Emerging in the academic literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, feminist theology has captivated the interests of men and women involved in theological studies over the last several decades due, in part, to the widespread acceptance that the biblical text is nothing more than a tool of oppression used to oppress women systematically. In today’s culture, no longer does there exist a majority who believes the biblical text to be the whole counsel of God or who hold to its authority as a legitimate tool to inform the lives everyday people live. Instead, the vast majority today relegates the biblical text and Christianity, in general, to the mire—they consider it a vestige from an undesirable and primordial past. The way forward, many opines, involves deconstructing the text to find new meanings that thousands of years of church history have been too obtuse to uncover.
Those who live in feminist theological circles are a diverse group of women; so much so, that it would be a mistake to think feminist theology is monolithic. At one end of the spectrum, there are radical and/or post-Christian feminist theologians whose work belies the notion that Christianity cannot be redeemed since it cannot meet the standards of the feminist critique of the text. These feminists are content to reconstruct Christianity with a hermeneutic that honors women’s experiences of and location within the biblical text. Other feminist theologians—those of a more liberal and/or reformist-leaning—believe that some aspects of Christianity are salvageable and can, therefore, be redeemed. In Women-Church: Theology and Practice of Feminist Liturgical Communities, Rosemary Radford Ruether writes from the perspective of “religious feminists who seek to reclaim aspects of the biblical tradition, Jewish and Christian, but who also recognize the need both to go back behind [italics mine] biblical religion and to transcend it.”
Even with such widespread differences, however, feminist theologians are unified by several key ideas, not the least of which is the one echoed by Letty M. Russell, that “the Bible needs to be liberated from its captivity to one-sided white, middle-class, male interpretation. [In addition it] needs liberation from privatized and spiritualized interpretations that avoid God’s concern for justice . . .”
The last two hundred years have seen a good number of women whose work set the stage for feminist theology as it’s studied and taught today. And while it would be far reaching to suppose that those who lived near the beginning of the theological shift were themselves feminist, their work absolutely set the stage for the type of scholarship that proliferates today. Antoinette Brown (d. 1921), for instance, was the first woman to be ordained a minister by a recognized congregation in the United States. Brown was an avid believer in God and in the Scriptures and fought for women’s equality, abolition, and temperance. Sarah Grimke (d. 1873) was a Quaker and woman’s rights advocate whose understanding of Scripture set the stage for the abolition of slavery in the United States and brought attention to the idea of women’s equality with men. On the other end of the spectrum was Elizabeth Cady Stanton whose scholarship resulted in The Women’s Bible—a book where she served as both editor and contributing author. The Woman’s Bible was published in 1895 and was written on the premise that religion served as the ideological justification for the continued oppression of women. The differences between the early suffragists (like Brown and Grimke) and early feminist theologians like Stanton are strikingly apparent just by looking at Stanton’s views of the Bible in relation to women. In the introduction of The Women’s Bible Stanton writes:
The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire . . . Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.
The primary purpose of this chapter is to offer a critique of the feminist critical method. I will argue that the feminist critical method is an inadequate one, as it is burdened with unavoidable difficulties. This critique falls into two parts. I will begin the first by locating feminist theology within its broader context of Liberation Theology. Tethering feminist theology to liberation theology serves to reveal the former’s ideological assumptions. Following this will be a discussion on Hermeneutics, which will lead into a discussion of feminist theory’s hermeneutic with which critical analysis is employed.
The second part will focus exclusively on, arguably, the most contentious topic in feminist theology today—God language. It is argued that the language used to describe God is distinctly and intentionally male language and its use throughout Christian history, feminist theologians argue, has caused both theological and psychological oppression of women that manifest itself in a myriad of ways. Here I will incorporate an analysis of the reforms suggested by feminist theologians they believe will curtail the effects of oppression. I will demonstrate how such reforms will ultimately prove ineffective.
One word of caution is in order before we begin. In no way should this chapter be taken to suggest that Christian history is absent of woman oppression at the hands of men. To suggest such a thing would be patently dishonest and ignorant. All religions, not just Christianity, have been guilty of some form of oppression. In fact, history has shown that religion is not a necessary ingredient for woman oppression or any other type of oppression to occur. Throughout all of the human history, oppression has happened at the hands of irreligious men, irreligious governments, and irreligious institutions. It seems to be the case that humans will find a way to oppress other humans, whether religion is involved or not.
Gary Deddo, echoing the same sentiments in This is My Name Forever: The Trinity & Gender Language For God writes, “that Christianity in general terms has been used to justify wrongdoing is not in question. This is a matter of record, and of regret, which ought to lead to a repentance embodied in action by all those who give their allegiance to the Christian faith.” Yet Deddo goes on to rightly point out that “the problem of the abuse of good and true things is not just a problem confined to Christianity . . . It is a universal problem facing humanity as a whole in all its existence. This wider issue is . . . fully acknowledged in Christianity . . . [and] is a primary tenet of Christian conviction about the perennial fallen state of humanity.” That said, when it comes to Christianity as Christianity, there exists (and rightly so) a reasonable expectation that man and woman ought to exist together in mutually constructive and complementary ways, as they both love and serve the One who created them both in his image and his likeness. Yet, the reality of the situation lurks ominously in our consciousness that Christians do not always form their beliefs and practices congruent with the biblical Christian ethics that they claim.
Suffice to say that as we begin to discuss feminist criticism of the Bible, we must remember to acknowledge the credible reasons that feminist theology exists today, and understand the forces that inspired women to launch their valiant endeavor, to begin with.
Feminist Theology as Liberation Theology
What is liberation theology? And why should a discussion of feminist theology be set in its context? Liberation Theologies began to take shape in the United States in the 1960s as theologians of the time wrestled to reconcile the social realities of the day with their theological commitments and expectations. As a result, these theologians came to believe that true faith was immediately and actually redemptive—not just eschatologically so. They began to promote the view that true theology must have “as a point of reference the experience of the poor and their struggle for liberation.” Liberation theologians hold that the sine qua non of true faith is liberation from all forms of oppression. Therefore, any faith that lacks this as its telos, by definition, must be reinterpreted or abandoned altogether.
For instance, Latin American Liberation Theology has as its central focus the experience of the poor classes in Latin America who have been subjected to institutionalized social and economic oppression resulting in gross levels of poverty. Black Liberation Theology has as its central focus the socio-historical experience of black people in America—a people who possess a history riddled with the most malicious forms of racial oppression. Feminist Theology, properly speaking, is also a liberation theology because it focusses on the experiences of women as an oppressed sex. Feminist theologians call for a theological framework that liberates women from the oppressive ways the Bible has traditionally been interpreted and reinforced by Christian tradition.
All liberation theologies focus on a particular group within a given society that have been oppressed and/or marginalized, and they proceed by taking the experience of oppression in these groups to craft a theology that aims to end the experienced oppression and alter the structures in place that give oppressors their power. Feminist theology emerged on the heels of the broader feminist movement and just like the feminist movement, feminist theology identifies men as the oppressor and male-dominated structures as men’s vehicle.
One salient note to be made at this juncture is to highlight the fact that the culture is eerily silent about women’s experiences of oppression, not the hands of men, but from other women. The culture fails to treat systems/institutions that advantage females in the same way that it treats systems/institutions that advantage males. For instance, while the academic literature has been addressing for some time now the inconsistencies between feminism and the beauty industry, it’s interesting to note that the culture has not picked up on this, causing the beauty industry to proceed with very little cultural resistance. Outside of the beauty industry, United States culture is deafeningly silent about the justice system, which is a system that advantages women on the basis of their sex, while disadvantaging men on the basis of theirs.
The feminist movement, broadly, and feminist theology, specifically, rarely performs the reflexive task—one in which scholars apply the standards they use to critique others on themselves. The reflexive task is one that insulates academicians from the charge of hypocrisy—from the charge of faulting others for doing the very thing being done. It will be interesting to see whether feminist theologians and writers ever take up the charge of addressing this reflexive void.
Returning to liberation theology, Anthony Bradley (writing on black liberation theology) comments about the self-assumed and often loudly proclaimed identity that members of oppressed groups typically adopt. He writes, “victimology is the adoption of victimhood as the core of one’s identity.” It is important to emphasize what Bradley is not saying in this sentence just as much as what he is saying. He is not making the point that the recognition of victimhood is the thing that ought to be discouraged. Nor is he making the claim that oppression does not work in powerful ways to impact how the oppressed view themselves. No serious scholar would dare suggest that the experiences of oppression by marginalized groups do not impact their collective cognitive psychological state. Instead, Bradley is making a more nuanced claim by bringing light to the idea that victimhood, in liberation theology, becomes the core of one’s identity in the world; it becomes essential to one’s humanity.
However, in reality, the exact opposite is true. Expressions of oppression are accidental, not essential. 
The reason for that is this: here in the United States some women experience oppression in certain contexts but at the very same time are not oppressed in other contexts. Some women experience oppression in ways that other women do not. The presence or absence of oppression is not core to what it is to be a woman. Feminist theology seems to suggest otherwise by making the bold claim that part and parcel of what it means to be a woman is to be oppressed. To make this point even clearer: women over the past several hundred years have been fighting long and hard to rid society of oppression against women. And because of their efforts, some forms of oppression have been removed. The very fact that forms of oppression have disappeared over time proves that oppression is accidental. Because if it was essential to woman, woman would have disappeared along with the oppression. In the end, feminist theology commits the classic confusion between essence/accident categories; and in doing that, their discussion of oppression’s centrality to womanhood becomes a philosophically absurd one.
Bradley goes on to say that “it [victimology] is a subconscious, culturally inherited affirmation that life . . . has been in the past and will be in the future a life of being victimized by . . . oppression. Feminist theology is no different from black liberation theology in this regard. It, too, begins with oppression and “tries to articulate adequately the Christian witness of faith from the perspective of women as an oppressed group.”
In his book, Bradley highlights several key problems with tethering a victimhood identity to racial identity. Suffice to say here that in the context of feminist theology the resultant problems are equally problematic. Number one, to have as one’s view that women’s experiences are identical to oppressive experiences is to “suggest that women have a vested interest in maintaining victimhood [italics mine]; without it both women’s identity and their ability to do theology . . . collapse.” Number two, tethering victimhood to one’s core identity ignores the fact that women have a myriad of experiences by which they form their self-identities as human persons in the world. And number three, self-identifying as a victim suggests women are incapable of and helpless to produce their own meaning in the world. Instead, they are reliant on the meanings imposed on them by the men who run patriarchal society.
Prima facie, it seems that such a view of woman proves contrary to the entirety of the feminist movement premise that women are just as capable as men to live “fully human.”
So far, we have been speaking about feminist theology as if it and feminist criticism are two sides of the same coin. In addition, this is true, inasmuch as wherever feminist theology exists, feminist criticism has been present to inform the theological conclusions reached. Be that as it may, very few are familiar with the working assumptions of feminist criticism; they are unaware of the principles of interpretation used by feminist theologians as part of their process. That being the case, before we delve into feminist criticism, let us first give attention to the vitally important subject of hermeneutics.
When a person picks up a book and aims to read it in order to understand what it means, they first must be able to interpret the book. This is because, in all communication, both verbal and written, interpretation precedes meaning, which then leads to understanding. People who have been reading books in their native language for many years easily lose sight of this interpretive process—they rarely are conscious of the thought, “what rules or judgments am I going to make in order to interpret what I am about to read?” This is because of their familiarity with the process, due to their repeated experiences with reading texts in their native language. Yet the interpretive process can be easily seen in small children as they are learning to read. As children struggle to interpret the words in storybooks, they quickly learn the benefits of sounding words out that they’ve never seen before. They tend to read long sentences with short words or short sentences with long words over and over again so that they get the “thought” of the sentence. Not only that, they often read the same books repeatedly. Children learn to do these things as a means of interpreting their storybook, and they are motivated to do these things because of a desire to understand what their storybook means.
In all communication, interpretation precedes meaning, which then leads to understanding.
As adults who have learned how to navigate this, we still apply certain principles in an effort to interpret things we read. The interpretive process for adults is more complicated as texts become more complicated—but adults still undergo the interpretive process.
Properly understood, hermeneutics is the “term used to identify the study of the principles [italics mine] of interpretation” and it assumes, without controversy, that a text means something. Things that lack meaning need not be interpreted. For instance, the sentence “her ingbatosh cried over the orange showaniyat arewisopate” need not be interpreted since it means nothing. But if a text can be interpreted, the act of interpretation itself assumes the text has meaning. This is because texts consist of grammatical sentences, which are the most fundamental units of meaning. In turn, sentences are made up of words that have their own definitions and or grammatical functions. Textual objectivity simply means that a text has a singular meaning precisely because words strung together in grammatically correct ways convey singular meaning.
