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Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Testimony by the Late Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger

by Dr. Susan C. Hyatt

While unpacking boxes during our current move, I came across a handwritten testimony by Cathie to me for publication in a magazine I was publishing at the time called "CHANGE YOUR WORLD." Cathie, a dear friend, certainly did her part in that regard! Here is what she wrote.

My task is to bring women to full liberty in Christ, both in their lives and in their labors for Christ. At the age of 49, I trudged back to graduate school to gain the skills necessary to evaluate St. Paul's controversial teachings on women. I was convinced that this servant of God who penned Galatians 3:28 and I Corinthians 11:11.12 was no woman hater. Long before, Catherine Bushnell had pointed out that over 100 passages of Scripture affirm God's blessing upon the activities and ministry of women. 

Upon the fingers of one hand, one might count those texts that appear to be restrictive, largely in the writings of the Apostle Paul. So it was that I determined to study those passages diligently: to examine text and context, language, and cultural background, the circumstances and challenges discussed.

The more I studied the cults of ancient pagan women, the more I understood that Paul was seeking to guide them to new patterns of worship and conduct. While women well taught in Jewish tradition were given a significant role in ministry, recent gentile converts needed more instruction. Instead of noisy shouting, they were to worship quietly, modestly clothed, respecting the sensitivities of others. 

Jewish women or those whose behavior was appropriate became emissaries of the Gospel: Priscilla, Phoebe, Junia, Euodias, Syntyche, and the women at the empty tomb. These faithful ones were instructed to proclaim their risen Lord to the frightened and disbelieving apostles. In my writing, I seek to challenge women to emulate these early evangelists and to make Christ known in every dimension of life to every part of the world. 

But the Bible speaks out against violence, stalking, lying in wait, twisting the words of another, against insults and name calling, against humiliating another or degrading them, against sexual abuse. Women need to understand that this pattern is not God's pattern for either the victim or the perpetrator. The Bible offers guidance for many ways in which believers can intervene and protect in troubled situations.

In cooperation with a Canadian sociologist who studies abuse in Christian homes, we authored a book for World Evangelical Fellowship, No Place for Abuse: Biblical and Practical Resources to Address Violence in Christian Homes. I have as well co-edited, Women, Abuse and the Bible and Healing the Hurting: Help and Hope for the Abused Christian Woman.

My wider writings include an analysis of I Timothy 2:11-15, the passage most often used restrictively against women (Title: I Suffer Not a Woman). A study New Testament (A Study Bible for Women) provides study notes for the inclusive NRSV of the New Testament, while the InterVarsity Press Women's Bible Commentary offers a commentary on the entire Bible from a woman's perspective. I continue to teach at Gordon Conwell Seminary, the Center for Urban Ministerial Education, and occasionally at the Evangelical Seminary of Croatia."

Eddie & I are forever grateful for the time and friendship God gave us with Dick & Cathie. Her FB Page remains:
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia

Catherine Clark Kroeger (December 12, 1925 – February 14, 2011) was an American author, professor, New Testament scholar, and a leading figure within the biblical egalitarian movement. Born Catherine Clark, daughter of Homer and Elizabeth Clark, in St. Paul, Minnesota, she graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1947. Then she earned an MA and a PhD in Classical Studies from the University of Minnesota. She was married to her husband of 60 years, Richard Clark Kroeger Jr., a Presbyterian pastor. They served together in ten pastorates in five states. In their latter years they resided on Cape Cod in Brewster, Massachusetts. Richard Clark Kroeger Jr. died 9 November 2010,[3] Catherine Clark Kroeger on 14 February 2011.[4]

1 comment:

  1. I've become a little familiar of her teachings although I never read any of her books. But I respect of her teachings regarding women in the church or in life altogether that supports the true gospel where women are fellow image bearers of God and can work with men together as co-heirs in the gospel. God Bless her and her husband's souls.