation
Three Views on Creation and Evolution
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond
Three Views on the Rapture
Two Views on Women in Ministry
Too much overlap, needs some consolidation.  Mar 12, 2004
This book talks about two positions within the Christian community relative to the view of women in ministry. The two positions are egalitarian (women can serve in any position within the church and are explicitly denied certain positions in only very rare culturally specific situations) and complimentarian (women can have certain roles in the church, but not all, including pastoral and elder positions).

I think this discussion boils down to your hermeneutic principle. If you tend to read the Bible as a God-inspired, infallible story that is written within the culture of its day and as such needs to be interpreted along such culturally specific guidelines, you will probably be egalitarian in your perspective. If you are a fundamentalist (also called a foundationalist) the position of complimentarian will no doubt make you more comfortable.

For me, I can not look at the God ordained institution of marriage and see anything less than complete equality. Yes, man is called out to be the "head" of the household. But let us be consistent in our understanding of the metaphor Paul is using - he uses the same metaphor when talking about the body of Christ. The head is not superior to the foot, it is different (here logically the complimentarian position has won the battle of terminology as they more closely associate their position with what position the egalitarians actually espouse).

God reaches man through three means of revelation: specific (the Bible), natural (the physical world around us), and general (the spark of knowledge of Him we each have). I find the egalitarian position most consistent across each of these three means of revelation: specific (I believe the Bible clearly supports the egalitarian position), natural (my wife is not inferior to me, she is different; only when men have denied the suffrage movement have we seen how badly men will pervert the supposedly natural order of men's strength and women's weakness in order to suppress women's freedom), and last general (I honestly can not see how having a woman's viewpoint does anything but make decisions better for families and men!). I do not believe this is an issue you deal with by logic, it is a position that has to do with your hermeneutic and world-view.

Great writing (for the most part), poor editing  Mar 30, 2002
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. To resolve the controversy on women in ministry leadership, both sides need to interact with each other, rather than just each side stating its case.

(3) The final appendix, by editor Craig Blomberg, was well-intentioned but inappropriately placed. He states that his goal is to point out a 3rd alternative that combines the strengths of the other 2 views. But what ensues is an essay that is largely traditionalist / hierarchicalist in nature, and only in the last few pages briefly describes what may be a mediating view. Since this essay is presented last, and without any subsequent comment or review, it appears to the reader as "the definitive word" on the subject. But Blomberg's ideas are far from definitive. He summarily promotes some heriarchicalist positions, and summarily dismisses other egalitarian positions without always adequately defending why. It is a well-written essay, but I think it belongs more in the center of the book (or as a 3rd alternative of a book titled "Three Views of Women in Ministry"), so that those who might not agree with him could respond and comment. The structure of the book, as it is now, suggests that Blomberg has listened to both sides of the evidence and come up with the "correct" position. But I found myself questioning his conclusions numerous times because he did not adequately defend them.

My recommendation: Buy this book if you're interested in the topic of women in minsitry, but read it through and either take notes on it or underline the significant parts. Then go back later and re-read your notes or underlined parts, in a different order than how they are presented. (i.e., read the appendix first, then ch.3-4, then ch.1-2). This will keep the structure of the book from influencing you as much, enabling you to evaluate your own position on the basis of the biblical evidence alone.

Superb Work for Pastors and Teachers!  Feb 2, 2002
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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