Objectivity, in turn, assumes that reality is a real thing. That is to say, communication between persons occurs because reality is real, and people wish to interact with one another about it. When the passenger in a vehicle gently reminds the driver that a police car is behind them, the passenger is communicating to the driver that something real exists—the police car. When the passenger communicates to the driver “a police car is behind us,” the statement has a singular meaning; it may hold several implications and/or be significant to the driver on different levels, but the statement itself has one singular meaning. Words, in this sense, act as symbols and they point to real things—whether those things are conceptually real or actually real.
Again, children in the process of learning to read, illustrate this idea perfectly. Because of their lack of exposure to English words—and in many cases, their lack of exposure to things in reality—children have to make as many connections as possible between words and reality in order to obtain the meaning of a story. Therefore, for instance, an insightful adult will point to a picture of a cow and then point to the word cow so that the child can make the connection and understand that the word cow has a referent—in this case, the reference is the picture of the cow. Or an adult will point to a picture of a red streak and then point to the word red so that the child can make the connection and understand what red is. The whole enterprise of learning how to read assumes reality is real, and it involves making connections between words and the objects or concepts they point to.
No longer children, adults who have been reading English for quite sometime bring to interpretation their understanding of how words work in relationship to one another and to reality. The principles of interpretation can often be a more involved process when it comes to complex pieces of literature, but the process is, in some respects, still the same. Adults, for instance, bring their understanding of English grammar rules and the principles that govern metaphor, simile symbols, etc. They also bring their principles of how to distinct between materiality and immateriality when reading. All of these hermeneutical aids are part of the interpretive process—they help one find meaning in the text, which hopefully leads to understanding.
It is important to say that hermeneutics, in this case, biblical hermeneutics, is not an option—it is necessary in order to ascertain meaning. To this end, Thomas Howe notes “theologians and philosophers through the centuries have studied the practice of interpretation and endeavored to establish principles that would lead the interpreter to the meaning of the text.”
It has already been stated that hermeneutics concerns itself with the principles of interpretation, but to be sure interpretation, by itself, is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal of interpretation is meaning. Hermeneutics has in view this question: “what does this text mean?” For decades now, literary theorists, hermeneutic theorists, and philosophers of language have had lively discussions on the topic of meaning. What does meaning mean? For the purposes of this discussion, the question is a pointed one: Where is meaning found? When two people communicate, where is meaning located? Is it in the mind of the person speaking (or writing)? Is it in the mind of the person listening (or reading)? Or is it in neither, could meaning be located in what’s being said or the thing being read? 
For instance, as you read this chapter on Feminist Criticism, ask yourself: is the meaning of this chapter in the mind of the author (Dianna) or is it in your mind, the reader? If it is neither of those things—neither the author or the reader—could it actually be located in the text of the chapter itself. Is the meaning of this chapter somehow “in” the text?
There is no consensus among linguists today where the locus of meaning is to be found. Those who hold to the traditional view of meaning have understood it to be found in the text. They have opined that texts have objective meaning and words point to objective realities outside any one person’s mind. Reality, they say, makes texts meaningful—without it, texts would be meaningless. Therefore, for instance, when the passenger says “a police car is behind us” that statement means something because there is a police car behind the vehicle, and that statement remains objectively true as long as the police car remains behind the vehicle.
Since meaning has traditionally been understood to be in texts, principles of interpretation have traditionally proceeded via historical- critical methods. Historical-critical methods are all predicated on the belief that, one, the biblical text has objective meaning and two, people who approach the biblical text can find out what that meaning is. Historical-critical methods seem intuitively true; it seems intuitive that literature has objective meaning, but as we will soon see, most modern minds are doubtful of this very notion.
Literary Criticism of the biblical text began to become popular in the latter part of the twentieth century as scholars began to implement the insights of literary theory into interpretation. Literary theory, when applied to the biblical text, led to biblical scholars attending to the processes of a text’s production and interpretation.” Christina Bucher notes,
Influenced by reader-response approaches, biblical interpreters have for the most part abandoned the position that there is a single, correct interpretation of a biblical text, which can be discovered if one employs correctly the tools of the historical-critical method. . . . [reader response] interpretation depends upon both readers and texts and, therefore, interpretation is multivalent.
With the advent of literary criticism, the traditional view that biblical interpretation was objective slowly began its demise within biblical scholarship. Today, most biblical scholarship employs methods of interpretation that stem wholly from literary theory and its reader-oriented approach. Reader-oriented approaches are ones in which “readers do not search for a text’s meaning; they create meaning through the act of reading. . . . [literary critics] argue . . . biblical texts are processes, not products.” Feminist literary criticism, or feminist criticism, is one of the many approaches to textual interpretation using literary theory. Biblical feminist criticism is an approach to biblical interpretation that employs a particular feminist method to critique the biblical text. Because of its views of objectivity, feminist criticism challenges the idea of an objective method of biblical interpretation and questions that objective biblical truth is possible.
Dr. Norman Geisler notes that all forms of biblical criticism (including literary criticism) in the late twentieth century questioned seriously the notion of authority generally, and biblical authority specifically. Having been influenced by Immanuel Kant’s views that objective reality was inaccessible to the human mind, literary criticism’s main focus was a concern for the sources the biblical authors were alleged to have used, and it also dealt with questions relating to authorship unity and dating. 
While the guiding philosophical assumptions of literary criticism are outside the scope of this chapter to discuss in detail, suffice to say here that it ultimately led to biblical scholarship either outright ignoring or downplaying the text’s cultural and historical context; eventually, literary critics embraced the idea that pieces of literature were not in the business of making truth claims about reality.
This rejection of historical-critical methods of interpretation led to the view that meaning was found in a reader’s response to the text. Reader response theories of meaning are ones which posit that meaning is located in the mind of the person reading a text—or the mind of the person receiving the verbal communication. Feminist theologian Barbara Brown Zikmund writes “in current biblical study it is almost as important to examine the contemporary situation of the reader [italics mine] as it is to know the particular milieu that produced a text many centuries earlier.” Christina Bucher summarizes the shift well, pointing out that
Biblical interpreters have for the most part abandoned the position that there is a single, correct interpretation of a biblical text, which can be discovered if one employs correctly the tools of the historical-critical method. Rather, interpretation depends upon both readers and [emphasis added] . . . interpretation is multivalent. . . . Readers do not search for a text’s meaning; they create meaning through the act of reading.
Feminist theologians admit their rejection of textual objectivity. In Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Liberation, Mary Daly clarifies her methodology through which she hopes to deal with questions surrounding “religious symbols and concepts.”
I will begin my description with some indications of what my method is not. First of all it obviously is not that of a “kerygmatic theology,” which supposes some unique and changeless revelation peculiar to Christianity or to any religion. Neither is my approach that of a disinterested observer who claims to have an “objective knowledge about” reality. Nor is it an attempt to correlate with the existing cultural situation certain “eternal truths” which are presumed to have been captured as adequately as possible in a fixed and limited set of symbols [words]. None of these approaches can express the revolutionary potential of women’s liberation for challenging the forms in which consciousness incarnates itself and for changing consciousness.
One may be wondering why a discussion of hermeneutics and meaning have been inserted into a discussion of feminist criticism of the Bible. The reason is because it’s important to know that feminist criticism of the Bible, as evidenced by Mary Daly’s remarks above, embraces a reader response view of the text, rather than the traditional historical-critical method of interpretation. As we begin to discuss the feminist hermeneutic, as expressed by some of the most notable feminist scholars, it is instructive to remember that reader response theories of meaning are treated as incontrovertibly correct in feminist criticism of the Bible.
Before we turn to feminist hermeneutics, the author’s opinion in this matter should be clear. It is the opinion of the author that all reader response approaches to meaning are both philosophically and intuitively insufficient. A comprehensive philosophical critique cannot be given at this time, but think about the complications—practical and otherwise—that result from the view meaning is not objectively found in a text.
Number one, imagine being in a bookstore and upon perusing all the different sections, you land in the Astrology section—a topic you enjoy. As you walk down the aisle, a book with a very attractive cover catches your eye, so you decide to pick it up. After skimming through it very quickly, you come to realize the book is entirely about a very remote astrophysical thesis, and that there are whole chapters in it about the complex mathematical and chemical equations that make the remote astrophysical thesis a very probable one. What do you do? Do you continue skimming the book with the intent to purchase, or do you not? The vast majority of people will do the latter. They will place the book back on the shelf not because it isn’t attractive and not because they aren’t interested in Astrology; most people will put the book back where they found it because they know the chances are slim to none that the book will be meaningful to them—they don’t believe they’ll be able to understand all of the math and chemistry to make sense of anything. This is because, intuitively, people know that they derive meaning from text; this is why they flip through the book and skim the pages. People intuitively know a reader does not decide the meaning. Rarely will a person purchase a book she knows she has no chance of understanding but buys anyway because she plans to assign her own meaning to it. Practically speaking, we order our lives on this concept every day. Practically, we think the text has objective meaning every time we read cookbooks in the kitchen, traffic signs on the road, or poison warning labels on bottles.
Number two, we can also think about this in the context of verbal communication. When one person speaks to another person, she uses the words that she thinks are sufficient to convey a precise and specific meaning. In other words, people make deliberate choices about the words they use in order to convey the specific meaning they intend. When person A accuses person B of miscommunicating, the accusation being made by A is that B has failed to use words adequately, and doing that has resulted in a meaning that was never meant by B. Doing this creates the need for a clarifying conversation between A and B. It is never acceptable in verbal communication for person B to tell person A that her communication was altered by B to fit B’s internal motivations. On the other hand, when person C and person D are talking with one another, it is never acceptable for person C to assume that D has access to her mind, and can, therefore, read C’s intentions. If person C wants person D to understand her, C will do well to learn how to communicate meaningfully by using appropriately meaningful words.
The simple point being made is that we sense every day that meaning resides in words. Any time miscommunication takes place; people lay blame on the misuse of words (or not using enough of them) for the mixed messages that cross between people. If this were not the case, then no one could ever be charged with “sending mixed messages,” “misspeaking, being mean, rude, insensitive, etc., with their words.”
In addition, number three, notice the self-defeating position that feminist critics place themselves in when they proceed off the premise that texts lack objective meaning. Feminist critics go to great lengths to write commentaries and/or books on various scripture passages or aspects of Christianity because they feel those things are detrimental to women. Feminists throughout the ages have worked long and hard to present their views intelligently and articulately, hoping that their perspectives are understood and accepted as viable in the wider community. Feminist theologians hope that people will read their work and amend their perspectives about the Bible based on the persuasiveness of the arguments. It is hard to imagine a feminist theologian using valuable resources (time, money, effort) to write something that she has no expectation will be persuasive to other people.
Nevertheless, the question that arises from that desire is a poignant one, given their view that texts do not have objective meaning: why take the time to write if literature (their books and their articles) has no objective meaning? Are feminist critics the only ones who write objectively and meaningfully about their topic? Feminist critics of the Bible expect, and they should, that their words will be read and interpreted in a way that is consistent with the meaning they wished to convey when they wrote. So, for instance, when someone reads Rosemary Radford Ruther’s Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology and they come away from it with the understanding that her critical principle of feminist theology refers to her views on locomotion, for example, that would be an incorrect understanding— an objectively incorrect understanding of what Reuther meant by the concept. In fact, it is quite likely that if Reuther had the opportunity to correct someone’s misunderstanding of her critical principle, she would say her critical principle has been misunderstood, or that her work has been misinterpreted.
Mary Daly’s comment above from Beyond God the Father displays this self-defeating phenomenon just as well as Reuther’s does. She writes, “neither is my approach that of a disinterested observer who claims to have an “objective knowledge about” reality. Yet, Daly does have an objective view of reality. Her working assumptions as a feminist theologian assume an objective view of reality that insists traditional Christianity is both patriarchal and abusive. Her views about traditional Christianity being patriarchal are not just true for her; Daley thinks they are true even if one chooses to ignore them.
Though feminist critics go to great lengths to oppose textual objectivity, the notion is not as easy to get rid of as they imagine.
The Feminist Hermeneutic
The issues taken up by feminist theologians, just as the issues taken up by feminist philosophers, are varied. What unites the assumptions of both is recognition that (1) history has not been favorable to the acknowledgment of woman, and (2) men have had a direct role in shaping that history. In Sexism and God-Talk Ruether’s overall premise is that patriarchy has dominated all aspects of society, not the least of which is Christian theology; the book is her attempt to redeem basic biblical principles that are appropriate to feminist theology. Right in line with the thoughts of liberation theologians, Ruether believes any theology that diminishes the full humanity of women (and other oppressed groups) is not a divine revelation. That being the case, she wishes to extract from biblical principles alternative principles that are appropriate for the promotion of the full humanity of women.
