|Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings|
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Why are there so few women included in "Fire and Ice?"
This question, and the similar, "Why are there no writings by women Puritans?" are the most frequently asked questions I receive.
The short answer is, during the 17th and 18th Centuries, women did not write much, and since I am interested in writing, they would not be included. Interestingly, Anne Bradstreet's poems were first published without her knowledge, and then later included an apologia for "female wits," to use her words.
The long answer is that since my emphasis is on writing of a doctrinal nature (what is more doctrinal than experiential and devotional literature?), I use the writings of Puritan ministers. The Puritans believed that the New Testament teaches that only men may become ministers, and therefore almost all my authors are male. Indeed, if a 17th Century woman wished to preach and teach, she would no longer be a "Puritan."
This is not to say that men are more spiritual than women; experience leads any candid observer to the opposite conclusion. Rather, it is a result of the Puritans struggling to apply the Bible to all areas of life, and the church in particular, that they decided to exclude women from preaching and teaching. This is the position of conservative Reformed denominations today as well.
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