Rachel Marzselek very helpfully reproduces an excellent letter by Matthew Grayshon in the CEN challenging Rod Thomas'/Reform's recent letter which threatened this and that should women bishops become a reality in the C of E. I have been a little involved in a thread on The Ugley Vicar where there is also concern about women bishops, and have noticed that David Ould has taken Christina Rees of WATCH to task. One constant theme of this kind of evangelical concern is that the arguments for women in presbyteral and episcopal ministry are unscriptural and thus inadequate because cultural, experiential or otherwise. The letter cited above is a very good response to these concerns. I have another.
Those against the ordination of women to be presbyters or bishops are (logically) confident that their churches conform to Paul's vision for the church. But suppose Paul were to write to the Reform churches in the Church of England today. When he got to the 16th chapter which women would he address and salute their ministry? Who is the Phoebe who would be first to be named and the Prisca who would be second to be named? The fact is that in 21st century Reform type ministries, although women are involved in ministry (virtually always as ministers to women), they are fairly anonymous. But women in the Pauline mission and churches were not anonymous! Is there further work to do on understanding the full implications of Paul's whole corpus of writing on church life? As the letter writer cited above says,
"We are trusted with an emerging pattern not a fixed pattern."
Then, Julian Mann of Cranmer's Curate, blows the whistle on "Plans involving 'senior figures' are now underway to consecrate a group of Conservative Evangelical bishops for the UK". (Perhaps everyone knows about this over in the UK so it is not strictly blowing the whistle, but it is the first I have seen mention of it in recent months). But maybe that explains the sudden surge of internet interest in these matters!