Tuesday, September 4, 2012

PAPERS IN HONOR OF NOEL BROOKS

A mosaic is a design created by many smaller pieces all uniting  in common purpose to convey the artistic image of the creator.  Only as one steps back to see the whole design does the meaning become clear.

"Mosaic"  is a collection of scholarly papers on a variety of topics in honor of a British born Wesleyan Pentecostal pastor, church leader, scholar, educator, and author.   Brooks was deeply committed to the merging of faith and intellect.  This collection honors that  by setting in place a few modest pieces of what is hoped will be a larger work uniting many in common purpose.  

Authors submitted for inclusion in this volume include Dr. Chris Green (Pentecostal Theological Seminary); Professor Rev. Ken L. Young (Southwestern Christian University);  Dr. Marvin J. Hudson, Pastor and Intensive Interim Ministry Specialist; Mrs. Irene Belyeu, Author (B.A.); Mrs. Marilyn A. Hudson, Author (M.L.I.S.).

This project is sponsored by The Friends of Noel Brooks.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Comments on Book on Brooks

Professor Kenneth Young, instructor of Bible and Theology at Southwestern Christian University comments: "...Finished reading "Noel Brooks: A Light Shining and Burning" .... Excellent introduction to the life, thought, and struggles of this great pastor, educator, and writer. Buy one; read it; glean from it; enjoy it."

Monday, June 11, 2012

News Story of Last Days of Noel Brooks

http://www.hughsnews.com/archives/Key/Show+Post/ContentID/911019/PostID/121964?ReturnUrl=LwBhAHIAYwBoAGkAdgBlAHMA

June 26, 2006 -
"Noel Brooks, age 92, is in the hospital with a chest infection. Sadly, his usually caring wife, Ruth, has developed Alzheimer's to a debilitating degree, and is hospitalized as well in a different hospital..."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

MAYNARD JAMES LECTURES - 1993


The Maynard James Lectures, was a program of academic and scholarly presentations sponsored by the Wesley Fellowship and The Flame Trust of Great Britain. "All eighteen of the Maynard James Memorial Lectures have been sponsored (and some published) by The Flame Trust. Latterly the lectures have been hosted at Wesley Fellowship meetings and, in cases where subject interests have overlapped, some have also been jointly published by the Wesley Fellowship and The Flame Trust." The seventeen lectures were published in small booklets and quickly sold out according to the website when it announced the last lecture.


In 1993, the No. 4 lecture was delivered at the Maclagan Chapel, NTC, Manchester: ‘The Holy Spirit’s Ministry’ by the Revd Noel Brooks, B.D. (http://www.wesley-fellowship.org.uk/WesBulletin22_3.html).



Noel Brooks Obituary

Published in the Bristol Evening Post on 3rd January 2007 (Distributed in Bristol) 
Image courtesy of SCU Library
Archives.

25th December 2006 

BROOKS, Noel. Reverend Noel, called into the presence of his Lord on Christmas Day 2006, aged 92 years. Beloved Husband of Ruth. Will be sadly missed by all who knew him. A great man of God. Funeral service at Walcot Parish Church (St. Swithin's) Bath, on Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 1.30 p.m. Family flowers only, donations to Kids Alive...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

EXPLORING THE THEOLOGICAL METHODOLOGY OF BROOKS

Dr. Chris Green, pastor, author, and college professor, delivered a paper titled, "Word and Spirit: The Theological Methodology of Noel Brooks."  The presentation explored the influences and beliefs revealed through Brooks writings.

A conference book is being planned containing a compilation of papers related to the themes of the event.

CONFERENCE HONORS LEGACY OF BROOKS

The Noel Brooks Memorial Conference, Southwestern Christian University, honored the legacy of Noel Brooks in integrating strong faith and academic work.  Educators, pastors, business people, and students gathered to hear papers, participate in panel discussions and dialogues on the theme of 'merging faith and learning'.



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Noel Brooks Memorial Conference

March 30, 2012 on the campus of Southwestern Christian University, Bethany, Oklahoma the NBMC will convene. The theme for this year's scholarly event is "Merging Faith and Learning".  Click here to pre-register or here to read more.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

'THE MINISTRY OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH'.Noel Brooks, ca. 1980

‘The Ministry of Women in the Church’ – Noel Brooks

I. Scripture shows that women have a place in the ministry of the church

OT. Ex 15: 20; Judges 4 and 5; 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chron. 34:22-25; cf. Neh.6:14; Isa. 8:3. Give special attention to Joel 2:28, 29 which points forward to the Messianic age.
NT. John 20:10; Matt 28:10; Acts 2:17,18l 21:9l Rom. 16:1,3,6,12,15; 1 Cor.11:5; Gals. 3:28.

