One of the most significant books ever published on the topic of women as pastors is Women Pastors? The Ordination of Women in Biblical Lutheran Perspective, edited by Matthew Harrison and John Pless. Thousands of copies have been sold and it is in its third edition, with additional essays added (see below for details). This book has played an instrumental role in helping people sort through these issues in a faithful manner. It is being used around the world to counter the inroads of liberal theology being pushed on various Lutheran church bodies by organizations such as the Lutheran World Federation. It is being eagerly read and studies and the praise for the book has been truly astounding. I urge you, if you have not already, to read this book and study it. It addresses all the issues surrounding the ordination of women as pastors, a practice that is contrary to the teaching of Christ and His Apostles and the historic Christian church through the ages.
Here is more information:
There are thirty essays in this volume, representing Lutheran churches throughout the world. The essays are divided into four sections: Biblical studies, historical studies, doctrinal studies and practical studies.
Matthew C. Harrison, LCMS Synod President
John T. Pless is Assistant Professor, Pastoral Ministry and Missions, and Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
What’s new in the third edition of Women Pastors? Good question, there are the six new essays in the book, and following this I’ve provided the entire Table of Contents. This book is truly the most extensive treatment of this subject and brings to bear a wide range of authors and arguments against the practice of ordaining women as pastors.
Phoebe: A Role Model for Deaconesses Today by Deaconess Cynthia Lumley
Dr. Cynthia Lumley, associate director of deaconess studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, takes up the case of Phoebe, who is mentioned briely in Roma. 16:1-2. Lumley demonstrates how this Chrisian woman served not as a minister of the Word but in a way that reflected the sacrificial character of Jesus Christ in her support of the work of apostolic ministry.
Disciples But Not Teachers:1 Corinthians 14:33b-38and 1 Timothy 2:11-15by Dr. John Kleinig
Dr. John Kleinig, recently retired after a distinguished teaching career as pastor and seminary professor in the Lutheran Church of Australia, examines 1 Cor. 14:33b-28 and 1 Tim. 2:11-15, demonstrating that women are and must be disciples of Jesus but are not to teach in the liturgical assembly.
The Use of Tractate 26 to Promote the Ordination of Women by John Kleinig
In this shorter piece, Dr. Kleinig argues that Philip Melanchthon’s confession that the ministry of the New Testament is not bound to persons, as was the Levititcal priesthood of the Old Testament, does not open th way for the ordination of women [or actively homosexual persons!]. On the contrary, Melanchthon grounds the authority of the office on the institution of Christ in contrast with the purely human authority of the papacy. The ordination of women is an act of human authority; it cannot be demonstrated as being instituted by Christ.
The Ordination of Women and the Ecclesiastical Endorsement of Homosexuality: Are They Related? by John T. Pless
John T. Pless, assistant professor of pastoral ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, examines the coherence and parallelism of theological arguments now being offered for the ordination of practicing homosexuals with those arguments that were and are made for the ordination of women.
Giver to Receiver: God’s Design for the Sexes by Adriane Dorr
Adriane Dorr, managing editor of The Lutheran Witness, examines God’s design for man and woman noting that the differences between male and female are reflected in God’s ordering of the life of both family and church for our blessing.
Vocational Boundaries: The Service of Women within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod by Kimberly Schave
Deaconess Kimberly Schave applies the doctrine of vocation to the issue of the ordination of women in “vocational boundaries,” lifting up how women are called by God to serve in home, church and world.
Complete Table of Contents
Preface to Third Edition
Preface to First and Second Editions
Section I: Exegetical Studies
The New Testament and the Ordination of Women — Henry P. Hamann
Didaskalos: The Office, Man and Woman in the New Testament — Bertil Gärtner
Phoebe: A Role Model for Deaconesses Today—Cynthia Lumley
Ordained Proclaimers or Quiet Learners? Women in Worship in Light of 1 Timothy 2—Charles A. Gieschen
The Ordination of Women: A Twentieth-Century Gnostic Heresy?—Louis A. Brighton
Ordered Community: Order and Subordination in the New Testament—John W. Kleinig
The Ordination of Women—Gregory J. Lockwood
Section II: Historical Studies
Women in the History of the Church: Learned and Holy, But Not Pastors—William Weinrich
The Use of Tractate 26 to Promote the Ordination of Women—John W. Kleinig
Liberation Theology in the Leading Ladies of Feminist Theology—Roland Ziegler
Forty Years of Female Pastors in Scandinavia — Fredrik Sidenvall
The Ordination of Women and Ecclesial Endorsement of Homosexuality: Are They Related?—John T. Pless
Section III: Systematic Theology
Twenty-three Theses on the Holy Scriptures, the Woman, and the Office of the Ministry—Bo Giertz
The Ministry and the Ministry of Women—Peter Brunner
The Ordination of Women and the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity—John W. Kleinig
May Women Be Ordained as Pastors?—David P. Scaer
The Office of the Pastor and the Problem of the Ordination of Women Pastors—David P. Scaer
Ordination of Women?—Hermann Sasse
The Women’s Ordination Debate in the Lutheran Church of Australia: An Open Response to the Initial Report of the Commission on Theology and Interchurch Relations—Gregory Lockwood
The Ordination of Women into the Office of the Church—Reinhard Slenczka
The Argument over Women’s Ordination in Lutheranism as a Paradigmatic Conflict of Dogma—Armin Wenz
Giver to Receiver: God’s Design for the Sexes—Adriane Dorr
Section IV: Theology of Ministry
Ministry and Ordination—John W. Kleinig
“It Is Not Given to Women to Teach”: A Lex in Search of a Ratio—William Weinrich
Vocational Boundaries: The Service of Women within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod—Kimberly Schave
How My Mind Has Changed—Louis A. Smith