Rebecca Merrill Groothuis’s Contribution To Biblical Equality: A Personal Testimony And Lament -- By: Douglas Groothuis

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 29:3 (Summer 2015)
Article: Rebecca Merrill Groothuis’s Contribution To Biblical Equality: A Personal Testimony And Lament
Author: Douglas Groothuis


Rebecca Merrill Groothuis’s Contribution To Biblical Equality: A Personal Testimony And Lament

Douglas Groothuis

Douglas Groothuis is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary, where he is the head of the Christian Apologetics and Ethics program and directs the Gordon Lewis Center for Christian Thought and Culture. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Oregon in 1993. Dr. Groothuis has written numerous academic and popular articles, as well as eleven books, including Truth Decay (2000) and Christian Apologetics (2011), both of which won the Award of Merit prize from Christianity Today.

Biblical feminism is an oxymoron—or so I thought when I met Becky Merrill in 1983. She had leanings in this direction, but I did not let that stop me from being interested in her. But time makes fools of us all, especially when God undermines our convictions and replaces them with new insights into old issues. That year Becky joined the staff of The McKenzie Study Center, a campus ministry in Eugene, Oregon, which served The University of Oregon through teaching, writing, and discipleship. Fresh after receiving my bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1979, I joined this ambitious ministry, modeled on the vision of Francis Schaeffer. As a small team of under-funded but earnest evangelicals, we desired to defend and apply the Christian worldview at a secular university. Becky joined us to work as a graphic designer, editor, and writer—all before computers were used for this.

Becky and I began a friendship based on our common ideals and passions. I quickly found that she was a deep well of Christian commitment and insight. When I confessed that I had been researching for several years a book on the New Age Movement (as this hodgepodge spirituality was then called), she finally convinced me to start writing it, since, she said, I probably knew more about it than anyone else.1 I had not thought of that. Becky also volunteered to edit the book before I sent chapters to InterVarsity Press. At first, I proudly resisted many of her changes; but we soon became a writing-editing duo of great sympathy and productivity. She edited all my books, including the voluminous textbook, Christian Apologetics.2 Sadly, it will be the last book of mine to be clarified, enriched, and strengthened through her many hand-written comments. This is because Becky has a rare form of dementia which has stolen these abilities. There is no cure. She will only decline.

But this essay is not about Becky’s editing of my writings, even though I dedicated Christian Apologetics to her. It is, rather, about her writing and ministry pertaining...

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