Reviews - What do customers think about Pastoral Letter to Theo: An Introduction to Interpretation and Women's Ministries?
Women's Ministries and Cessationist Hermeneutics Jul 2, 2008
Professor Elbert's small book (96 pages) is a large contribution to the study of women's ministries and contemporary spiritual giftedness. It is written in the form of a personal letter (to the pseudonymous Theo) with minimal footnotes (ending with a helpful bibliography). The epistolary journey to help Theo reach a biblical view of women's ministries takes the reader on a socio-political tour of the ancient Roman world as well as a tour of the Greco-Roman educational system related to rhetoric. These backgrounds are laid and the relevant scriptural passages are then examined, resulting in a convincing interpretation arrived at in an artful and interesting hermeneutical laboratory.
The following quotation from the book comes after a discussion of certain women in Acts and the fulfillment of prophecy theme established by Luke in the second chapter: "As a New Testament scholar it is my contention that an unreal picture of Peter, Paul, and Apollos that is inculcated by a subcultural worldview based on the "apostolic-age" style of interpretation retards the enterprise of global evangelism. These are significant New Testament figures whose life settings and voices should be allowed to speak clearly to the mission of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. Instead, their authentic characterization and personification rendered by Luke is often muffled and beclouded to suit the contemporary religious custom of some and the desire to preserve the chasmal extinguishment of spiritual giftedness and women's ministries. This must be serious to God and his plan and purpose for all humankind. Half the potential workforce God is counting on for world evangelism is eliminated, stifled, and squelched because of a strange doctrine manufactured and maintained by a past socio-philosophical tradition--with no disrespect to Christian philosophers--that apparently continues to be over impressed by its own cultural and secular norms" (italics added).
This book is a must read for anyone interested in women's ministries or the continuity of spiritual gifts and serves as a helpful critique of "apostolic-age" hermeneutics.