Lionel Windsor, “Preachers and Leaders”, in Women, Sermons and the Bible: Essays Interacting with John Dickson’s Hearing Her Voice. Edited by Peter G. Bolt and Tony Payne. Sydney: Matthias Media, 2014.
I have written about the background and purpose of the book and summarised the contributions of the various authors here. However, the issues addressed in my own essay are broader than the particular debate about gender. My essay appears on this site with the kind permission of the publisher.
- Preachers and Leaders Preface: The publication history of Hearing Her Voice
- Preachers and Leaders 1: A separation of preaching and leadership?
- Preachers and Leaders 2: The speech of shepherd-leaders in the New Testament
- Preachers and Leaders 3: Preaching as congregational leadership: a venerable history
- Preachers and Leaders 4: Preaching and congregational leadership today
- Preaching sermons and leading congregations: what’s the connection? (Exploring some implications)
- Preaching sermons and shepherding the flock: What’s the connection?
A history of the discussion
In the process of researching my essay and responding to reviews, I’ve collected links to various contributions. I’ve placed them here in rough chronological order for those who wish to follow the history of the discussion.
The first edition of Hearing Her Voice
Publication of the first edition
25 December 2012: Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons by John Dickson published by Zondervan international as an eBook.
The book was published in the series Fresh Perspectives on Women in Ministry, alongside two other books: Michael Bird, Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry; and Kathy Keller, Jesus, Justice and Gender Roles: A Case for Gender Roles in Ministry.
The book Hearing Her Voice (in its original edition) has subsequently been withdrawn from the market and replaced with a revised edition.
Summary excerpts of the first edition are available here:
- Chapter 1 “In a nutshell” from the original edition of Hearing Her Voice
- Chapter 2 “In a nutshell” from the original edition of Hearing Her Voice
- Chapter 3 “In a nutshell” from the original edition of Hearing Her Voice
- Chapter 4 “In a nutshell” from the original edition of Hearing Her Voice
- The conclusion of the original edition of Hearing Her Voice
Anyone interested in reading more of the original edition could contact the publisher (Zondervan), the author (John Dickson), or any senior minister of an Anglican church in Sydney – these were the target audience of the book and all received a free copy.
Promotion of the first edition on social media
There are obviously too many instances to list as the first edition was extensively promoted on social media; here are a few examples:
- John Dickson: “The question of women delivering sermons in church is a fraught one for many evangelical Christians…
- John Dickson: ePamph, “a piece of non-fiction writing shorter than a standard book and published in e-format for ease of distribution.” Go forth and multiply!
Reviews of / responses to the first edition
The following reviews and responses to the first edition of Hearing Her Voice appeared soon after its publication and promotion on social media. The list is not exhaustive:
- Peter Bolt, in three instalments: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Feeling Blue? (29 December, 2012); Rescuing the Baby from the Bilgewater (4 Jan, 2013); ‘It is no empty word for you, but your very life’ (Deut. 32:47) (14 January, 2013)
- John Dickson: A Response to Peter Bolt’s Critique of Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons by John Dickson (22 January, 2013)
- Luke Collings: Gender and Ministry: Why John Dickson is Wrong about Women and Preaching (30 December, 2012)
- Lionel Windsor: What’s happening to our preaching? A response to John Dickson: Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons (3 January, 2013)
- Blog discussion following this review (including contributions by John Dickson)
