Priscilla, Where Are You? (Book Review)
Natalie Brand’s book is a timely and helpful challenge to women in our churches to commit to joyful theology.
Many women shy away from describing themselves as theologians as they haven’t undertaken any formal theological study or don’t consider themselves to be academics.
Natalie Brand calls all women who trust in Christ to embrace a commitment to “joyful theology”, so begins her short book with a “shout out” to Priscilla.
Who was Priscilla?
Natalie explains who Priscilla was and describes her legacy to Apollos and the New Testament church. She says, “Priscilla’s gift to the church is her rock-solid theology’”; she was a woman who “cared enough to correct”. As we study what God has revealed, this will quench a thirst inside us.
Whether you are a younger or older woman, whatever your background, whether single or married, Priscilla is presented as a model for us. She was a woman who dug deep into God’s word and understood doctrine so she could pass it on to others; in her life “there was no disconnect between loving God and knowing about him”.
Surely, we want women like Priscilla in the church today, so Natalie challenges Christian women not to sell themselves short. As we mine for gold in God’s word, our hearts will be filled with weighty truths that spill over into heartfelt worship and our appetite for more will grow.
Reading in church life
There are many ways in which this book can be used in church life.
It could be read in a one-to-one between an older and younger woman to inspire more depth of enquiry and love of God’s truth. Help will be found to live as a woman in the workplace, single or married, serving in church and in the community, bringing up children, and navigating the complexities of secular 21st-century life.
It could be read and then discussed in a book group or at a women’s breakfast. There are helpful questions at the end of each chapter to frame the discussion.
If you have a group of women who plan and prepare a programme of women’s ministry in your church, then read this book together and consider: “What place does theology have in the life of our church? How can we inspire and stretch the women in our church to grow in their knowledge of doctrine which is applied and lived out?”
This book would be a useful evaluation tool for your women’s ministry programme.
It could also be read by church elders to consider how they are encouraging women to grow in their knowledge of God and his word, and whether women are given a rightful place to minister in church life. This brings us to Natalie’s final chapter.
Priscilla in a pulpit?
In the last chapter, Natalie returns to how Priscilla and Aquilla shared their riches with Apollos and how we can do the same as women in church life.
At a time when there is debate about complementarianism, I was heartened that Priscilla “didn’t need a pulpit to preach.”
She shared God’s truth and shaped others to praise God. Surely, we want women in our churches to be able to do the same with confidence and in increasing measure.
As a woman, I found this an encouraging and inspiring read.
I’ve not been to theological college but I have had the privilege of listening to good Bible teaching Sunday by Sunday, studying God’s Word, and reading helpful Christian books, both current and historical.
Sermons full of doctrine and theology have impacted my life and often my heart has been touched with love for Christ, for God and his Word. What we believe matters!
I should be desiring more depth of understanding and knowledge of God and his purposes and applying this to my life as I learn theology in many different ways. I can then share this with others and inspire them to grow in their knowledge and their love of the Lord.
You can order a copy of Priscilla, Where Are You? from 10ofThose for £5.99.