The role of women in the church, and in particular the issue of the ordination of women is a world-wide discussion point. We must avoid the notion that we are here confronted with an unprecedented issue in the history of the church. The issue of women’s roles in the church and society is not a new one. This makes it all the more remarkable that the “progressive” reading of biblical texts such as 1 Tim 2:9–15 is a comparatively recent phenomenon.
Christian mission currently appears to be suffering from an acute identity crisis. This crisis has to do with at least two major factors: the increasing interdisciplinary nature of missiology and the rapid pace of change in the world around us. Each of these has significant implications for the church’s missionary task. Few would oppose in principle the efforts made to draw upon the valid findings of the various social sciences.
The importance of signs in the Gospel of John is generally acknowledged. However, there is no treatment of the exact number and identity of the Johannine signs. For important reasons such a work, however, is needed. While six Johannine signs are commonly acknowledged, there is no agreement regarding possible other signs in John's Gospel. Through an exploration of the alternative proposals, greater clarity, if not consensus, could be achieved.
The present essay links the “greater works” passage in John 14:12 with other passages in John’s Gospel with similar wording or similar theological or terminological content. After a brief survey of the history of interpretation of the reference to believers’ “greater works” in John, an effort is made to draw implications from the present study’s findings for the self-understanding and practice of the contemporary church’s task and mission.
The Roman Catholic church maintains that the celibacy requirement for all its priests is essentially of apostolic origin. It was according to this view therefore binding on priests from early church history. If this claim of an apostolic origin for the Roman Catholic celibacy requirement can be refuted, it seems as if celibacy is left without adequate foundation. The question is not whether or not the Roman Catholic church will change the requirement of celibacy.
Ephesians 5:22–33 is an important passage in debates on headship and submission in marriage. An important aspect of this passage that has not received the attention it deserves, however, is the reference to a “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32). The term "mystery" occurs consistently throughout Ephesians. An understanding of Paul’s use of the term can help in the understanding of marriage according to Ephesians 5:22–33.