Women

Women Leaders in the Early Church

As you may know, the question of whether women can serve as deacons has been recently debated among many evangelicals. Since scripture makes clear that Phoebe served as a deacon in the church in Cenchrea, there is an abundance of historical and archeological evidence that women deacons were upheld by the apostles. Both Clement of Alexandria and John Chrysostom recognize Phoebe was a deacon.

Healing Broken Bodies

I appreciated the article on eating disorders and wholeheartedly agree that the church needs to speak about it more (“Body Language,” by Elizabeth Palmberg, April 2009). However, I must say that my years at a conservative evangelical school, Moody Bible Institute, saw a high degree of openness to body image issues and eating disorders. There was an eating disorder support group for both women and men (they met separately), and we had several chapels highlighting the issue during 2003-07. I’m not saying that more changes are not necessary within evangelicalism, but rather that a school aimed at training students for ministry seems to be headed in the right direction.

Jennifer Hosler, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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Sojourners Magazine July 2009
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Not So Fast

The letter “Women and Islam” (Letters, April 2009) points out that Islamic law often forces women into subservient social and religious roles. Lest we forget, the Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified in this, our “Christian” nation, and it took decades of attempts before the 19th Amendment was ratified to affirm women’s right to vote. In many Christian denominations, women are not allowed to hold high clerical office. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a woman pope.

Misogyny may indeed fester under Islam, but let us not wag our Christian fingers in sanctimonious rebuke until our own house is in good repair.

Evan Jones, Sacramento, California

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Sojourners Magazine July 2009
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