- John Dickson: “In Defence of Inadequate Books on Preaching”: John Dickson replies to my critique of Hearing Her Voice
- Further discussion
- Lionel Windsor: “Teaching” in the pastoral letters and today: a brief reply
- Further discussion
- Nathan Campbell: Hearing Her Voice: Teaching, Preaching, and a Complementarian Ethos (13 January, 2013)
- Marg Mowczko: A Critique of John Dickson’s “Hearing Her Voice” (16 January, 2013)
- John Sandeman on the Bible Society website: John Dickson says Bible based churches should let women preach (16 January, 2013)
- Kevin Giles on the Bible Society website: An evangelical egalitarian response to John Dickson’s ‘Hearing Her Voice’ (17 January, 2013)
- Michael Jensen on the Sydney Anglicans website: A surprising consensus? (21 January, 2013)
- Christopher Ash on the Proclamation Trust (UK) website: Hearing Her Voice? (28 January, 2013)
- Dani Treweek on lionelwindsor.net: Hearing her Voice – Some Personal Reflections by Dani Treweek (29 January, 2013)
- John Starke on the Gospel Coalition (USA): Reviewing ‘Fresh Perspectives on Women in Ministry’ from Keller, Bird and Dickson (31 January, 2013)
- John Dickson’s Response to John Starke’s TGC Review (4 Feb, 2013)
- Simon Roberts: Reflections on Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons (2 Feb, 2013)
- John Dickson Responds to Simon Robert’s Critique (6 Feb, 2013)
- Peter Barnes, Revesby Presbyterian Church: Review of John Dickson, Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons (19 Feb, 2013)
- Martin Shields: john dickson — hearing her voice: a case for women giving sermons (9 Mar, 2013)
- Mark Heath (UK): Book Review–Hearing Her Voice (John Dickson) (10 Mar, 2013)
- Laura McAlister: Hearing Her Voice: A Catholic Perspective (11 Apr, 2013)
- Nathan Walter: A Response to John Dickson’s Hearing Her Voice in 7 parts (Aug, 2013)
The revised edition of Hearing Her Voice
Publication of the print book (Dickson Publishing)
August, 2013: Hearing Her Voice: A Case for Women Giving Sermons released as a print book by Dickson Publishing Pty Ltd.
Some clarification is needed on the publication details of the print book, which subsequently became known as the “Revised Edition”. The print book does not indicate anywhere that it a revised edition; rather it states that it is the print version of the first edition, i.e. the earlier (2012) eBook. The front-matter states:
This print edition of the Zondervan eBook is produced by Dickson Publishing PTY LTD … eBook details: / ZONDERVAN / Hearing Her Voice / Copyright © 2012 by John Dickson. / This title is available as a Zondervan ebook …”
16 May 2014: After the publication of Women, Sermons and the Bible (see below), John Dickson clarified on social media that the print book was in fact a revised edition and expressed regret for the confusion he had caused by not stating this in the book itself:
Think of the eBook as the beta model and the printed one (which is the revised one, the second edition) as the main game. I regret causing that confusion.
Publication of the international and Kindle versions (Zondervan)
27 May, 2014: Hearing Her Voice, Revised Edition: A Case for Women Given Sermons by John Dickson published by Zondervan international as a print and eBook. NB The front cover image contains an alternative subtitle: A Biblical Invitation for Women to Preach.
This revised edition has replaced the first edition, which has been withdrawn from the market (see above).
Women, Sermons and the Bible
Publication of the book
5 May, 2014: Women, Sermons and the Bible: Essays Interacting with John Dickson’s Hearing Her Voice published by Matthias Media as an e-Book. Contributors included:
- Peter Tong, “Doing theology in a digital culture”
- Dani Treweek, “One woman’s voice: some personal reflections on the realities of complementarian ministry”
- Claire Smith, “Unchanged ‘teaching’: The meaning of didaskō in 1 Timothy 2:12″
- Claire Smith, “Can the Old Testament be ‘taught’?”
- Claire Smith, “Is the modern sermon an ‘exhortation’?”
