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Spring 1993 · Vol. 22 No. 1 · pp. 93–94 

Book Review

Your Daughters Shall Prophesy: Women in Ministry in the Church

ed. John E. Toews, Valerie Rempel, and Katie Funk Wiebe. Winnipeg, MB and Hillsboro, KS: Kindred, 1992. 222 pages.

Reviewed by Stacy Hammons

An issue within, even dividing, the Christian community today concerns the role of women in the Church. All sides in this debate use Scripture to substantiate their particular positions. The result tends to be confusion and even strife among believers. A new book which attempts to help with this complex issue is Your Daughters Shall Prophesy.

The book is a compilation of writings by members of the Mennonite Brethren community. John E. Toews (Professor of New Testament and currently Acting President at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary), Valerie Rempel (currently in graduate church history studies at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee), and Katie Funk Wiebe (Professor Emeritus of Tabor College) serve as editors. Most chapters explore various Scriptures and their differing interpretations, which is followed by the writer’s personal conclusions. Because the book is intended to be used as a study aid by Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, and the like, discussion questions are furnished for each chapter.

The book begins with rationale and assumptions. Both women and men are confused about a woman’s place in the ministry. Both also suffer because of that confusion. “The search and pain is a universal story. It is the story of people struggling to understand the role and ministry of women in the church, and often of women struggling with the church’s resistance {94} to their calling to and giftedness for ministry” (pp. 1-2). The book clarifies some of the issues involved.

The next eleven chapters focus on the Scriptures and issues involved when attempting to ascertain the proper place of women within the church. Topics include the Old Testament view of women, Jesus’ treatment of women, and relevant verses from the writings of Paul. The role of women within church history is also discussed.

The book’s last chapter summarizes the different interpretations of this issue, as well as the factors which can lead to these very divergent explanations of Scripture. The book concludes with strategies for the church in handling this complex issue.

Readers wishing a conclusive word about the appropriate role for women in church ministry will be disappointed. As the book clearly states, there are no decisive answers. The book’s writers disagree even among themselves, for the book is not trying to provide the answer. Instead, its goal is to stimulate thinking and open discussion. Thus, the value of Your Daughters Shall Prophesy is not in its definitive answers, but in the questions it raises and the challenges it presents.

Stacy Hammons
Fresno Pacific College
Fresno, CA

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