Item description for Men and Women in the Church: Wisdom Unsearchable, Love Indestructible by Sarah Sumner & Phillip E. Johnson...
Overview Avoiding the pitfalls of both radical feminism and reactionary conservatism, Sarah Sumner traces a new path through the thicket of issues--biblical, theological, psychological and practical--to establish and affirm common ground in the debate over men and women in the church.
Publishers Description Evangelicals stand divided in their view of women in the church. On one side stand complementarians, arguing the full worth of women but assigning them to differing roles. On the other side stand egalitarians, arguing that the full worth of women demands their equal treatment and access to leadership roles. Is there a way to mend the breach and build consensus? Sarah Sumner thinks there is. Avoiding the pitfalls of both radical feminism and reactionary conservatism, she traces a new path through the issues--biblical, theological, psychological and practical--to establish and affirm common ground. Arguing that men and women are both equal and distinct, Sumner encourages us to find ways to honor and benefit from the leadership gifts of both.Men and Women in the Church is a book for all who want a fresh and hope-filled look at a persistent problem.
Citations And Professional Reviews Men and Women in the Church: Wisdom Unsearchable, Love Indestructible by Sarah Sumner & Phillip E. Johnson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Christian Retailing - 03/17/2003 page 15
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More About Sarah Sumner & Phillip E. Johnson
Sarah Sumner (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is dean of the A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary in Redding, California. She is also an author and speaker who travels both nationally and internationally to address church congregations and institutions of Christian higher education. In addition, she is a consultant who addresses businesses and nonprofits on the subject of leadership and organizational health. Dr. Sumner is the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her formal training includes a B.A. from Baylor in Education, an M.A. in Theology from Wheaton College, an M.Div equivalent from Trinity, and an M.B.A. from Azusa Pacific University. For nine years Sumner served as a core teaching pastor at New Song Church in San Dimas, California. For almost thirteen years she worked primarily as a faculty member in the Graduate School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University.
Reviews - What do customers think about Men and Women In The Church?
A Happy End to the Spin Dec 23, 2006
Normally, when a book has 26 reviews, I am content to let writing a review pass. However, this one is special. I was dragged into the gender debates a few months ago kicking and screaming. I am a seminary graduate, though I don't pastor. The church leaders sought my opinion because of my training and experience. Hence, I got introduced to the fight. The theological vertigo that I experienced was only surpassed by the vertigo I got when I decided to find the definitive answer to the theories of the second coming, while in seminary.
This book is different. She interacts with both sides. Unlike the shallow belaborings and "interpretations" of the chief spokespeople for both sides, she has obviously read some theology. Although she doesn't flaunt it, she has apparently read the Church Fathers more than she indicates. She is comfortable to go in new directions and respectfully bow and put her hand over her mouth in the presence of mystery. This is something that both sides fail to do. What really impressed me was her handling of the headship subject. This has been a big and heated debate that has drug the Trinity into the fray and sought to confirm various models of hierarchy and equality. She acknowledges the mystery while giving, in my opinion, a very excellent alternative.
Her thinking is called fuzzy in earlier reviews, but I find that difficult to understand. When you are dealing with the immanent Trinity as revealed in the Incarnation, what you can't say is much more extensive than what you know. She says what is appropriate (metaphor, she calls it) and recognizes the limits of knowledge and expression.
This is the one book we need. I wish I had found out about it 4 or 5 books ago. I have left it with an appreciation of what God has done in Creation and Redemption and what my responsibilities are towards my wife as head. Thanks muchly.
Fresh Thinking on a Familiar Subject Jul 26, 2006
Dr. Sarah Sumner has written a personal, thought-provoking and scholarly book on the issue of the role of women in the church. This book deserves attention. It should be read and debated. For resolving the issue of what a woman should or should not do in the church, is one of the great challenges the church is facing in the 21st century. And the Christian community needs books like this in order to think clearly and biblically and realistically about this important topic. In addressing the ongoing debate between egalitarians and complementarians, Dr. Sumner has contributed significantly to this discussion. I hear her heart, and much of her personal journey resonated with me. It is a daunting task to integrate one's thinking on the biblical role of women in church leadership with one's emotional response to gender issues. But Sumner has done a terrific job of relating holistically to this subject, and has given new food for thought.
Thank you, Dr. Summer!!! Jul 20, 2006
Dr. Sumner has exquistely avoided the feminist trap in this book. The gentle but straightforward manner in which she presents this subject reflects the heart of a committed Christian.
She has defanged the emotion monster that usually shows up when the subject is broached of men and women faithfully using their God-given talents in and for His Kingdom.
This book should be required reading of every Christian, whether leader or lay-person as they examine their hearts and the scriptures regarding gifts being used to the glory of God in HIS Church, as He has commanded us.
It would be a blessing to have Dr. Summer as my pastor/teacher!! Since that isn't possible at this time, I'll gratefully settle for her writings!
A Must Read on Men and Women in Ministry Apr 5, 2006
Bypassing the typical rhetoric and discord associated with this topic, Dr. Sarah Sumner's deep but easy-to-read "Men and Women in the Church" takes the reader to the Scriptures and encourages them to compare our fallible traditions concerning men and women in ministry with the infallible Word of God.
Never wavering from God's Word, Sumner addresses the pertinent Scriptures and issues on this much debated topic, and reveals how both sides--complementarians and egalitarians--have something more to learn from the very words of God found in the Bible. Never taking sides, Dr. Sumner helps move toward a Christian consensus and common ground for men and women in the church that enables egalitarians and complementarians to better understand Scripture and one another (especially in chapter 22).
"Men and Women in the Church" helped equip me with a systematic and passionate understanding of how God views men and women, properly revealing their distinctions and relationship with one another. My wife and I have greatly benefited from Dr. Sumner's devotion to truth and desire to rightly divide God's Word.
Most useful and self-examining for ministry and marriage is Sumner's exposition of Ephesians 5.21-33. While acknowledging the distinctions between men and women, husbands and wives, Sumner reveals that Paul is doing something much more than merely handing out a list of chores and roles to husbands and wives; he is exposing how husbands and wives are to relate to one another biblically so that they may be a living, breathing, God-honoring testimony and example of the relationship between Christ and the church. Sumner then under girds her exposition of Ephesians 5 with a theological model of how God heads Christ and how Christ submits to God. Who better to learn from, right?
In the end of Sumner's exposition of Ephesians 5 and what it means to be the head, you're left with a convicting sense that your previous ideas and notions about the relationship between husbands (being the head, sacrificing, and loving) and wives (being the body, submitting, and respecting) fall much too short of the model that God and Christ exemplified within Scripture.
"Men and Women in the Church" is as much for ministers as it is for marrieds. It in fact will benefit the pastor, professor, seminary student, spouse, and small group member. Most importantly, this book will transform how you think about marriage, ministry, and the amazing God who sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins, thereby empowering us to rightly serve Him, His people, and our spouses.
Disturbing Mar 29, 2006
As a Senior Pastor of a megachurch, I never expected my theology of the role of men and women to be so challenged, disrupted, and transitioned. Our church leadership team spent one year studying through Sarah's book, discussing it each month and then drawing conclusions. Sarah's theology is readable, her arguments are persuasive (though not aggressive), and her ability to have us all laughing at ourselves was both enlightening and enjoyable. Dr. Sarah Sumner's book is a "must read" for every church leader.