Across a representative sample of feminist theologians, the thing that diminishes the full humanity of women is the same—it is the lack of recognition of women’s experiences. Ruether writes, “the uniqueness of feminist theology lies not in its use of the criterion of experiences but rather in its use of women’s experience, which has been almost entirely shut out of theological reflection in the past. The use of women’s experience in feminist theology, therefore, explodes as a critical force [italics mine].” Feminist theology is extremely committed to the notion of the value of experience as that relates to its essential role in the acquisition of human knowledge. The accusation levied against classical theology is that it has denigrated the role of experience, preferring to elevate “objectivity” instead. Ruether notes the disdain for objectivity well when she writes:
It is generally assumed by traditional theology that any experience let alone “women’s experience,” is merely a subjective and culture-bound source of ideas and cannot be compared with the objectivity of scripture, which discloses the “word of God” outside of, over, and against the subjectivity and sinful impulses of human experience. As a narrow and contemporary source, experience cannot compare with the accumulated weight of theological tradition. It is sheer impertinence to suggest that “women’s experience” can be used to judge scripture and theological tradition,”
Classical theology—with its claim to special revelatory experiences, its canonization of certain scriptures that are based on a hierarchy of acceptable experiences, its stance that adherents of the faith can “experience the divine”—imbibes, for feminist theology, the notion that human experience is infused within the Christian tradition at all levels of its existence. Since the interpretation of a text both begins and ends with human experience, she proposes the critical principle upon which Christian texts and traditions should be judged.
The critical principle of feminist theology is the promotion of the full humanity of women. Whatever denies, diminishes, or distorts the full humanity of women is, therefore, appraised as not redemptive [italics mine]. Theologically speaking, whatever diminishes or denies the full humanity of women must be presumed not to reflect [italics mine] the divine . . . This negative principle also implies the positive principle: what does promote the full humanity of women is of the Holy.
She goes on to say that:
This principle is hardly new. . . . the correlation of original, authentic human nature (imago dei/Christ) and diminished, fallen humanity provided the basic structure of classical Christian theology. The uniqueness of feminist theology is not the critical principle, fallen humanity, but the fact that women claim this principle for themselves. Women name themselves as subjects of authentic and full humanity. . . . [it has been the] naming of males as norms of authentic humanity [that] has caused women to be scapegoated for sin and marginalized in both original and redeemed humanity.
There is a lot that can be said about Ruether’s claims since they are fraught with unavoidably problematic conclusions and difficulties that undermine the veracity of feminist critical studies of the Bible. The first difficulty is a logical one; specifically, the self-defeating nature of the claim that experience is both the starting point and ending point of interpretation. Do you see it?
Ruether’s belief in a hermeneutical circle entails the notion that all knowledge begins is amended and ends with experience. Yet it seems Ruether fails to see how such a hermeneutical circle undermines her own objectives—as she advances all of her scholarly knowledge by critically assessing Christian texts and traditions and as she writes books and articles aiming to legitimate her experience of Christian texts and tradition as objectively true for everyone. Presumably, Reuther expects that those who do not share her experience of a particular data set—presumably, should accept her views she thinks her views should be accepted even by those who do not share in her experiences of “woman’s experience.” Yet at the very same time, she claims everyone’s knowledge of things begins with one’s personal experience.
Yet even with that said, Ruether’s position is not an unredeemable one since it turns out to be half-way correct. That is to say; the Christian tradition has been delivered through the experiences of certain individuals. Reuther says as much when she writes “what have been called the objective sources of theology; Scripture and tradition, are themselves codified collective human experience;” her point is that subjectivity has driven the formation of Christian tradition and canonization. Specifically, it has been male subjectivity that has driven the formation of Christian tradition and canonization.
Yet what Ruether misses is this: the entire process is not one that begins and ends in subjectivity simply because “Scripture and tradition” always refer back to some data that exists independent of the experience. Scripturally, the validity of reported experiences derives from whether they reflect and/or whether they focus back to an objective truth about a real reality. In a sense, it can be said that Scriptural tradition communicates real truth via human experience—authentically biblical revelation is never quite content communicating human experience just for the sake of communicating human experience.
At the base of this issue is category confusion between experience and propositional truth claims. Experiences, in themselves, are neither true nor false—they just are. If person A reports his experience of a thing to person B, B has no access to the experience and is consequently unable to verify it for herself. All she can do is either trust or distrust that A is reporting accurately of an experience that is meaningful to him; she makes a choice whether to act or not act on said experience based on her trust of A. But if person A makes a truth claim—claims that something is true or that it is false—tied to an experience, person B has the ability corroborate the claim since she has access to reality, enough to conclude that A’s statement (and probable/improbable experience) of it is “true” or “false.” Experiences, by themselves, are neither true nor false, they just are—unless said experiences are somehow tethered to reality in a meaningful way.
One caveat should be made at this point: an experience, which cannot be tethered to objective truth (reality), can still be a meaningful experience. But only for the one who experienced it. Individuals can and do have subjectively meaningful experiences; there are biblical instances in which individuals had experiences that were deeply meaningful to them. Notwithstanding, individual experiences are not the grounds upon which Christian theology or tradition rest—experiences serve, in some sense, as evidence and/or supplements to claims that assert themselves as objective truths.
This, then, leads to the next point, which is this: an experience of an event is not true or false by virtue of it being expressed by a certain gender. In other words, feminist theology sees it as very problematic that the Scriptures appear to codify male experiences as if male experiences are intrinsically false or illicit by virtue of being male. On the opposite side, feminist theology sees women’s experiences as inherently valuable and legitimate just by virtue them belonging to women.
It bears repeating: an experience of an event is not true or false by virtue of it being expressed by a certain gender.
In fact, the very notion of women’s experience is arguably the most contested concept of feminist criticism. There simply is no consensus among feminist theologians what constitutes “women’s experience.” Reuther’s view is that it describes more than just the biological differences between men and women; she sees it as that which is “free” from male bias and/or patriarchal influence given that patriarchal society continuously imposes a male hermeneutic upon women causing women to interpret their experiences as women through male dominated culture.” (Notice once again the portrayal of women as “victims” unable to move as free agents in the world except for the guiding force of patriarchal culture to “help” them sort through their experiences as women. One might even suggest their perpetual references to women as “helpless” and “dominated” effects the very treatment/image that feminists are fighting against!) Even within the ranks of feminist theologians, there is no consensus concerning the concept of women’s experience. Grace Jantzen (d. 2006), a feminist philosopher and theologian, had “little time for the work of the pioneering feminist theologians . . . [because of their] philosophically naïve appeals to “women’s experience’ as privatized and . . . [their failure] to acknowledge the “irreducibly diverse” nature of the many variables in women’s lives (race, class, sexual orientation). Linda Woodhead notes that the “uncritical dependence upon ‘women’s experience’ gives the impression that the nothing is unproblematic and uncontested. Nothing, I think, could be further from the truth.” Further critiquing the notion of women’s experience, Woodhead goes on to say:
Feminist theologians assume that religion comes after experience. They believe this to be true of language too. Both, they say, represent the process whereby concepts and symbols are imposed upon experience in an attempt to understand and to communicate it. . . . Moreover, concepts and symbols have authority primarily for the individual who imposed them—other individuals must be free to ‘concretise’ (sic) their experience in their own ways and to ‘re-image’ concepts and symbols at will. But this conception of experience as private and pre-linguistic fails to account for the complex and diverse ways in which knowledge is actually acquired, and it ignore the essentially social (or ‘textualised’) (sic) nature of the process. It is by being members of communities and by being formed by texts and traditions that we come to knowledge: contrary to the belief of much feminist theology, we do not have pre-social, pre-linguistic and pre-cultural ‘experiences’ and then shape tradition, texts and community of them. I do not spin God out of my own private experience of the divine; I know God because he was manifest in Jesus Christ, and because the scripture, tradition and community which formed me bear witness to Him. I may indeed be blessed with ‘a religious experience,’ but I only know it to be such . . . because I am able to ‘test the Spirit’ against what tradition and community tell me of God. Never could the latter [experience] be entirely private in the way which feminist theology suggests.
All this notwithstanding, feminist theology remains content to implement women’s experience as the basis of its textual critique. Aware of the elusiveness of the concept, feminist theologian Margaret A Farley attempts to offer another means of criticizing the biblical text. She writes,
for those who are reluctant to bring to scripture what seems to be a measure for its meaning and authority, [women’s experiences] one solution suggests itself in the face of a seeming dilemma. That is, it might be argued that scripture itself [italics added] provides the basis for feminist consciousness. True discernment of the biblical witness yields feminist insights, which in turn become principles of interpretation for the rest of scripture. In other words, convictions regarding the full humanity of women emerge precisely from the bringing of women’s experience to the address of scripture [italics added].
Yet Farley’s attempt to validate the methodological efficacy of “women’s experience” fares no better than Reuther’s. The first problem with her solution is this: if interpretation of scripture is necessary in order to know what the text means—and it is necessary—then it cannot be true that “scripture itself” provides a basis since “scripture itself” is the very thing that needs interpreting. In other words, how would one know which scriptures provide a basis for feminist consciousness without first interpreting the scripture to make sure they are sufficient? Farley’s argument is a circular one. The second problem with her solution is equally problematic since it begs the question. “Women’s experience,” as a critical method, entails the idea woman has been excluded from full humanity. So it comes as no surprise that when one brings women’s experience to Scripture, one will emerge with convictions regarding her full humanity. Begging the question always brings the expected conclusions, but those conclusions are not in any way logically compelling—since they have been brought about by committing a logical fallacy in the argument.
Thus far we have seen the failure of feminist criticism to produce a viable methodology, since it falls short on multiple grounds: (1) its inability to reach methodological consensus on what woman’s experience is, (2) its inability to produce a body of work free from the objectivity it claims has tainted the western theological tradition, and (3) its inability to avoid lines of argumentation that are fraught with informal fallacies. These are all legitimate reasons that ought to give pause to the discipline as an academically valid one.
What is His Name?
In the previous section, it was demonstrated that the hermeneutic employed by feminist theologians is driven by a number of working assumptions including but not limited to: (1) a belief that texts communicate subjective experiences rather than objective knowledge (2) a belief that meaning is primarily driven by how readers respond to a text given their subjective points of view and (3) the inherent oppressive structures of religion work to promote patriarchy and the oppression of women in male dominated society.
Granting these beliefs, it stands to reason that the most contentious issue in feminist theology today concerns language; specifically, the male-dominated images and words traditionally used to describe God promote both social and psychological woman oppression. Biblical references to God such as King, Son, Father, Master, Ruler etc. further demonstrate a tacit approval of patriarchy and oppression. In Beyond God the Father Mary Daly writes
The symbol of the Father God, spawned in the human imagination and sustained as plausible by patriarchy, has in turn rendered service to this type of society [patriarchal society] by making its mechanisms for the oppression of women appear right and fitting. If God in “his” heaven is a father ruling “his” people, then it is in the “nature” of things and according divine plan and the order of the universe that society be male-dominated.
Those committed to the idea that biblical language engenders intrinsic patriarchal structures believe that by replacing male dominated God-language with new metaphors and images, woman oppression can be reversed.
Such reformers come with four types of proposals: (1) all references to the Divine should reflect a female deity; (2) female imagery should be incorporated along with male imagery when talking about God; (3) non-gender images and/or language should be used exclusively of God and (4) a composite of the former two options. Before we begin our discussion of male-dominated language, we would do well to unpack more this notion of oppression, since inherent within the very notion of the idea is an observation that derails the feminist cause from the outset.
Broadly speaking, two ideologies stand behind the notion oppression, such that looking at the ideologies themselves allow for a thorough understanding of the concept. The two ideologies that stand in the back of the concept are what may largely be construed as (1) Humanistic or Darwinian ideologies and (2) a Christian theistic ideology. By looking at each of these, the goal is to find out whether one, both, or neither promote the feminist claim that Christian Scriptures and tradition endorse female oppression.
I will begin by looking at the issue of oppression through the lenses of Humanism/Darwinism. Roughly speaking, Darwinism is a collection of ideas, which posit that in any given environment the strong survive to future generations while those who are weak in that given environment do not survive to future generations. Known by the moniker, “survival of the fittest,” Darwinism hinges on the notion that not only is this “weeding out” of the weak a natural process, but it is also a necessary one. Social Darwinism posits the same idea that biological Darwinism does—that in the social world, those who “rise to the top” of the social ladder do so because they possess something inherently stronger that the weak don’t.