II. It is clear, however, that Scripture place some restrictions on the ministry of women.

1 Cor. 11:3-16 – Implies that women engaged in ministry must not exercise authority above men; see below for  explanation.
1 Cor. 14:34-40 – on the surface this appears to command the total silence of women in Christian assemblies. But see below for discussion.
1 Tim. 2:11-12- this supports I Cor. 11:3-16, but limits the silence to teaching. This also is discussed below.

III. Can these two aspects of biblical revelation be reconciled?
(A) Historically and traditionally it has been assumed that women are almost automatically excluded from what might be called “Clerical “ positions in the church, leaving open to them various voluntary ministries such as Sunday School teaching, women’s meetings, and in some cases missionary work.

(B) At the other extreme, in fairly recent years, some claim that the silencing of women was a cultural practice binding only on women in apostolic days similar to the wearing of the head-covering or the holy kiss or foot-washing. Thus, the prohibitions and restrictions on women’s ministry are not binding on the church in a western culture.  Appeal is made to Gal. 3:28 –“there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither free nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”  If Paul’s statement here is accepted in the sense as a (even the) fundamental principle in this matter, it would put an end to the argument. The principle would stand in the same relationship as the question of slavery. Slavery was accepted in the apostolic church it was also accepted that in Christ slavery was abolished. It would take many hundreds of years for the ideal to become actual.  It could be argued that it is the case also with the roles of men and women in the church.  In Christ the distinction is abolished.  The same privileges  belong to both. In Christ the distinction is abolished. Yet Paul, who annunciated the principle of oneness in Galatians 3:28, in other passages [ text is missing in original document; following page has “ment, this would be a concession on Paul’s part similar to the slavery question.”]

Only with the passing of the centuries would women’s equality with men be acceptable, which time has now come.  Hence, the adoption in many Christian denominations of women’s ordination, while other churches continue to agonize over it, and some even still resist or reject it. However, it is not quite clear that Paul’s principle of “all one in Christ Jesus” does apply to Christian ministry.  Certainly in context Paul is thinking only of the blessings of salvation.  There is no suggestion that he would apply the same principle to ministry.  And in the passages which restrict the ministry of women he gives no hint that the restrictions were meant only for the early church. I myself feel unable to concede that the principle of all “one in Christ Jesus” extends to all aspects of life and of Christian ministry. The restrictive passages should be taken seriously. Just as in the natural roles and functions of men and women there are plain differences confined to one or the other, even though men and women are equal in worth and dignity, so, accordingly to the Pauline restrictive passages, there are forms of Christian ministry which are reserved for men, yet women are not de-valued or demeaned in any way by the restriction, any more than they are de-valued or demeaned by their sexual differentiations.

(C ) There is, however, a middle way of looking at this question
This focus on 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, a passage which preserves both the rights of women to engage in Christian ministry, and the principle of restriction on that ministry. According to this middle way Christian women are free to participate in all forms of Christian ministry provided the headship of man is preserved.  The problem is discussed in some length by John Stott in the section “Women, Men, and God” in his book Issues Facing Christians Today (pages 252-254).  His practical conclusion is that “it is biblically permissible for women (to minister) provided that the content of their teaching is biblical, its context a team, and its style humble.  For in such a situation they may be exercising their gift without claiming a “headship” which is not theirs” (page 253).

It is clear that in 1 Cor. 11:2-5 Paul taught that women may pray and prophesy in Christian services.  It cannot be denied that these ministries are among the foremost which may be exercised.  In the 14th chapter he plainly rates prophesy as supreme among the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and in view of his many exhortations and encouragements to pray it cannot be denied that he viewed prayer at least as important. Yet, a woman may do both in the services of the church. However, Paul also insists that in the performance of these….[text missing? Next page begins “… wearing a head-covering…..”]
The typed text picks up….

