Book Review: Global Voices on Biblical Equality -- By: KeumJu Jewel Hyun

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 22:4 (Autumn 2008)
Article: Book Review: Global Voices on Biblical Equality
Author: KeumJu Jewel Hyun

Book Review: Global Voices on Biblical Equality

Edited by Aída Besançon Spencer,
William D. Spencer, and Mimi Haddad (Wipf & Stock, 2008)

Reviewed by

KeumJu Jewel Hyun

KEUMJU JEWEL HYUN is founder and president of Matthew 28 Ministries, a ministry devoted to equipping women in Africa to become effective disciple-makers in the church. Jewel has ministered in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Latvia, and Canada. She also has more than fifteen years experience in ministering to second-generation Korean American congregations. She holds M.A. and D.Min. degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, has two adult children and four grandchildren, and resides with her husband in North Billerica, Massachusetts.

Global Voices on Biblical Equality opens with a poem To Prisca and Aquila, which ends, “Gemstones of God, buried in stony, multicultural mines.” This book is about “gemstones of God,” women ministering together with men in the church worldwide. Global Voices embraces a wide range of cultures and traditions, examines the gender discriminations deeply rooted in those cultures and traditions, analyzes possible reasons why women are not equally granted leadership positions, and offers insights into improving equality of women and men to minister with their God-given gifts. The book is an anthology of “voices” from every continent.

The editors, the husband-and-wife team of William and Aída Spencer together with Mimi Haddad, are well-known scholars and advocates for promoting biblical equality. Aída Spencer is a professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, William Spencer is an adjunct professor of theology also at Gordon-Conwell and a pastor in an urban church, and Mimi Haddad is president of Christians for Biblical Equality. The contributors represent a wide range of ethnic groups comprising eleven different traditions and cultures.

In the introduction, Mimi Haddad advocates reformation movements for biblical equality for women. She draws a parallel between the abolitionists and egalitarians and asserts that, just as abolition reform was grounded on the correct interpretation of the Scripture, so the gender debate in the church must shift its focus to searching Scripture for its primary teachings, not its “attendant features.” Haddad states, “the egalitarian movement is a reform movement given by God” (20); thus, she elevates the subject of biblical equality to a hermeneutical issue rather than a mere debate.

Other contributors collectively testify that the status of women serving with men in the church is in various states. While some women have access to leadership positions in the church and other ministry organizations, some women are trying t...

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