On a Darwinian view, those who rise to the top are to be expected to rise to the top.
Yet when stated this way, immediately one sees the difficulty that Darwinists run into. If, according to Darwinism, it is natural and necessary that one group will “outlast” another group or one group will become “subject” to a stronger one, then what basis do the weak have for complaining that they are being outlasted? In the context of social Darwinism, why would there be angst when Darwinian principles run their course and a certain group experiences oppression? Darwinians should expect for a group in society to be oppressed, and truth be told they should expect female oppression since history has shown that, as a group, men are stronger than women to the extent that they can effect change by force, if necessary.
The irony is that most Darwinists do have a problem with oppression. They believe—and rightly so!—that oppression is wrong and that women should not be oppressed.
A Christian theistic view envisions the nature of oppression differently. A Christian theist perspective believes that all forms of oppression are wrong and that people ought not to use or abuse other people for personal gain. The differences between men and women are clear—there are emotional, psychological, cognitive, behavioral and biological ones—but those differences are meant to be complementary. Differences, in themselves, do not entail oppression. And while feminist theologians eschew Christian theism, in theory, it is not always easy to ascertain which aspects of Christian theology they accept and which aspects they question. It seems “common,” notes Woodhead, “for feminist theologians to hold it [their feminist commitments] as a more basic commitment than their commitment to Christianity . . . [where their critique] becomes a rather formalistic exercise in weighing up Christianity against [italics mine] an externally imposed, externally derived and unquestionable standard.”
What does all this mean for feminist theologians who propose that by changing the ways in which we talk about God, oppression will be eradicated? The Christian theistic view seems to suggest that because sinful nature is the cause of oppression—and every human person has a sinful nature—the subjugation of another for one’s own benefit is likely to continue. If on the chance men lose the ability to oppress, the task is likely to be taken up by women. But surely the oppression of men is no better than the oppression of women. With all this being said, I will now consider the proposal offered by feminist theologians that the exclusively male language used to talk about God promotes oppression and if changed, will lead to its extinction.
Is Israel’s God a Man?
According to feminist theology, the gender of Israel’s God is decidedly male. Number one, the divine name YHWH is consistently translated into English in the masculine gender; and number two, the imagery and titles used of God in the biblical text are decidedly masculine. For instance, God is referred to as a heavenly father, not a heavily mother.
Any discussion on the consistent practice of translating God’s name using male language requires a working knowledge of linguistics and how language works. The Hebrew language, just like Latin and French, is grammatically gendered languages—in other words, the nouns in Hebrew are assigned a grammatical gender—either masculine, feminine, or neuter. In gendered languages, it is customary that nouns indicating male beings are masculine in grammatical gender, and nouns indicating female beings are feminine in grammatical gender. However, outside of this, there exists no necessary relationship between the grammatical gender of a word and the sex of the object. In other words, there is no relationship between actual gender and grammatical gender in Hebrew or any other gendered language. By way of example, French is a moderately gendered language; its nouns are either grammatically masculine or feminine. The term le chien is masculine, and it means “the dog.” But dogs are sexed, and in reality exist as either male or female. This illustrates the point that in a gendered language, grammatical gender is not ever a statement about an object’s biological sex.
English, unlike Hebrew, is not a gendered language. While English recognizes the same three genders that Hebrew does (masculine, feminine, and neuter) the gender of a noun in English is notional as opposed to grammatical. The sex of a noun usually coincides with the sex of the object. To this end, English employs certain words (3rd person pronouns) to indicate a noun’s sex and has grammar rules that reinforce the idea. So for instance, we all remember the grammar rule which states that the gender of a pronoun must agree with the gender of the noun it replaces. We know this rule so well that we immediately notice when it’s violated. The sentence “Mark and her friend John went to the library” is noticed by the ear because a pronoun (her) and noun (Mark) are in disagreement with one another and the sentence forces us to wonder if Mark is female. We immediate know that a grammatically correct sentence should read “Mark and his friend went to the library.”
Suffice to say that in English there are a group of words (her, his, him, he, she, it) that have no content on their own; instead, they grammatically point to their noun-antecedent.
What does all this mean for feminist theology? The first thing that must be acknowledged is grammatically masculine words do not entail actual sex. This is a simple linguistic rule of all gendered languages. The fact that the word for God in Hebrew (YHWH) is grammatically masculine does not in any way entail that God’s sex is male. Responsible translation requires that a word of a certain grammatical gender in one language be translated with personal pronouns that agree with the grammatical construction in the original language. And it isn’t controversial to say that translation should never be violated to conform to ideological and/or political commitments.
Yet even while this is the case, it is glaringly true that the Scriptures portray God as masculine, and that when feminine imagery is used of God, such imagery is subordinate to the masculine characterizations. While that is uncompromisingly true, feminist theologians would do well to remember that the clear theological teaching of the church has never been obfuscated by the linguistic necessities of written language. Both Scriptures and Christian tradition assert that God is not a man and that he transcends biological classification.
Feminist Theology and Jesus
Many feminists reject the Trinity on the grounds that it exemplifies another instance of predominately male imagery. Equally problematic for feminist theology is that Christian theology images the Trinity as a hierarchical ordering where the Father is “over” the Son and the Son and Father are “over” the Spirit. Both of these things, in feminist theological circles, promote patriarchy and the continued existence of institutional structures of oppression so that men can continue to exert authority “over” others.
Feminist theology is divided when it comes to the second person in the Trinity, Jesus. Feminist theologians acknowledge there are instances in which he treated women well, but there are also instances in which he acts less than “divine” in his treatment of women. No matter what end of the spectrum one places themselves on, it does not go beyond notice to feminist theologians that Jesus’ sex reinforces the charge of patriarchy in Christianity, given that a male is “sent” to save woman, redeem her, and “name” her as part of the new Christian community.
The fact of Jesus’s maleness is often viewed as a negative. Some wonder if God is beyond male and female, why could Jesus not come to Earth as a woman to show that both male and female are accounted for in divinity? In my final point of this chapter, I would like to suggest that Jesus’ maleness holds implications that are in the interests of women, and communicate something about the worth and value that God ascribes to them.
It is a historical truth that the second person of the Trinity came to the Earth as a male baby who grew into a man. Throughout his life, Jesus was committed to performing the works he was sent to do. His ultimate assignment was to secure salvation by way of his substitutionary death. In the last week of his life, an all-male Jewish council condemned him to death, and he was subsequently stripped, brutally beaten, whipped, and adorned with a crown made of thorns, all this done by men of the Roman guard. Forced to carry a cross that he ultimately could not bear the burden of, Jesus arrived at the crucifixion site where soldiers methodically and expertly drove nails through his wrists and feet. Hanging on the cross for several hours, one last death blow was felt when a spear was plunged into his side.
The interesting and relevant question to ask is this: what if Jesus had been a woman? Would feminist theologians today really be content with a female Jesus enduring the type of suffering seen above? For the sake of gender equality in the Trinity, would they support the idea that a woman’s brutal death and victorious resurrection now serves as a sign of redemption? I humbly submit the answer is a resounding “no.” I contend that feminist theologians would be united in the view that no woman should have to endure the type of suffering and agonizing death that Jesus endured. Charges of Christianity instantiating the most horrific forms of misogyny would abound if Jesus had been a woman, not to mention the message it would send as that relates to violence against women and all that that entails. In the end, feminist theology leaves itself in a “no-win” situation as that relates to the gender of God incarnate.
In this chapter, I have shown that feminist criticism of the Bible creates problems that are impossible to solve given the working assumption of its critical method. It is my contention that these working assumptions are too faulty to be of any redeemable value. As noted by Linda Woodhead, “feminist theology has failed to be sufficiently theological” and only time will tell whether feminist theology will orient itself to the problems of its working assumptions, or ultimately surrender its viability as a functional option. The hope is that it will be the former and that feminist theologians everywhere would find the life-giving meaning and significance in what is held to the unabated Word of God.
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Andrews has written The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality. This tool is for both man and woman, husband and wife, all Christians who will marry one day and those who have been married for some time. The fallen world that we live in is fertile ground for immorality. The grass always seems greener somewhere away from one’s own spouse. Adultery is something everyone should avoid. It destroys more than just marriages, it destroys a person’s life, family and most importantly their relationship with God. Such is the danger of adultery that the Bible strongly warns every man and woman against it. The world that we currently live in is very vile, and sexual morality is no longer a quality that is valued. What can Christians do to stay safe in such an influential world that caters to the fallen flesh? What can help the husband and wife relationship to flourish as they cultivate a love that will survive the immoral world that surrounds them? We might have thought that a book, like God’s Word that is 2,000-3,500 years old would be out of date on such modern issues, but the Bible is ever applicable. The Biblical Guide to Avoid the Pitfalls of Sexual Immorality will give us the biblical answers that we need.
WHAT IS A MIRACLE? It is an event that goes beyond all known human and natural powers and is generally attributed to some supernatural power. Why should YOU be interested in miracles?
“Miracles, by definition, violate the principles of science.”—RICHARD DAWKINS.
“Belief in miracles is entirely rational. Far from being an embarrassment to religious faith, they are signs of God’s love for, and continuing involvement in, creation.”—ROBERT A. LARMER, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY.
SHOULD YOU believe in miracles? As we can see from the above quotations, opinions vary considerably. But how could you convincingly answer that question?
Some of YOU may immediately answer, “Yes, I believe.” Others might say, “No, I don’t believe.” Then, there are some who may say, “I don’t know, and I really don’t care! Miracles don’t happen in my life!” Really, why should YOU be interested in miracles? The Bible promises its readers that in the future some miracles far beyond all ever recorded or experienced is going to occur and will affect every living person on earth. Therefore, would it not be worth some of your time and energy to find out whether those promises are reliable? What does God’s Word really teach about miracles of Bible times, after that, our day, and the future?
Andrews, an author of over 100 books, has chosen the 40 most beneficial Proverbs, to give the readers an abundance of wise, inspired counsel to help them acquire understanding and safeguard their heart, “for out of it are the sources of life.” (4:23) GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS sets things straight by turning the readers to Almighty God. Each Proverb is dealt with individually, giving the readers easy to understand access to what the original language really means. This gives the readers what the inspired author meant by the words that he used. After this, the reader is given practical guidance on how those words can be applied for maneuvering through life today. GODLY WISDOM with its instruction and counsel never go out of date.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth of how you too can have a share in the power of God. With THE POWER OF GOD as your guide, you will discover your strengths and abilities that will make you steadfast in your walk with God. You can choose to rise to a new level and invite God’s power by focusing on The Word That Will Change Your Life Today.
Herein Andrews will answer the “why.” He will address whether God is responsible for the suffering we see. He will also delve into whether God’s foreknowledge is compatible with our having free will. He will consider how we can objectively view Bible evidence, as he answers why an almighty, loving and just God would allow bad things to happen to good people. Will there ever be an end to the suffering? He will explain why life is so unfair and does God step in and solve our every problem because we are faithful? He will also discuss how the work of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should be understood in the light of wickedness. Lastly, Andrews will also offer biblical counsel on how we can cope when any tragedy strikes, …
GOD knows best. Nobody surpasses him in thought, word, or action. As our Creator, he is aware of our needs and supplies them abundantly. He certainly knows how to instruct us. And if we apply divine teaching, we benefit ourselves and enjoy true happiness. Centuries ago, the psalmist David petitioned God: “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me” (Psalm 25:4-5) God did this for David, and surely He can answer such a prayer for His present-day servants.
Whom do we lean upon when facing distressing situations, making important decisions, or resisting temptations? With good reason, the Bible admonishes us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways know him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) Note the expression “do not lean upon your own understanding.” It is followed by “In all your ways know him.” God is the One with a truly sound mind. Thus, it follows that whenever we are faced with a decision, we need to turn to the Bible to see what God’s view is. This is how we acquire the mind of Christ.
