The Bishop of Sheffield, in partnership with a team of gifted Christian leaders, has published a new book on theme of Women and Men in Scripture and the Church. The book has been rapidly pulled together in an attempt to tackle some of the issues which led to the downfall of the legislation to create women bishops at the General Synod last November. The team of writers, six women and three men, have taken differing aspects of the title and in simple but clear language make the case for women bishops being in the flow of the teaching of the Bible. The book is aimed at the ordinary Christian in the pew, but also has resources for those who want to take the arguments further. The authors argue clearly, but respectfully, against traditionalist approaches on the grounds of scripture itself, seeking to counter the arguments often voiced in some parts of the church, that women’s ordained ministry is against the teaching of the Bible.
The book is too short to address all the issues in depth, but that is not its aim. It is a very helpful introduction to the debate and provides enough material for most people to be able to make up their own minds.
Those who feel angry over the Synod’s decision will find that this book supports their views. Those who are simply confused will find it to be revealing. Hopefully, the Church of England will be able to find a new way forward on this issue. This book might just be one way of helping us all to move forward.