“….wearing a head-covering. If she does “she dishonors her head.”  The meaning of this is debated (Gordon Fee has a long , involved discussion on the passage in his scholarly commentary on First Corinthians in the New International Commentary of the New Testament , pages 498-530). Some claim that the term “head” here means Christ, others that it means husband or man in general, in this context gifted men in the church service. In either case according to Paul not to wear a head covering meant the dishonoring of that head. Is this a universal rule for the church today, or was it a cultural practice for apostolic times only? Some cling to the former opinion and insist that women in Christian assemblies, especially if they pray or prophesy or engage in any other form of public ministry should wear a head covering of some kind.  Other, however, (for example John Stott) make a distinction between a universal principle which abides forever, namely, respect for male head ship in the church, and the cultural practice of head-covering. Stott says, “The practice of ‘cultural transposition’ seeks to cloth the unchanged essence of revelation in new and appropriate cultural dress.   In the first century masculine headship was expressed in the requirement of female head coverings and in the prohibition of women teaching men could it not be expressed today, in a way that is faithful to Scripture and relevance to the twentieth century, in terms of female participation in team ministries of which men are leaders?” (ibid, page 253).

Wayne Grudem, in an excellent study The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, discusses the subject of “Women and Prophecy” in chapter 11.  He says: “In 1 Cor. 11 Paul affirms one temporary expression (head coverings) of an eternal, created difference (role differences between men and women).  He sees head coverings as outward expressions of the difference between men and women, outward expressions which were commonly recognized in that society at that time.  But there is no good reason for us to think that such an expression as style of head-covering (or style of clothing generally) was intended to be a rule for all societies for all time…What is abiding is the eternal relationship between men and women which Paul depends on to support his teachings on the head coverings, the temporary expression.”
Thus, in 1 Cor. 11:2-5, Paul recognizes the right and freedom of Christian women to engage in Christian ministries, but insists that they must do so under the headship of male leadership.  The modern type of team ministry  provides for this. [Note: this may be a clue to dating this document. Team ministries emerged in Pentecostal circles in the late 1970’s and 1980’s]

A similar idea underlies the regulations of 1 Cor. 34:34-27 where Paul says, in the KJV, “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.”  In order to weaken this command some focus on the Greek verb laleo, claiming that the word means “to chatter”, thus bringing disruption to the services. What are the facts concerning this word?

Laleo occurs about 300 times in the NT in many different contexts, and was frequently in a good sense, describing rational and informal discourse, including the words spoken by Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, by the Apostles, and by Christian people in general.  For example Hebrews 1:1,2 :” God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…”   Did God chatter in this self-disclosure?  Surely not!  In Cor. 14 itself the word occurs 14 times, mainly in a good sense.
The remarks of Thayer and those of Bauer, Ardnt, and Gingrich should settle this question.

Thayer: The primary meaning of lalein, to utter ones’ self, enables us to undertand ots very frequent use in the sacred writers to denote the utterances by which God indicates or gives proof of his min and will, whether immediately  or through the instrumentality if his messages or heralds.  (Perhaps this may account for the fact that, the classical Greek lalein is the term for light and familiar speech, and so assumes readily a disparaging notion, in biblical Greek it is nearly if not quiet, free from such suggestion)” (Greek-English Lexicon to the New Testament, page 368).

Bauer, Ardnt, and Gingrich: In the Greek-English Lexicon…..on the noun Lalia which occurs only four times in the NT. “Mostly (in classical writers) in an unfavorable sense gossip or common talk; in our (that is biblical ) literature, always in a good sense” (page 464).  Thus, while there is a faint possibility that Paul is forbidding the Corinthian women to chatter during church services, it would seem that it is rather a desperate attempt to rob Paul’s command of real meaning.  The overwhelming evidence if Scripture favors a good meaning for the word and thus previous evidence for the view that in the NT certain restrictions are placed on the ministry of women. Paul is not telling women they must not chatter during church services, but that they should not take part in the ministry which is going on.

But what was the precise nature of this forbidden ministry?

In the light of 1 Cor. 11:2-5 it cannot refer to praying or prophesying, or indeed to any other kind of charismatic ministry. It does not appear to be only a repetition of 1 Cor. 11:5, namely, to speaking without a head-covering, meaning, assuming the headship God gave to man at the creation and which still stands. Wayne Grudem makes a good case for his view that Paul is thinking of judging of prophecies which he had just described  in verses 29-33. He writes, “On this view, Paul would be saying, ‘Let the others (that is the rest of the congregation) weigh what is said (by the prophets….but) ‘the women should keep silence in the churches.’   In other words, women could not give spoken criticism of the prophecies which were made during a church service.  This rule would not prevent them from silently evaluating the prophecies in their own minds (v.29 implies that they should do so) but it would mean that they would not voice those evaluations in the assembled congregations” (The Gift of Prophecy, pages 220, 221).