Yes, God will be pleased to give you strength. He even gives “extraordinary power” to those who are serving him. (2 Cor. 4:7) Do you not feel drawn to this powerful Almighty God, who uses his power in such kind and principled ways? God is certainly a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:30) You understand that he does not use his power to protect you from all tragedy now. He does, however, always use his protective power to ensure the outworking of his will and purpose. In the long run, his doing so is in your best interests. Andrews shares a profound truth …
All of us will go through difficult times that we may not fully understand. The apostle Paul wrote, “in the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Those difficulties are part of the human imperfection (Rom. 5:12) and living in a fallen world that is ruled by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3-4). But when we find ourselves in such a place, it’s crucial that we realize God has given us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13) Edward Andrews writes that if we remain steadfast in our faith and apply God’s Word correctly when we go through difficult times, we will not only grow spiritually, but we will …
Why should you be interested in the prophecy recorded by Daniel in chapter 11 of the book that bears his name? The King of the North and the King of the South of Daniel are locked in an all-out conflict for domination as a world power. As the centuries pass, turning into millenniums, first one, then the other, gains domination over the other. At times, one king rules as a world power while the other suffers destruction, and there are stretches of time where there is no conflict. But then another battle abruptly erupts, and the conflict begins anew. Who is the current King of the North and the King of the South? Who are the seven kings or kingdoms of Bible history in Revelation chapter 17? We are living in the last days that the apostle Paul spoke of, when he said, “difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1-7) How close we are to the end of these last days, wherein we will enter into the Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ spoke of (Matt. 24:21), no one can know for a certainty. However, Jesus and the New Testament authors have helped to understand the signs of the times and …
The theme of Andrews’ new book is “YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.” As a Christian, you touch the lives of other people, wherein you can make a positive difference. Men and women of ancient times such as David, Nehemiah, Deborah, Esther, and the apostle Paul had a positive influence on others by caring deeply for them, maintaining courageous faith, and displaying a mild, spiritual attitude. Christians are a special people. They are also very strong and courageous for taking on such an amazingly great responsibility. But if you can make a difference, be it with ten others or just one, you will have done what Jesus asked of you, and there is no more beautiful feeling. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE with joy.
Many have successfully conquered bad habits and addictions by applying suggestions found in the Bible and by seeking help from God through prayer. You simply cannot develop good habits and kick all your bad ones overnight. See how to establish priorities. Make sure that your new habits work for you instead of your old bad habits against you. It is one thing to strip off the old habits, yet quite another to keep them off. How can we succeed in doing both, no matter how deeply we may have been involved in bad habitual practices?
It may seem to almost all of us that we are either entering into a difficult time, living in one, or just getting over one and that we face one problem after another. This difficulty may be the loss of a loved one in death or a severe marriage issue, a grave illness, the lack of a job, or simply the stress of daily life. As Christians, we need to understand that God’s Word will carry us through these times, as we maintain our integrity whether in the face of tremendous trials or the tension of everyday life. We are far better facing these hurdles of life with the help of God, who can make the worst circumstances much better and more bearable.
The world that you live in today has many real reasons to be fearful. Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol, bringing violence into even the safest communities. Terrorism has plagued the world for more than a decade now. Bullying in schools has caused many teen suicides. The divorce rate even in Christian households is on the rise. Lack of economic opportunity and unemployment is prevalent everywhere. Our safety, security, and well-being are in danger at all times. We now live in a prison of fear to even come outside the protection of our locked doors at home. Imagine living where all these things existed, but you could go about your daily life untouched by fear and anxiety. What if you could be courageous and strong through your faith in these last days? What if you could live by faith not fear? What if insight into God’s Word could remove your fear, anxiety, and dread? Imagine a life of calmness, peace, unconcern, confidence, comfort, hope, and faith. Are you able to picture a life without fear? It is possible.
John 3:16 is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible. It has also been called the “Gospel in a nutshell,” because it is considered a summary of the central theme of traditional Christianity. Martin Luther called John 3:16 “The heart of the Bible, the Gospel in miniature.” The Father had sent his Son to earth to be born as a human baby. Doing this meant that for over three decades, his Son was susceptible to the same pains and suffering as the rest of humankind, ending in the most gruesome torture and execution imaginable. The Father watched the divine human child Jesus grow into a perfect man. He watched as John the Baptist baptized the Son, where the Father said from heaven, “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17) The Father watched on as the Son faithfully carried out his will, fulfilling all of the prophecies, which certainly pleased the Father.–John 5:36; 17:4. …
This commentary volume is part of a series by Christian Publishing House (CPH) that covers all of the sixty-six books of the Bible. These volumes are a study tool for the pastor, small group biblical studies leader, or the churchgoer. The primary purpose of studying the Bible is to learn about God and his personal revelation, allowing it to change our lives by drawing closer to God. The Book of James volume is written in a style that is easy to understand. The Bible can be difficult and complex at times. Our effort herein is to make it easier to read and understand, while also accurately communicating truth. CPH New Testament Commentary will convey the meaning of the verses in the book of Philippians. In addition, we will also cover the Bible background, the custom and culture of the times, as well as Bible difficulties. …
SECTION 1 Surviving Sexual Desires and Love will cover such subjects as What Is Wrong with Flirting, The Pornography Deception, Peer Pressure to Have Sexual Relations, Coping With Constant Sexual Thoughts, Fully Understanding Sexting, Is Oral Sex Really Sex, …SECTION 2 Surviving My Friends will cover such subjects as Dealing with Loneliness, Where Do I Fit In, Why I Struggle with Having Friends, …SECTION 3 Surviving the Family will cover such subjects as Appreciating the House Rules, Getting Along with My Brothers and Sisters, How Do I Find Privacy, … SECTION 4 Surviving School will cover such subjects as How Do I Deal With Bullies, How Can I Cope With School When I Hate It, … SECTION 5 Surviving Who I Am will cover such subjects as Why Do I Procrastinate, … SECTION 6 Surviving Recreation will cover such subjects as … SECTION 7 Surviving My Health will cover such subjects as How Can I Overcome My Depression, …
Who should read THIRTEEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP LIVING? Anyone who is struggling in their walk as a young person. Anyone who has a friend who is having difficulty handling or coping with their young life, so you can offer them the help they need. Any parent who has young ones. And grade school, junior high or high school that wants to provide an, in touch, anti-suicide message to their students. … Many youths say that they would never dream of killing themselves. Still, they all have the deep feeling that there are no reasons for going on with their lives. Some have even hoped that some sort of accident would take their pain away for them. They view death as a release, a way out, a friend, not their enemy. …
The purpose of Waging War is to guide the youth of this program from start to finish in their therapeutic efforts to gain insight into their patterns of thinking and beliefs that have led to the current outcomes in their life thus far and enable them to change the path which they are on. Waging War is a guide to start the youth with the most basic information and work pages to the culmination of all of the facts, scripture, and their newly gained insight to offer a more clear picture of where they are and how to change their lives for the better. Every chapter will have work pages that Freeman has used and had found to be useful in therapy, but most importantly, this workbook will teach the Word to a population that does not hear it in its’ most correct form. What is the significance of controlling ones’ thoughts and how does that apply to you? Doubts, fears, and insecurities come from somewhere, especially when they are pervasive. Understanding this idea will help one to fight those thoughts and free them from the shackles their mind puts around their hearts, preventing them from achieving their dreams and the plans God had intended for them when they were created.
There are many reasons the Christian view of humanity is very important. The Christian view of humanity believes that humans were created in the image of God. We will look at the biblical view of humanity. We are going to look at the nature of man, the freedom of man, the personality of man, the fall of man, the nature of sin and death, as well as why God has allowed sin to enter into the world, as well as all of the wickedness and suffering that came with it. Andrews will answer the following questions and far more. How does the Bible explain and describe the creation of man and woman? Why is it imperative that we understand our fallen condition? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? …
In FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM, Edward D. Andrews offers practical and biblical insights on a host of Christian spiritual growth struggles, from the challenge of forgiveness to eating disorders, anger, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, pornography, masturbation, same-sex attraction, and many others. Based on Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV): “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” Andrews’ text works from the position that if we can change the way that we think, we can alter the way we feel, which will modify the way we behave. FOR AS I THINK IN MY HEART – SO I AM offers far more than self-help to dozens of spiritual struggles, personal difficulties, and mental disorders. It will benefit Christian and non-Christian alike. The Scriptural advice and counsel coupled with cognitive behavioral therapy will be helpful even if every chapter is not one of your struggles. For As I Think in My Heart enables readers to examine the lies and half-truths …
THERE IS A GENUINE HAPPINESS, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we have a moral law that was written on our heart. (Rom. 2:14-15) However, at the same time, we have a warring against the law of our mind and taking us captive in the law of sin, which is in our members. (Rom. 7:21-25) When we live by the moral law, it brings us joy, when we live by the law of sin; it brings about distress, anxiety, regrets to both mind and heart, creating a conflict between our two natures. In our study of the Bible, we can interact with a living God who wants a personal relationship with us. And in APPLYING GOD’S WORD MORE FULLY, we will learn how to engage His words like never before. Andrews helps his readers …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, which is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17) From the moment that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, humans have been brought forth in sin, having become more and more mentally bent toward evil, having developed a heart (i.e., inner person) that is treacherous, and unknowable to them, with sin’s law dwelling within them. Sadly, many of us within the church have not been fully informed …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
This book is primarily for WIVES, but husbands will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS. It offers wives the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. WIVES learn that marriage is a gift from God. WIVEStake in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. WIVES will be able to make Christian marriage a success. WIVES will maintain an honorable marriage. WIVES will see how to submit correctly to Christ’s headship. WIVES will learn how to strengthen their marriage through good communication. …
This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES. It offers husbands the best insights into a happy marriage, by way of using God’s Word as the foundational guide, along with Andrews’ insights. HUSBANDS learn that marriage is a gift from God. HUSBANDS take in information that will help them survive the first year of marriage. HUSBANDS will be able to make Christian marriage a success. HUSBANDS will maintain an honorable marriage. …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change. Some of the questions that Anderson will answer are: What are the technological challenges of the 21st century? How should we think about the new philosophies like transhumanism? Should we be concerned about big data? What about our privacy in a world where government and corporations have some much information about us? How should we think about a world experiencing exponential growth in data and knowledge? What social trends are affecting baby boomers, baby busters, and millennials?
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers. The thirteen chapters in this book not only look at the broad founding principles but also provide an in-depth look at other important political and governmental issues. One section explains the history and application of church and state issues. Another section describes aspects of political debate and discourse. A final section provides a brief overview of the Christian heritage of this nation that was important in the founding of this country and the framing of our founding documents.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day …
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Each of the twenty-five chapters in the POWER THROUGH PRAYER provides helpful methods and suggestions for growing and improving your prayer life with God through the power of prayer. So, what can we expect if we make prayer a part of our life? Prayer can give you a peace of mind. Prayer can comfort and strength when facing trials. Prayer can help us make better life choices. The Bible says: “If any of you lacks wisdom [especially in dealing with trials], let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) Prayer can help to avoid temptation. Prayer is the path yo forgiveness of sins. Your prayers can help others. You will receive encouragement when your prayers are answered.
DOZENS OF QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED: Why is prayer necessary? What must we do to be heard by God? How does God answer our prayers? Does God listen to all prayers? Does God hear everyone’s prayers? What may we pray about? Does the Father truly grant everything we ask for? What kind of prayers would the Father reject? How long should our prayers be? How often should we pray? Why should we say “Amen” at the end of a prayer? Must we assume a special position or posture when praying? There are far more than this asked and answered.
What forms of prayer do you personally need to offer more often? Who benefits when you pray for others? Why is it important to pray regularly? Why should true Christians pray continually? To whom should we pray, and how? What are the proper subjects for prayer? When should you pray? Does God listen to all prayers? Whose prayers is God willing to hear? What could make a person’s prayers unacceptable to God? When Jesus says, “whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive if you have faith,” an absolute guarantee that we will receive it? HOW TO PRAY by Torrey and Andrews is a spiritual gem that will answer all of these questions and far more. HOW TO PRAY is a practical guidebook covers the how, when, and most importantly, the way of praying. An excellent devotional resource for any Christian library.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Some of the questions asked and answered in THE YOUNG CHRISTIAN’S SURVIVAL GUIDE are “You claim the Bible is inspired because it says it is, right (2 Tim. 3:16)? Isn’t that circular reasoning?” “You claim the Bible was inspired, but there was no inspired list of which books that is true of. So how can we know which ones to trust?” “With so many different copies of manuscripts that have 400,000+ variants (errors), how can we even know what the Bible says?” “Why can’t the people who wrote the four Gospels get their story straight?” These questions and many more will be asked and answered with reasonable, rational, Scriptural answers.
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. JESUS CHRIST The Great Teacher will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. What a privilege it is to be a teacher of God’s Word and to share spiritual values that can have long-lasting benefits!