- Peter Bolt, “Reading God’s history as our good news”
- Tony Payne, “God’s word then and now”
- Lionel Windsor, “Preachers and Leaders” – available to read in full on www.lionelwindsor.net
- Mark Thompson, “The theological ground of evangelical complementarianism”
- Claire Smith, “Observations from the second edition”
Discussion of the book
- Lionel Windsor, Summary of Women, Sermons and the Bible (9 May 2014)
- Discussion of Lionel Windsor’s summary on John Dickson’s Facebook wall: “It’s amazing how one guy can be wrong in so many ways …” (10 May 2014)
- John Dickson: Initial reflection on Women, Sermons and the Bible, posted on Facebook:
- Initial reflections on Matthias Media’s Women, Sermons and the Bible. #1 (11 May 2014)
- Further discussion of the same issues raised above (15 May 2014)
- Lionel Windsor: response to the issues raised above (6 June, 2014)
- Ian Powell (promoted by John Dickson on Facebook): “One of Australia’s best ‘persuaders’, reflects on the persuasional approach of Matthias Media’s new book” (20 May 2014)
- This was also published on johndickson.org but was subsequently deleted.
- Tim Harris: A critique of Women, Sermons and the Bible. Series of 6 blog posts on (May-June 2014)
- John Dickson: Detailed response to Women, Sermons and the Bible. (June-August 2014)
- “How Can One Guy Be Wrong in So Many Ways?” (the original version of the detailed response, in a PDF).
- NB The response was published as a series of blog posts on www.johndickson.org, then made available as a PDF. The blog posts, blog comments by others, and original PDF have now been deleted from johndickson.org and replaced with an edited version (see below).
- Discussion on blog post 1: “A Compliment, a Criticism, and an Invitation: WSB Reflection #1” (7 June 2014)
- Discussion on blog post 2: “A Spectator’s Guide to Women Giving Sermons” (10 June 2014)
- Discussion on blog post 3: “My own private semantic revolution?” (12 June 2014)
- Discussion on blog post 4: “My ‘highly misleading’ use of Josephus” (23 June 2014)
- Discussion on blog post 5: “The strongest sounding arguments can sometimes be the weakest” (10 July 2014)
- See also comments by Lionel Windsor critiquing the scholarly approach and details of John Dickson’s response here
- NB this discussion and comments are based on material that can only be found in the original version of John Dickson’s response. This original version has been deleted from johndickson.org and replaced with a revised version, in which most of the material from blog post 5 (=chapter 5) has been removed.
- Discussion on blog post 6: “How Can One Guy Be Wrong in So Many Ways?” (28 August 2014)
- Revised version of “How Can One Guy Be Wrong in So Many Ways?”, which deletes chapter 5 and includes a brief apology to Claire Smith (February 2015)
- “How Can One Guy Be Wrong in So Many Ways?” (the original version of the detailed response, in a PDF).
- Simone Richardson: A second speaker’s spot in church? (14 June, 2014)
- Andrew Judd: “If Dickson’s wrong, he’s wrong in the right way – guest blog from the Rev Andrew Judd” (19 June, 2014)
- Craig Blomberg: “Women in the Pulpit?” (cached version – originally published on johndickson.org but subsequently deleted) (June, 2014)
- Clarification: The paper appears to be critiquing all of the essays in Women, Sermons and the Bible, including my own essay “Preachers and Leaders” which deals directly with the topic of the paper. Professor Blomberg has kindly clarified in an email to me that he did not in fact have a copy of the book Women, Sermons and the Bible when he wrote his paper. Rather, he was using a set of PDFs that had been sent to him by John Dickson. Thus his paper should not be considered as a direct critique of my essay.
- Kanishka Raffel: Review of Women, Sermons and the Bible
- Andrew Heard (on lionelwindsor.net): Women and ‘teaching’ : What is Paul prohibiting in 1 Timothy 2:12? (8 Sept 2014)
- John Dickson: Brief Thoughts on Andrew Heard’s Critique of Hearing Her Voice (cached version – this was originally published on johndickson.org but subsequently deleted)
- Andrew Heard: A Brief Response to John Dickson’s Response to My Response (22 Oct 2014)
- Lionel Windsor, paper presented at Priscilla and Aquila Centre conference: Preaching sermons and leading congregations: what’s the connection? (Exploring some implications) (2 Feb 2015).
Further relevant discussions
- Kevin de Young, “Should Women Preach in Our Churches?” at The Gospel Coalition blog.