Item description for Women and Ministry: What the Bible Teaches by Dan Doriani...
Overview Concrete and credible guidance for Christians who want to see women use their spiritual gifts to advance the kingdom of God.
In the midst of a raging debate about the role of women in the church, Dan Doriani offers credible and concrete guidance for mobilizing women for ministry. He combines biblical teaching and practical counsel in this comprehensive and accessible book.
Doriani begins by explaining his own personal interest in the topic as a husband and a father of three daughters. Much of the book consists of analysis of the essential biblical data regarding the roles of men and women in the church. This analysis doesn't simply show what women can't do; it discusses all the ways in which women have effectively served in Israel and the church. He gives a biblical theology of gifts and calling and offers practical guidance about the many roles women can fill in the church today. This will prove a helpful guide for pastors, church leaders, and especially women who wish to use their spiritual gifts to advance God's kingdom.
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Dan Doriani (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) serves as the vice president of strategic academic projects and professor of theology at Covenant Seminary. He previously served as the senior pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton, Missouri, and has been involved in several planning and study committees at the presbytery level in both the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). Dan lives with his wife, Debbie, in Chesterfield, Missouri, and has three grown daughters.
Reviews - What do customers think about Women and Ministry: What the Bible Teaches?
What the Blind Man Teaches Sep 7, 2007
Granted, Doriani's more respectful of those who disagree with him than some, but this doesn't change the fact that his arguments are faulty and often even simplistic (then again, so are many complimentarians'.) Patriarchs may find this book to be a self-congratulatory tool, but it will in no way threaten any scholarly egalitarian.
The usual tactics are here: Doriani naturally attempts to prove that Paul forbade women to teach. However, he does this by assuming, rather amusingly, that Paul did so because man was created before woman and therefore had "firstborn" rights! I wondered for a moment if he was serious. With this sort of argument, who even needs rebuttals? A more offensive and less amusing case, however, was when Doriani attempted the dirt-poor idea that because Adam named Eve, he had authority over her! I've always found this to be blatantly disgusting, to be honest. According to this viewpoint, woman was made for man to be his companion, he named her, and she followed him: why don't we just put women in the same category as dogs?
One tactic of certain complimentarians I've noticed is that some of them (though not all) attempt to support their arguments of keeping women out of pastorhood by cutting down and discrediting the importance and influence that Biblical female leaders actually had. Doriani is such a man; right along with arguing that women can't be pastors, he also asserts that women can't even be leaders of government! That would explain, then, his attempt to cut down Deborah's importance by claiming that she never taught men. Actually, Doriani, her role's pretty clear: Deborah judged, prophesied, and counseled men. Even if it never said she taught, it came certainly close enough to eliminate the attempt of Doriani and his like to use Deborah as a supporter in their argument.
Doriani attempts to lower the importance of Biblical female leaders mainly by saying, over and over, that women of the Bible only led alongside men or "privately", rather than publicly like their strapping male counterparts. Yet another amusingly faulty attempt: Deborah was a judge; she did not lead privately and she had no men to help her. Phoebe was a deaconess, and Chloe was strongly indicated to be leader of a church. If men helped them, so what? Paul had women helping him in the church all the time and it in no way diminished his leadership. I think the examples of women like Miriam, who really did lead with men, support the egalitarian position rather than the complimentarian one. Since so many patriarchs claim that women only led when men didn't, what does the fact that Miriam was a leader say to you? There were TWO men leading in that instance, yet God still saw fit to use a woman to help them.
Possibly the most offensive tactic that Doriani and others have used is the attempt to dishonor Christ's own authority by claiming that He is subordinate to God! Jesus was only subordinate while He was human; now, He is sitting on a throne right next to His Father in equal authority, which is exactly what God intends for men and women to do. This shameful attempt to permanently subordinate women by subordinating our Lord is an insult to both women and Christ. I find it shameful at best and blasphemous at worst and suggest that those who use it seek far more humility than they currently possess.
In the beginning of the book, Doriani says, "This book is for women who wonder why God says no to their spiritual gifts." What a sad statement! God does not at all say no to His daughters' attempts to serve Him, Doriani. I am happy to say that this book has done nothing to hinder me or my spiritual journey.
Called According to the Scripture Jun 14, 2007
Good book and Biblically Sound. Ignore the negative comment "A Theology and Psych" student says it all. Furthermore the negative comments made by the reviewer are filled with all types of cultural propaganda that can be traced to the enemy of our souls.
For some it would be novel to define Biblical Doctrine by the clear implications of the Bible. Faulty Complexity in regard to certain biblical issues can divert the conscious and create an unecessary intellectual controversy which is usually the result of one seeking his or her own will that has been volitionally set in oppostion to the clear content of the scriptures.
A patriarchal literalist who cannot see the forest for the trees Mar 16, 2007
I really wanted to like this author, as he seems a well-intentioned man, if a bit on the Ned Flanders side...but...
The other reviewer mentioned that this author attempted to write the book with no agenda. Unless this author were not a Christian, I do not think this would be possible. All Christian or feminist authors on the subject of women and ministry have a context that they will support in their theological interpretation (and he is clear about this throughout). It seems, when he compares the two points of view, he frequently presents the egalitarian view in an over simplified manner, while lending more explication to his own patriarchal view. It also seems that he tries to take everything from the Bible completely at face value, to his detriment, missing the bigger picture of Christ transforming culture. I felt this book was from someone living in a different universe, completely out of touch with our post-modern world and post-modern Christianity. I couldn't believe my eyes when he went so far as to break down every possible ministry woman might be involved in, and tried to clearly explain what would be permissible and what would not! (Apparently, some women's Bible study leaders are capable of remaining under the authority of church leaders, while others are not!)
I was able to read this book in about 4 hours, as it is easy to read. The author's arguments seem frenetic at times, as though his entire faith hangs on each point and sub-point.
One point particularly angered me; specifically referencing some women's call by God into ministry, he states "Sin deceives the emotion as well as the mind and body. Besides, the case for male leadership is not so unclear that we must let vague ideas such as 'freedom in ministry' gain the right to arbitrate between competing interpretations of Scripture." (p. 143)
If we are to judge a tree by its fruit, how dare anyone question a fruitful, healthy minister who feels called by God, regardless of race or gender? I have several close female friends who are in leadership roles in ministry or are pursuing their mdivs... it breaks my heart to hear that some believers would consider this sinful. Shame.
Insightful and fresh book on a tough topic Apr 21, 2005
I found this book to be a fresh, insightful exploration of what the Bible actually teaches about women and ministry. Doriani does a good job of approaching the texts honestly and thoughtfully and with an open mind, earnestly seeking what the text says and means without a lot of bias from the preconceptions of one "camp" or another. It was wonderful to read a thoughtful, informed book about women in ministry that felt so un-biased and honest.