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Preacher, Teacher, Apologist will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods. When it comes to teaching, genuine Christians have a special responsibility. We are commanded to “make disciples of all nations . . . , teaching them.” (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8)
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis – Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars questioned the writership of Isaiah, and are they correct? When did skepticism regarding the writership of Isaiah begin, and how did it spread? What dissecting of the book of Isaiah has taken place? When did criticism of the book of Daniel begin, and what fueled similar criticism in more recent centuries? What charges are sometimes made regarding the history in Daniel? Why is the question of the authenticity of the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel an important one? What evidence is there to show that the books of Moses, the Book of Isaiah and the Book of Daniel is authentic and true? Do these critics have grounds for challenging these Bible author’s authenticity and historical truthfulness? Why is it important to discuss whether Old Testament Aurhoriship is authentic and true or not?
Who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? If Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, then how was his own death and burial written in Deuteronomy Chapter 34? Many mainstream Bible scholars argue that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch since he likely existed many centuries earlier than the development of the Hebrew language. When was the origin of the Hebrew language? Popular scholarship says that if Moses had written the Pentateuch, he would have written in the Egyptian language, not the Hebrew. Moreover, most of the Israelites and other people of the sixteenth century B.C.E. were illiteral, so who could have written the Torah, and for whom would it be written because the people of that period did not read?
Finally, analysis of the first five books demonstrates multiple authors, not just one, which explains the many discrepancies. Multiple authors also explain the many cases of telling of the same story twice, making the same events appear to happen more than once. The modern mainstream scholarship would argue that within the Pentateuch we see such things as preferences for certain words, differences in vocabulary, reoccurring expressions in Deuteronomy that are not found in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, all evidence for their case for multiple authors.
What does the evidence say? What does archaeology, linguistic analysis, historical studies, textual analysis, and insights from Egyptologists tell us? Again, who wrote the first five books of the Bible? Was it Moses or was it others centuries later? Andrews offers his readers an objective view of the evidence.
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim Agabus as an illustration of their convictions. This study defends the position that Agabus’ prophecies are true in every detail. Beginning with a survey of major figures in the debate, the author conducts an exegetical analysis of passages where Agabus appears in defense of the infallible view.
Islam is making a significant mark on our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers. This book provides practical, biblical answers so Christians can understand Islam, witness to their Muslim friends, and support efforts by the government to protect all of us from terrorism.
IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform them, as a protection again the misleading media. The non-Muslims need to hear these truths about Islam and the Quran so they can have an accurate understanding of the Muslim mindset that leads to their actions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Radical Islam has taken the world by storm, and the “fake media” has genuinely misled their audience for the sake of political correctness. This book is not a dogmatic attack on Islam and the Quran but rather an uncovering of the lies and describing of the truths. The reader will be introduced to the most helpful way of viewing the evidence objectively. We will answer the question of whether the Quran is a literary miracle, as well as is there evidence that the Quran is inspired by God, along with is the Quran harmonious and consistent, and is the Quran from God or man? We will also examine Islamic teachings, discuss the need to search for the truth, as well as identify the book of truth. We will look at how Islam views the Bible. Finally, we will take up the subjects of Shariah Law, the rise of radical Islam, Islamic eschatology, and how to effectively witness to Muslims.
The average Christian knows somewhat how dangerous radical Islam is because of the regular media coverage of beheadings of Christians, Jews, and even young little children, not to mention Muslims with which they disagree. However, the average Christian does not know their true beliefs, just how many there are, to the extent they will go to carry out these beliefs. Daily we find Islamic commentators on the TV and radio, offering up misleading information, quoting certain portions of the Quran while leaving other parts out. When considering Islamic beliefs, other Islamic writings must be considered, like the Hadith or Sunnah, and the Shariah, or canon law. While Islam, in general, does not support radical Islam, the vast majority do support radical beliefs. For example, beheadings, stoning for adultery or homosexuality, suicide bombings, turning the world into an Islamic state, and far too many other heinous things. THE GUIDE TO ISLAM provides Christians with an overview of Islamic terminology. The reader will learn about Muhammad’s calling, the history of the Quran, how Islam expanded, the death of Muhammad and the splinter groups that followed. In addition, the three sources of their teaching, six pillars of belief, five pillars of Islam, the twelfth Imam, and much more will be discussed. All of this from the mind of radical Islam. While there are several books on Islam and radical Islam, this will be the first that will prepare its readers to communicate effectively with Muslims in an effort toward sharing biblical truths. …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, … If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, straightforward style, Salisbury covers such issues as: Does God exist? Can I trust the Bible? Does Christianity oppress women? Can we know truth? Why would God allow evil and suffering? Was Jesus God and did He really rise from the dead? How does or should my faith guide my life?
A Time to Speak: Practical Training for the Christian Presenteris a complete guide for effective communication and presentation skills. Discuss any subject with credibility and confidence, from Christian apologetics to the sensitive moral issues of our day, when sharing a testimony, addressing a school board, a community meeting, or conference. This exceptional training is the perfect resource for Christians with any level of public speaking ability. With its easy, systematic format, A Time to Speak is also an excellent resource for home-schooled and college students. The reader, in addition to specific skills and techniques, will also learn how to construct their presentation content, diffuse hostility, guidance for a successful Q&A, effective ways to turn apathy into action, and tips on gaining their speaking invitation.
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation (Historical Criticism), and why is historical criticism so popular among Bible scholars today? Its popularity is because biblical criticism is subjective, that is, based on or influenced by personal feelings or opinions and is dependent on the Bible scholar’s perception. In other words, biblical criticism allows the Bible scholar, teacher, or pastor the freedom to interpret the Scriptures, so that God’s Word it tells them things that they want to hear. Why is this book so critical for all Christians? Farnell and Andrews will inform the reader about Biblical criticism (historical criticism) and its weaknesses, helping you to defend God’s Word far better.
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and is destructive in its very nature. Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of over seventy books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan apologetics and evangelism. They will learn what Christian apologetics is. They will be given a biblical answer to the most demanding Bible question: Problem of Evil. The reader will learn how to reach hearts with are the art of persuasion. They will use persuasion to help others accept Christ. They will learn to teach with insight and persuasiveness. They will learn to use persuasion to reach the heart of those who listen to them.
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively. We can also have preconceived ideas that have been a part of our thinking for so long; we do not question them. Preconceived is an idea or opinion that is formed before having the evidence for its truth. If we are to be effective, we must season our words, so that they are received well. Then there is the term preconception, which means a preconceived idea or prejudice. Seasoned words, honesty, and accuracy are distinctive features of effective apologetic evangelism.
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on the message of God’s Word that we share but also the method in which we do so. Our message, the Gospel (i.e., the good news of the Kingdom), this does not change, but we do adjust our methods. Why? We are seeking to reach as many receptive people as possible. “You will be my witnesses … to the End of the Earth.” – ACTS 1:8.
Why should we be interested in the religion of others? The world has become a melting pot of people, cultures, and values, as well as many different religions. Religion has the most significant impact on the lives of mankind today. There are only a few of the major religions that make up billions of people throughout the earth. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8) That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions. …
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the Gospel is almost an unknown, so what does the Christian evangelist do? Preevangelism is laying a foundation for those who have no knowledge of the Gospel, giving them background information, so that they can grasp what they are hearing. The Christian evangelist is preparing their mind and heart so that they will be receptive to the biblical truths. In many ways, this is known as apologetics. Christian apologetics [Greek: apologia, “verbal defense, speech in defense”] is a field of Christian theology which endeavors to offer a reasonable and sensible basis for the Christian faith, defending the faith against objections. It is reasoning from the Scriptures, explaining and proving, as one instructs in sound doctrine, many times having to overturn false reasoning before he can plant the seeds of truth. …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist’s words should always be seasoned with salt as he or she shares the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example in helping the unbeliever to understand the Bible has been provided by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Whether dealing with Bible critics or answering questions from those genuinely interested, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and at times used appropriate illustrations, helping those with a receptive heart to accept the Word of God. The apostle Paul “reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving” what was biblically true. (Ac 17:2-3) The material in THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST can enable us to do the same. Apologist Normal L. Geisler informs us that “evangelism is planting seeds of the Gospel” and “pre-evangelism is tilling the soil of people’s minds and hearts to help them be more willing to listen to the truth (1 Cor. 3: 6).”
THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the Kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8) Why do Christians desire to talk about their beliefs? Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14) This is the assignment, which all Christians are obligated to assist in carrying out. Jesus also said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jesus commanded that we “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them” and “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20) If one failed to be obedient to the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20, he or she could hardly claim that they have genuine faith. All true Christians have a determination to imitate God, which moves us to persist in reflecting his glory through our sharing Bible beliefs with others.
“Absorbing, instructional, insightful. Judy Salisbury’s book Divine Appointments embodies examples of truly speaking the truth in love. The stories she weaves together provide perfect examples of how to relate to others through conversational evangelism… Divine Appointments is an apt companion to any apologetics book, showing how to put principles into practice. It’s an apologetics manual wrapped in a warm blanket. Snuggle up with it.”— Julie Loos, Director, Ratio Christi Boosters
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for which he can build throughout his Christian life. These eight sections with multiple chapters in each cover biblical interpretation, Bible translation philosophies, textual criticism, Bible difficulties, the Holy Spirit, Christian Apologetics, Christian Evangelism, and Christian Living.
“‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.”(p. xiii)—Dr. Lee M. Fields.
The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the 1960’s has permeated the Western culture and weakened its very core. The West is now characterized by strict elitist media censorship, hedonism, a culture of drug abuse, abortion, ethnic clashes and racial divide, a destructive feminism and the dramatic breakdown of the family. An ultra-rich elite pushes our nations into a new, authoritarian globalist structure, with no respect for Western historical values. Yet, even in the darkest hour, there is hope. This manifesto outlines the remedy for the current malaise and describes the greatness of our traditional and religious values that once made our civilization prosper. It shows how we can restore these values to bring back justice, mercy, faith, honesty, fidelity, kindness and respect for one another. Virtues that will motivate individuals to love one another, the core of what will make us great again.
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the Kingdom of God? What was their worship like and why were they called the Truth and the Way? How did 120 disciples at Pentecost grow to over one million within 70-80-years? What was meant by their witness to the ends of the earth? How did Christianity in its infancy function to accomplish all it did? How was it structured? How were the early Christians, not of the world? How were they affected by persecution? How were they not to love the world, in what sense? What divisions were there in the second and third centuries? Who were the Gnostics? These questions will be answered, as well as a short overview of the division that grew out of the second and third centuries, pre-reformation, the reformation, and a summary of Catholicism and Protestantism. After a lengthy introduction to First-Century Christianity, there is a chapter on the Holy Spirit in the First Century and Today, followed by sixteen chapters that cover the most prominent Christians from the second to fourth centuries, as well as a chapter on Constantine the Great.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A half brother of Jesus warned us against doubting: “the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” (Jam. 1:6) When insidious doubts begin to creep into the mind and the heart, it is only a matter of time before a CRISIS OF FAITH gives way spiritual shipwreck. Since we have been warned that “some will fall away from the faith,” we should be ready “to save some,” even ourselves. …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which they say occurred in 607 B.C.E. The Witnesses conclude that Chapter 4 of the book of Daniel prophesied a 2,520 year period that began in 607 B.C.E. and ended in 1914 C.E. They state, “Clearly, the ‘seven times’ and ‘the appointed times of the nations’ refer to the same time period.” (Lu 21:24) It is their position that When the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem, the Davidic line of kings was interrupted, God’s throne was “trampled on by the nations” until 1914, at which time Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven. …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, do you find continuous demanding appeals for money disturbing, perhaps even offensive? FLEECING THE FLOCK by Anthony Wade is an exhaustive examination of all of the popular tithing arguments made from the pulpit today. …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Plunkett exposes the errors corrupting the Christian church through the Word of Faith, New Apostolic Reformation, and extreme charismatic movements. LEARN TO DISCERN, by author Daniel Plunkett highlights how an encounter with a rising star in the Word of Faith / “Signs and Wonders” movement was used by God to open his eyes to the deceptions, false teachings, and spiritual abuses running rampant in the charismatic movement today. These doctrines are thoroughly explored as taught by some of today’s most prominent speakers and evangelists and contrasted with the clear teachings of Scripture. LEARN TO DISCERN is an invaluable resource …
Translation and Textual Criticism
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use. The translation of God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek is a task unlike any other and should never be taken lightly because it carries with it the heaviest responsibility: the translator renders God’s thoughts into a modern language. It is CGBT’s desire to take challenging and complex subjects and make them easy to understand. CGBT will communicate as clearly and powerfully as possible to all of its readers while also accurately communicating information about the Bible. …
We have come a long, long way from the time that the KJV was The Bible in English and the many translations available today. Finding the right Bible for the right person can be daunting, with almost too many choices available. However, it is still possible to divide the options into two broad categories: literal translations and dynamic equivalents. What is the difference, and why should you care? Bible publishers used to say that literal translations are good for study purposes, and dynamic equivalents are better for reading. So literal translations were advertised with terms like “accurate,” “reliable,” and, of course, “literal.” For dynamic equivalent translations, terms like “contemporary,” “easy to read,” and “written in today’s English” were used. Naturally, publishers do not advertise the negatives, so they did not point out that the literal translations might be a little harder to read, or that the dynamic equivalents might not be entirely faithful to the original languages of the Bible. However, more recently, some scholars have been taking this analysis in a new direction, assessing literal translations as less desirable than dynamic equivalents even for accuracy and reliability.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word of God. Then, there are dynamic equivalents, where the translator determines what the author meant by the original language text, and this is what they give the reader. There is also a paraphrase translation, which is an extremely interpretive translation. Exactly what are these differences? Are some translations better than others? What standards and principles can we use to determine what makes a good translation? Andrews introduces the readers to the central issues in this debate and presents several reasons why literal translations are superior to dynamic equivalent and paraphrase translations. We do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand these issues, as well as the importance of having the most accurate and faithful translation that is reflective of the original text. …
THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (TTNT) is an introduction, intermediate and advanced level coverage of the text of the New Testament. Andrews introduces the new and relatively new reader to this subject in the first few chapters of the TTNT. Andrews deepens his handling of the material, while still making it easy to understand in the next few chapters of the TTNT, all the while being very informative in both sections. All of this prepares the reader for Wilkins’ advanced chapters. THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews offer the reader an account of the copying by hand and transmission of the Greek New Testament. They present a comprehensive survey of the manuscript history from the penning of the 27 New Testament books to the current critical texts. What did the ancient books look like and how were documents written? How were the New Testament books published? Who would use secretaries? Why was it so hard to be a secretary in the first century? How was such work done? What do we know about the early Christian copyists? What were the scribal habits and tendencies? Is it possible to establish the original text of the NewTestament? …
INTRODUCTION TO THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT is a shortened 321 pages of Andrews and Wilkins 602 page TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT without losing the value of content. The foremost thing the reader is going to learn is that the Greek New Testament that our modern translations are based on is a mirror-like reflection of the original and can be fully trusted. The reader will learn how the New Testament authors made and published their books, the secretaries in antiquity and their materials like Teritus who helped Paul pen the epistle to the Romans, and the book writing process of the New Testament authors and early copyists. The reader will also discover the reading culture of early Christianity and their view of the integrity of the Greek New Testament. The reader will also learn how textual scholars known as paleography determine the age of the manuscripts.