For women to sit in judgment of the prophecies would violate his command in 1 Cor. 11:5.  Grudem concludes:” The woman should keep silence during the evaluation of prophecies” (page 224).   The issue arises once again in 1 Tim. 2:11-15. Paul says, “Let the woman learn in silence in all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (NKJV).  Probably this prohibition should be interpreted in light of 1 Cor. 11:2-5. That is, that Paul was not forbidding all teaching by women but ministry which sought to override the ministry of the male leadership. This is supported by the expression, “to have authority over a man.”  Stott asks : “Is it possible that the demand for female silence was not an absolute prohibition of women teaching men, but rather a prohibition of teaching which infringes the principle of male headship” (Issues Facing Christians Today, page 252).
Grudem similarly writes: “Paul is arguing from a larger conviction about an abiding distinction between the roles appropriate to males and to females in the church…this distinction comes to focus in the prohibition of women from exercising doctrinal and ethical governance, even from time to time, over the congregation” (page 24).

Paul goes on to show that the ground for male headship was laid at the creation when God made man first, and women afterwards. In a similar way Jesus had claimed that the union of one man with one woman in marriage was grounded in the creation (Matthew 19:1-6).

Thus, Paul teaches, the respective roles of man and woman in the human family were divinely planned from the creation. Both have their roles o play and both roles are equal in value, dignity and importance, yet they are different in order, man being the head, the woman fulfilling her roles in submission to her husband/head.  It must be stressed, however, that the husband’s leadership does not consist in harsh and unloving domination but in loving and gracious leadership, as Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:22=23.

Though Paul does not plainly say so, the implication is that the same is true of men and women in the church. Indeed, his reason for making the reference to the headship of the man in the family is in order to justify his rules for men and women in the church.

New Book Available Now on Amazon


Noel Brooks: A Life Shining and Burning, 1914-2006 

A CreateSpace publication of a Whorl Books title.

The Reverend Noel Brooks (1914-2006) was an English clergy, educator, and author who ministered in the Wesleyan Methodist, the Elim Pentecostal Church, The Bible Pattern Fellowship (and wrote a biography of the leader and well known revivalist, George Jeffreys) and in the Pentecostal Holiness Church in both Great Britain and North America. 


Using letters, personal papers, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, examinations of numerous resources and analysis of the published writings of Brooks, the author presents an introduction to his life, work and the influences, which shaped his theology. This simple work seeks to examine some of the influences and explores, in their historical and social contexts, some of the major activities in the life of this man. 

A scholar whose life of spirituality, sacrifice, and insight left a lasting impression on all who had the privilege to know the man or read his work.


List Price: $15.00
5.06" x 7.81" (12.852 x 19.837 cm) 
Black & White on White paper
230 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1468025095 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1468025090
BISAC: Biography & Autobiography / Religious

Saturday, December 3, 2011

'FACTS ABOUT THE BRITISH CONFERENCE OF THE PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH" ca 1977

Noel Brooks, one time leader in the British Conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, compiled some facts related to the origins and history of the conference.  The following was probably written between 1977 and 1983.

"ORIGIN
In 1952 Dr. W. H. Turner attended the World Pentecostal Conference in London where he met the Rev. Howard Wallis of Bristol.  As a result the Bristol Church of which Mr. Wallis was pastor became organized as a P.H. Church.

In 1954, as a result of ground work by Chaplain Jake Till, the Rev. R.L. Rex, and Thurance York held evangelistic services in several cities and created wider interest in the P.H.C.  During that summer the Rev. and Mrs. Noel Brooks were preaching in the U.S.A. where they made their first contacts with P.H. Churches.

In October if the same year Bishop J.A. Synan organized the British Conference.  There was one church (Bristol) and several ministers of independent churches.  The first Superintendent was the Rev. H. Wallis.

DEVELOPMENTS
From the very beginning progress was slow and difficult. There was resentment from existing Pentecostal bodies. Some pastors and churches joined the conference but left almost as soon as they came. Independents found a centralized organization unacceptable.  Some found Wesleyan theology a problem. In the first ten years ten churches came into being, some as a result of pioneer work, others from independent backgrounds.  Lack of trained workers and of money impeded progress. At the present time there are only five organized churches.

In 1960 a Bible College was founded in an effort to overcome this deficiency.  At first, only evening classes were conducted, then in 1963 both day and evening classes were opened. Noel Brooks was President, and he and L.J. Harding were the main instructors.  About 100 students passed through the school the twelve years of its existence (1960-1973).  Only 20 of these were full-time students.  The small churches were unable to provide sufficient young people as students, and most of the enrollees, came from other church backgrounds. Eventually in 1973 the school was forced to close.  However, several excellent workers entered Christian work from this school.

