THE SECOND DAY OF AUGUST IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. There is much discussion today regarding church leadership and its exercise by male and female disciples. Unfortunately, this discussion often generates more heat than light. Needed instead are calm and thoughtful believers who can observe and discern biblical details, analyze the scripture data, successfully bridge … [Read more...]

Family Notes 10/06/2015

THE TENTH DAY OF JUNE IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN. A PLACE IN HISTORY Finding their Voices: Sermons by Women in the Churches of Christ, edited by D'Esta Love (ACU Press, 2015), 254 pages. This new book not only relates history, it also makes history, preserving sermons of 29 women from Churches of Christ, a new notion during the past 100+ years among this fellowship, … [Read more...]


A gracEmail subscriber asks, "What does Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 when he says that women are to keep silent in the church?" * * * Even if this text did not have a context (which it does), and if it were intended to say women cannot speak at all "in church" (which it was not), its most literalistic interpretation would still not prevent women as well as men from acting as ushers, … [Read more...]


A gracEmail subscriber asks, "What does Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 when he says that women are to keep silent in the church?" * * * The passage you mention is only one of several specific "sit-down-and-shut-up" commands found in the same chapter. The chapter is part of an epistle addressed to a volatile group of Middle Easterners known for their unruly assemblies, whether "secular" … [Read more...]


A subscriber in the Southwest U.S. asks whether biblically a church should ordain women as pastors (or elders). Reverent scholarship is not all of one mind on this topic. Some scholars conclude that Paul denies women leadership position in the church, a decision which they believe to be binding in all times and places (1 Tim. 2:8-15). The Apostles were all men, they note, and every mention of … [Read more...]


"You made some comment that sounded like you might adopt the politically correct line these days," writes a subscriber. "Have you forsaken the biblical truth that women should submit to their husbands?" *          *          * If I was ever politically correct, I assure you it was an accident. As Christians, we "march to a different drummer," and it is not the beat of the latest worldly fad. As … [Read more...]


Someone asks, "I am currently studying 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 and its command that women remain veiled at public worship but that men appear unveiled. Do you have any thoughts on that?" When I was growing up in North Alabama in the 1950's, many preachers in Churches of Christ taught that this text required the sisters to wear a "covering" on their head whenever they went to "church." If asked why, … [Read more...]


A Christian sister writes: "I attend a United Methodist Church. We have raised our children and are now empty nesters. I continue to feel God's call to professional ministry. Why do I feel the call if it does not mean I am supposed to pursue it? I thank God for that call and hope to fulfill it as the Lord wishes. My gifts seem to always revolve around exhortation. My pastor is extremely busy as … [Read more...]


A gracEmail subscriber writes, "Paul said he didn't allow a woman to teach a man (1 Tim. 2:12). What do you think Paul meant?" * * * In making this strange statement, the apostle was undoubtedly correcting some specific misbehavior at Ephesus, for it is inconsistent with the rest of the New Testament if taken as an absolute and unqualified rule. Two of Timothy's own most significant teachers … [Read more...]


A gracEmail subscriber in California writes: "I would appreciate your comment on why Jesus did not select any women as Apostles. I have noticed that you do not interpret scriptures literally when there is a need to comply with contemporary tradition. I assume that you are being politically correct." * * * I do not know why Jesus chose only male Apostles, or only Jews, or so many fisherman, or … [Read more...]