The reader will learn all about the different sources that go into our restoring the Greek New Testament to its original form. Then, Andrews will cover the ancient version, the era of the printed text, and the arrival of the critical text. After that, the reader will be given a lengthy chapter on examples of how the textual scholar determines the correct reading by his looking at the internal and external evidence. Finally, and most importantly, the reader will find out the truth about the supposed 400,000 textual errors within the Greek New Testament manuscripts. The last chapter will be faith-building and enable you to defend the Word of God as inerrant.
THE READING CULTURE OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY provides the reader with the production process of the New Testament books, the publication process, how they were circulated, and to what extent they were used in the early Christian church. It examines the making of the New Testament books, the New Testament secretaries and the material they used, how the early Christians viewed the New Testament books, and the literacy level of the Christians in the first three centuries. It also explores how the gospels went from an oral message to a written record, the accusation that the apostles were uneducated, the inspiration and inerrancy in the writing process of the New Testament books, the trustworthiness of the early Christian copyists, and the claim that the early scribes were predominantly amateurs. Andrews also looks into the early Christian’s use of the codex [book form], how did the spread of early Christianity affect the text of the New Testament, and how was the text impacted by the Roman Empire’s persecution of the early Christians?
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the biases, assumptions, and shortcomings supporting Ehrman’s arguments. Using sound reason, scholarly exegesis, and the Historical-Grammatical method of interpretation, as well as New Testament textual criticism, Andrews helps both churchgoer/Bible students, as well as scholars, overcome the teachings of biblical errancy that Ehrman propagates.—Easy to read and understand. …
CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM goes back to the early seventeenth century with a Christian theological debate between the followers of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius, and continues today among some Protestants, particularly evangelicals. The debate is centered around soteriology, that is, the study of salvation, and includes disputes about total depravity, predestination, and atonement. While the debate has developed its Calvinist–Arminian form in the 17th century, the issues that are fundamental to the debate have been discussed in Christianity in some fashion since the days of Augustine of Hippo’s disputes with the Pelagians in the fifth century. CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM is taking a different approach in that the issues will be discussed as The Bible Answers being that it is the centerpiece.
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. Stalker’s work includes a section at the back entitled “Hints for Teachers and Questions for Pupils.” This supplement contains notes and “further reading” suggestions for those teaching on the life of St. Paul, along with a number of questions over each chapter for students to discuss. In addition, seventeen extra chapters have been added that will help the reader better understand who the Apostle Paul was and what first-century Christianity was like. For example, a chapter on the conversion of Saul/Paul, Gamaliel Taught Saul of Tarsus, the Rights, and Privileges of Citizenship, the “Unknown God,” Areopagus, the Observance of Law as to Vows, and much more.
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly level, yet making it understandable to all. He has sought to provide the very best tool for interpreting the Word of God. This includes clarification of technical terms, answers to every facet of biblical interpretation, and defense of the inerrancy and divine inspiration of Scripture. Andrews realizes that the importance of digging deeper in our understanding of the Bible, for defending our faith from modern-day misguided scholarship. Andrews gives the reader easy and memorable principles and methods to follow for producing an accurate explanation that comes out of, not what many read into the biblical text. The principal procedure within is to define, explain, offer many examples, and give illustrations, to help the reader fully grasp the grammatical-historical approach. …
Anybody who wants to study the Bible, either at a personal level or a more scholarly level needs to understand that there are certain principles that guide and govern the process. The technical word used to refer to the principles of biblical interpretation is hermeneutics, which is of immense importance in Biblical Studies and Theology. How to Interpret the Bible takes into consideration the cultural context, historical background and geographical location in which the text was originally set. This enables us to obtain clarity about the original author’s intended meaning. Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded as the start of a major historical transition to something new and promising and hailed as a major paradigm shift. Is it a philosophy that has passed its “sell-by” date? No! The radical fringe has become the dominant view and has been integrated into all aspects of life, including the Christian church. With the emergence of multicultural societies comes interaction with different belief systems and religions. Values like tolerance and a dislike of dogmatism have become key operating concepts, which reflect a change in worldview. …
In an age obsessed with physical and psychological health the author emphasizes the importance of spiritual well-being as an essential element of holistic health for the individual Christian and for Christian communities. This work constitutes a template for a spiritual audit of the local church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the author, aware that throughout the history of the church there have been a number of diverse views about how Revelation ought to be interpreted, presents the reader with four distinct interpretive models. These are the idealist, preterist, historicist, and futurist. Beville explains these interpretive approaches simply and critiques them fairly.e …
This is a comprehensive study of euthanasia and assisted suicide. It traces the historical debate, examines the legal status of such activity in different countries and explores the political, medical and moral matters surrounding these emotive and controversial subjects in various cultural contexts. The key advocates and pioneers of this agenda-driven movement (such as the late Jack Kevorkian, popularly known as “Dr. Death” and Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International) are profiled. Not only are the elderly and disabled becoming increasingly vulnerable but children, psychiatric patients, the depressed and those who are simply tired of life are now on a slippery slope into a dystopian nightmare. The spotlight is brought to bear on the Netherlands, in particular, where palliative care and the hospice movement are greatly underdeveloped as a result of legalization. These dubious “services” are now offered as part of “normal” medical care in Holland where it is deemed more cost-effective to be given a lethal injection. The vital role of physicians as healers in society must be preserved and the important but neglected spiritual dimension of death must be explored. Thus a biblical view of human life is presented. …
Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark’s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use of illustrations to be helpful in preparing their own messages and as such, it will find a welcome place in the preacher’s library. Simply, powerfully, with great precision, and exegetical accuracy, Kieran Beville masterfully brings us on a life-transforming journey. Readers will be both inspired and challenged as they hear the words of Jesus speaking afresh from the page of Scripture and experience the ministry of Jesus in a spiritually captivating way. The author has a pastor’s heart, a theologian’s mind, and a writer’s gift. His style is gripping, as he beautifully explains and illustrates Mark’s Gospel. Kieran Beville has done a great service to the church, and especially to true believers, who desire to grow in grace, increase in their knowledge of truth, and experience the intimacy, joy, and underserved and unspeakable privilege of walking, as disciples, with Jesus. This book is ideal as a study companion for Mark’s Gospel. One can read a section from the gospel and then read the corresponding section to receive a fresh viewpoint and a practical application. …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control humans? How can we win our struggle against dark spiritual forces? How can you resist the demons? Do evil spirits exercise power over humankind? Is Satan really the god of this world and just what does that mean? What did Jesus mean when he said, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [i.e., Satan]”? Andrews using the Bible will answer all of these questions and far more. …
Donald T. Williams learned a lot about the Christian worldview from Francis Schaeffer and C. S. Lewis, but it was actually Tolkien who first showed him that such a thing exists and is an essential component of maturing faith. Not only do explicitly Christian themes underlie the plot structure of The Lord of the Rings, but in essays such as “On Fairie Stories” Tolkien shows us that he not only believed the Gospel on Sunday but treated it as true the rest of the week and used his commitment to that truth as the key to further insights in his work as a student of literature. “You can do that?” Williams thought as a young man not yet exposed to any Christian who was a serious thinker. “I want to do that!” His hope is that his readers will catch that same vision from this book. An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
The Bible describes the events that will occur before and after the destruction of Gog of Magog. Who is Gog of Magog mentioned in the book of Ezekiel? Why should we be interested in the prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter 11? Find out in a verse-by-verse explanation of Daniel Chapter 11, as you discover who the kings of the North and the South are from before Jesus’ day throughout the last days. You will benefit from paying attention to Daniel’s prophecy about the battle between the two kings? Taken together, the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation not only identify eight kings but also show the sequence in which they would appear. We can explain those prophecies.
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it important that we know who the antichrist and the man of lawlessness are? The antichrist and the man of lawlessness have had a greater impact on humanity and Christianity over the past centuries than many know. Moreover, the influence on the true worshipers of Christianity today has been even more significant and will only go from bad to worse as we come closer to the second coming of Christ. …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” (Isa 45:18) He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them.” (Ac 4:24; 14:15; 17:24) “God . . . created all things.” (Eph. 3:9) Jesus Christ tells us that it is the Father who “created them [humans] from the beginning made them male and female.” (Matt. 19:4; Mark 10:6) Hence, the Father is fittingly and uniquely called “the Creator.” (Isa 40:28) It is because of God’s will that we exist, for He has ‘created all things, and because of his will they existed and were created.’―Revelations 4:11 …
Eschatology is the teaching of what is commonly called the “Last Things.” That is the subject of Andrews’ book, which will cover, Explaining Prophecy, Explaining Clean and Pure Worship, The New Testament Writers Use of the Old Testament, Explaining the Antichrist, Explaining the Man of Lawlessness, Explaining the Mark of the Beast, Explaining Signs of the End of the Age, Explaining the Rapture, Explaining the Great Tribulation, Explaining Armageddon, Explaining the Resurrection Hope, Explaining the Millennium, Explaining the Final Judgment, Explaining the Unevangelized, Explaining Hell
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who will survive the end? These questions and far more will be answered as Andrews delves into The SECOND COMING of CHRIST. In chapters 1 and 2, we must address why Jesus is saying there would be an end to the Jewish age. In chapter 3, we will take a deep look at the signs that establish the great tribulation is closing in, and when is it time to flee. In chapter 4, we will go over the signs of the end of the Jewish age. In chapter 5, we will walk through the events leading up to the end of the Jewish age from 66 – 70 C.E., and how it applies to our Great Tribulation in these last days. In chapter 6, we will cover the second coming of Jesus where the reader will get the answers as to whether verses 3-28 of Matthew Chapter 24 apply to Christ’s second coming. We will close out with chapter 7, and how we should understand the signs, and how we do not want to be led astray, just as Jesus warned even some of the chosen ones would be misled. We will also address what comes after the end.
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in Hell? What Is the Lake of Fire? Is It the Same as Hell or Gehenna? Where Do We Go When We Die? What Does the Bible Say About Hell? Andrews Shares the Truth on WHAT IS HELL From God’s Word.
