Good News in the Gospel for Women Theological and Social Priorities Embedded in the Work of the Early Evangelicals -- By: Mimi Haddad

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 43:0 (NA 2011)
Article: Good News in the Gospel for Women Theological and Social Priorities Embedded in the Work of the Early Evangelicals
Author: Mimi Haddad


Good News in the Gospel for Women Theological and Social Priorities Embedded in the Work of the Early Evangelicals

Mimi Haddad*

The lives and ministries of the early evangelicals is an absolute case-study in spiritual and social vitality … Their organizations, institutes, and hospitals; hymns, sermons, and literature; and abolition and suffrage activities were driven by their theological convictions and their passion for Christ. We reflect upon these people—these early evangelicals and their life work—so that, as the writer of Hebrews suggests, we might consider the outcome of their life and imitate their faith (Heb 13:7). The early evangelicals placed themselves at the center of God’s renewing work through which they became instruments of social and spiritual reform. If there was ever a time to recall God’s renewing presence among us as evangelicals, it is now! Why? Because even though we enjoy many of the benefits gained by these remarkable believers, the depth and scope of their faith and its significance seems to have drifted far from our collective memory.

Here is what I mean. As president of Christians for Biblical Equality, I am often invited to speak at Christian colleges or universities on the contributions of Christian women throughout history. When invited to lecture, I make an effort to learn about the history of the school, particularly their founders and graduates. I usually do not have to work very hard to recover their history. Typically the school’s archives are bursting with letters and journals produced by their female graduates who were prolific writers and correspondents. In doing so, I have discovered an impressive body of material that points to the vast numbers of women graduates who were trained by these Bible Institutes today’s Christian colleges and universities. The school’s archivists are typically thrilled to have someone take an interest in the many letters, diaries and other historical documents they have carefully organized for such purposes. In my brief exploration of this material, it is clear that the female graduates from American Bible Institutes went on to become leaders on the mission fields all over the world. And, they had the full support of their Bible Institutes! These audacious women were not interested in becoming Miss Captivating in order to attract Mr. Wild at Heart because they had their own wild hearts, hearts that were captivated by Jesus and the gospel. What is even more interesting is that their Bible Institutes were proud of the wild-hearted way in which their male and female graduates served Christ.

Why did these institutes so eagerly celebrate the gospel service of their graduates...

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