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place? There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that is often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve every problem if we are faithful? Does the Bible provide absolutes or guarantees in this age of imperfect humanity? Are miracles still happening today? Is faith healing Scriptural? Is speaking in tongues evidence of true Christianity? Is snake handling biblical? How are we to understand the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? The work of the Holy Spirit. Andrews offers his readers very straightforward, biblically accurate explanations for these difficult questions. If any have discussed such questions, without a doubt, they will be very interested in the Bible’s answers in this easy to read publication.
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the Bible discriminate against people with same-sex attractions? Is it possible to abstain from homosexual acts? Should not Christians respect all people, regardless of their sexual orientation? Did not Jesus preach tolerance? If so, should not Christians take a permissive view of homosexuality? Does God approve of same-sex marriage? Does God disapprove of homosexuality? If so, how could God tell someone who is attracted to people of the same sex to shun homosexuality, is that not cruel? If one has same-sex attraction, is it possible to avoid homosexuality? How can I as a Christian explain the Bible’s view of homosexuality? IT IS CRUCIAL that Christians always be prepared to reason from the Scriptures, explaining and proving what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality, yet doing it with gentleness and respect. Andrews will answer these questions and far more.
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach. Terry Overton was determined to find out what problems middle school children and teens were worried about the most. While visiting her grandchildren one weekend, she asked her granddaughter to send topics to her so that she could write a devotional about the topic. In a matter of weeks, not only did her granddaughter send her topics, but the other grandchildren and their friends sent topics of concern. Once the author wrote a devotional for a topic, it was sent to the teen requesting the devotional. Soon, these requests were happening in real time. Students sent text requests about problems happening in school and asked what the student should do? How should this be handled?
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, spoke of the “air,” when he said that Satan was “the ruler of the authority of the air.” (Eph. 2:2) In that, very same verse Paul said the “air” is “the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience.” If we breathe in this “air,” we will begin to adopt their attitude, thoughts, speech, and conduct.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior. Kieran Beville’s daily devotional combines down-to-earth, unstuffy humanity in today’s world with a biblical and God-centered approach, and draws on rich theology in a thoroughly accessible way. He addresses not just the intellect and the will but gets to the heart, our motivational center, through the mind. If your Christian life could benefit from a short, well-written daily blast of Christ’s comfort and challenge, get this book and use it! These short Bible-based meditations are fresh and contemporary. Beville gives to the twenty-first-century reader what earlier authors have given to theirs. Here is practical wisdom that is a helpful guide to stimulate worship and set you thinking as you begin each day with God.
The Conversation: An Intimate Journal of the Emmaus Encounter is a unique and riveting reconstruction from the unnamed disciple’s account found in Luke 24 regarding his journey with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus after witnessing Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, along with hearing claims of His empty tomb. Suddenly, a Stranger begins walking with them. With their eyes “prevented” from recognizing Him as the risen Lord Jesus Christ—Yeshua the Messiah, their new, wise Traveling Companion correlates the Old Covenant Scriptures, by way of Moses and the prophets, with what they witnessed.
This “journal” is your opportunity to eavesdrop and learn what that conversation might have been like, as pertinent prophecies unfold revealing evidence that the Messiah’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection were, in fact, specifically foretold.
Unique and life-changing, More Than Devotion, through a melding of accounts from both the Old Covenant and New, proves that our trustworthy God truly is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All fifty convicting devotions draw from a rich scriptural context, concluding with a practical, achievable call to action, plus journaling space for personal reflection. New believers and veteran followers of our Lord can grow in the innermost areas of their lives and enjoy a more intimate walk with the Savior.
Stella Mae Clark thought she had a wonderful life. She idolized her father, a military man who raised her to love Christ with all of her heart. She had a mother who loved her father and their example of true love gave her the sparkle in her eyes. That is until the unimaginable happens and her life is completely shattered. One decision at the age of sixteen would again turn her world completely upside down. Stella Mae makes the decision to leave her life and her family behind to seek refuge from her painful past. She desperately seeks solace, answers, and for something to fill the aching void within her heart. Just as she thinks she has settled into a new life with Christ, tragedy once again strikes and shatters any hope she had for a normal life. She abandons Christ and turns to a life of sin before it ultimately consumes her and breaks her down. Will it take nearly losing her life to find her way back to God or will her shame and regret keep holding her back? Join Stella Mae on her journey to find meaning and purpose in the midst of all her tragedy as she seeks to find the One her heart has been missing. The story of her past is one of loss, shame, heartbreak, and fear. With the help of those who see her for more than her past, she is able to become the person she always wanted to be and a new creature.
AN APOCALYPTIC NOVEL: As you are no doubt are aware, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye in 1995 wrote a novel entitled “Left Behind.” Jerry and Tim had some prior success with a major publisher and were able to get their novel published. The Left Behind novel was published by Tyndale House beginning in 1995 within a multiple volumes Left Behind series resulting in sales exceeding 60 million books. In 1992 Don Alexander wrote the storyline embedded in Left Behind. He copyrighted the novel in 1992 under the title “Oren Natas” [who is the Anti-Christ in his storyline]. The entire novel is contained in a single volume. It is a novel written depicting a colorful and witty cast of characters who live through all the “end time” Bible prophecies.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
ONLINE REVIEW: “Very fun read. Fast paced and honest. Tons of evolution occurs during the process thru the story. Wonderful girl trying to become an adult Christian in a world that also pits her superpowers against terrorists with the help of her own special forces team. Buy this book and just enjoy!”
In June 1985, an excavation project was undertaken by The British Antiquities Volunteers (BAV) at a plot of rocky land where the Kidron and Hinnom Valleys meet near the eastern side of Old Jerusalem. That year many hundreds of (mostly redundant) ‘small finds’ were recovered in the Judean desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of Judas Iscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings of Judas, a disgruntled disciple, as he accompanies Jesus of Nazareth during His ministry, and uses this fable and allegory to explore some of the ways a person might resist becoming a Christian.
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of the beast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up with an unlikely trio who befriends him. Together, they set out towards Garbor. Unfortunately, however, they are soon faced with their first major catastrophe, which sparks debate among them as to whether or not they really are in the Great Tribulation. On their journey, the group meets up with many people, some of them good and some of them evil. …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to embrace the Light because it exposed their wickedness. They rejected the Light of the Word and ruled themselves. Those few who had embraced the Light and hated the darkness were killed. Since that time anyone who embraced the Light of the Word, pursued or talked about it were arrested. Those arrested were sentenced to death by stoning. The last prophet gave a prophecy before he was martyred. “The whisperer will come and empower three witnesses that will make manifest the works of darkness and destroy it, and deliver my people from the grip of darkness to the freedom found in the light.” All the Children of the Light were killed off or went into hiding living among the Children of Darkness in secret, not mentioning the Light for fear of death. Generations grew up being ignorant of the Light of the Word and never knowing the difference. No one ever mentioned the Light or dared to even talk about the Light. …
Linda Woodhead, “Spiritualising the Sacred: A Critique of Feminist Theology,” Modern Theology 13, no.2 (April 1997): 197.
Rosemary Radford Ruether, Women-Church: Theology and Practice of Feminist Liturgical Communities (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1986), 3-4.
Letty M. Russell ed., Feminist Interpretation of the Bible (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1985), 12.
In A Scripture of Their Own: Nineteenth-Century Bible Biography and Feminist Bible Criticism, Rebecca Styler makes the important point that the suffragists maintained a belief that women and men were essentially different, that they had differentiated gender roles, and they also took as true that the whole Scriptures were the words of God.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The Women’s Bible (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993), 7.
Alvin F. Kimel Jr., ed., This Is My Name Forever: The Trinity & Gender Language for God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 9.
Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olsen, 20th Century Theology: God & the World in a Transitional Age (Downers Gove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 1992), 211.
In Feminism and Pop Culture: Seal Studies, Andi Zeisler makes the point that the culture is quite content to perpetuate actions that are ultimately damaging to women. Zeisler refers to a beauty industry—dominated, consumed, and maintained by women—that survives only through the perpetuation of women’s’ insecurity.
For further reading on how culture manifests oppression, see Paula Black’s article, “Discipline and pleasure: the uneasy relationship between feminism and the beauty industry” in Feminism in Popular Culture, edited by J Hollows and R Moseley. In addition to this, Chapter 5 of Stacy Malkan’s book, Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry, Malkan writes about the ways in which corporations are knowingly using toxic chemicals in beauty products that have unquestionably been linked to various cancers and diseases. It is largely women who buy into the beauty standards created by a multi-billion-dollar beauty industry. And it is women, in most cases, who judge other women on the basis of those same standards.
See Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases by Sonja B. Star, University of Michigan Law and Economics Research Paper, No. 12-018.
Bradley takes his cues from John McWhorter, author of Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America, whose description of victimology broaches upon member’s self-assessment of victimology.
Anthony B. Bradley, Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 19.
 The term essential is here used in a philosophical sense. It refers to “what” a thing is, or its essence. When philosophy refers to accidents, accidents are things, that if absent, do not in any way affect “what” a thing is—accidents don’t affect essence. So, for instance, my hand is an accident in the sense that, if I lose it, the loss in no way affects what I am—a human. A person can lose (and every year many people do) a limb and still be human persons. What persons cannot lose is their humanity and still remain human. This is because one’s humanity is essential.
 Liberating Black Theology, 19.
Pamela Dickey Young, Feminist Theology/Christian Theology: In Search of Method (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1990), 60.
For those interested in the parallels between feminist theology and black liberation theology, Bradley’s book will be essential reading.
Linda Woodhead, “Spiritualising The Sacred: A Critique of Feminist Theology,” Modern Theology 13:2 (April 1997): 199.
Thomas A Howe, Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation, (CreateSpace, 2015), 2.
The term real is not to be equated with the term material. I am not here espousing a Materialist worldview which claims the material world is all that exists. As one committed to Theism, I am making the point that immaterial realities can be just as actual as material realities can be. I am saying that tangibility is not a necessary condition for actuality.
For insightful commentary on hermeneutics, see Thomas A. Howe, Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation
Christina Bucher, “New Directions in Biblical Interpretation Revisited,” Bretheren Life and Thought 60, no. 1 (Spring 2015), 36.
Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible: Revised and Expanded (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 434.
A General Introduction to the Bible, p. 434-436.
New Directions, 35.
Letty M. Russel, ed., Feminist Interpretation of the Bible (Philadelphia: Westiminster, 1985), 22.
New Directions, 36.
 Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father: Toward a Philosophy of Liberation (Boston: Beacon Press, 1973), 7.
 What should be understood about Reuther’s critical principle of feminist theology when she uses the term is that it’s a hermeneutic principle whose only concern is the full humanity of woman.
Rosemary Radford Reuther, Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology (Boston: Beacon Press, 1983), 13.
Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, 111.
Sexism and God-Talk, 12.
Here, I am only speaking about Christian scripture, since Reuther’s comments are directed to Christian scripture. One should note as well that Scriptures do include experiences (such as dreams/visions) that are subjectively experienced and solely meaningful to the person who experienced it. individuals external to subjective experience are never required to appropriate the experience for themselves—they are expected, however, to acknowledge the objective truth said experiences often allude to.
In 2 Cor. 12, Paul speaks of a personal revelation experience in which he was “caught up” to paradise. Such an event impacted Paul greatly, yet there is no indication that Paul’s experience had to be appropriated by the community of believers in his day.
Feminist Interpretation, 113-114.
William J Wainwright, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion (New York, Oxford University, 2005), 498.
Spiritualising the Sacred, 197.
Here in Feminist Interpretation of the Bible, Farley is making the case that interpretation of the Bible is necessary in order for the Bible to be understood. She attempts to make the case that a feminist interpretation of the Bible calls for a standard by which to perform the interpretational (hermeneutical) task. This standard is women’s experiences.
Spiritualising the Sacred, 48.
The informal fallacy known as begging the question is committed when the conclusion of an argument is used as one of the promises in the argument. In other words, the conclusion is as a premise to drive the argument to its (obvious) conclusion.
Beyond God the Father, 13.
Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, ed., After Eden: Facing the Challenge of Gender Reconciliation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 153.
A Critique of Feminist Theology, 197.
Frederic M. Wheelock and Richard A. Lafleur, Wheelock’s Latin, 7th ed. (New York: Harper Collins, 2011), 15.
This Is My Name Forever, 67-69.
 After Eden, 148.
For instance, his treatment of the Samaritan woman he met at the well.
An example would be Mark 7:24-29 where Jesus seemingly refers to a woman as a dog.