SUPERINTENDENTS
The following have served as Conference Supertendents -
1954-1955 Howard Wallis
1955-1962 Noel Brooks
1962-1963 William Sherrod (died October 1963)
1963-1966 Noel Brooks
1967-1969 Howard Wallis
1969-1977 Charles Hopla (died March 1977)
1977 -         Arthur Coleman

MISSIONARY INTEREST
Bristol Bible College, 1960-1973
Throughout it brief existence the British Conference has kept a lively interest in mission, although it is itself under the authority of the world's Mission Board.  Three Britishers are missionaries, although they were not send out by the British Conference but joined the P.H.Church while they were on  the mission field.  They are the Rev. and Mrs. K.G. Donald of India and Mrs. Adrienne Chapman (nee Holdsworth) of South Africa.  All of these are doing great work for God in their respective spheres.


Since 1972 Noel Brooks has traveled extensively and contributed to the P.H.C. in several lands: South African and Rhodesia (1972); Canada (1972-1974); Mexico (1974); USA (1974-1976); Argentina (1976).  He has also visited North American on several occasions for special ministry.


YOUTH INTERESTS
Though there is much to discourage in the British Conference, the youth work is full of promise.  Under the leadership of the Rev. Arthur Coleman the Lifeliners work was organized and  has grown in numbers and interest from the start. An annual Youth Camp is held, as well as periodic rallies and competitions.  Several young people have taken out Mission Workers License and plan to proceed with the Ministers Course.

Brethren pray for us!  Britain is a sick country. Only about 5% of our people go to church. There is great industrial unrest and political strife..."

---Noel Brooks, "Facts about the British Conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church" , undated manuscript, Noel Brooks Collection, Southwestern Christian University Archives.   Used by permission.  Transcribed by Marilyn A. Hudson, 2011.

Friday, April 1, 2011

NUGGETS FROM NOEL

In 1976, Brooks delivered the Baccalauete address to the graduates of Oklahoma City Southwestern College, now Southwestern Christian University.

British born scholar and church leader, the Rev. Noel Brooks, spoke to graduates of Oklahoma City Southwestern College (now SCU) on  May 16, 1976. The subject of his baccalaureate address was the life of Daniel (Daniel 1:1-8; 16-21).

"A Christian College is not a "degree mill" where academic standards can be charitably relaxed, or cheap accreditation offered.  A "Christian" College is not merely where  good academic degrees are earned. Rather it is a matrix where young people of Daniel's quality can be moudled and fashioned before being sent out to challenge the pagan culture outside.

I am not speaking exclusively of pastors, evangelists and missionaries. Daniel was not a priest or an official prophet. He was never ordained to the ministry or licensed to preach. He was a layman, a senator, a statesman, a politician in the best sense of the word. And he was a man of profound religious conviction, of strong moral and strong principles, who could not be bent by the world around him.  The grand purpose of a Christian College is to provide a mould in which men and women of Daniel's calibre can be trained for all professions and walks of life.

In order to do this a college must be more than a "Christian" in name. It is possible to have a name to live and yet be dead. A "Christian" College must practice "Christian" principles; it must have a "Christian" atmosphere; and it must have "Christian" leaders, teachers, and staff. Only then can a "Christian" imprint be indelibly stamped on the mind and character of the student body."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

NUGGETS FROM NOEL

"I have in my possession some of my father's Bibles. In them are scraps of paper and envelopes on which he had written sermon outlines and thoughts from time to time. For a miner who had scarcely received any education he was a great reader. He owned a fair number of books, and had read many more, some of them deeply theological. But the Bible was supreme of all. He lived in his Bible, and  all his Bibles were marked from cover to cover."
--Brooks, Noel. Out of a Horrible Pit: A family memoir. (Advocate Press, 1971).  Based on earlier edition published by Noel Brooks.

Fight for the Faith and Freedom: George Jeffreys - Revivalist and Reformer

SCU Archives Collection 
In 1948, Noel Brooks published Fight for the Faith and Freedom as a defense of a many and a movement for he had great respect and allegiance.    

Brooks had aligned himself with the Elim Pentecostal Fellowship, which Jeffreys' had formed.  The association emphasized local church autonomy among other points of polity.  In 1938, a group within the Elim Fellowship acquired control of the organization.  In  response, Jeffreys, along with several supporters and churches, disassociated themselves from Elim.  When Jeffreys formed the Bible-Pattern Fellowship, Brooks followed.

Historian Vinson Synan, writing in his history of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, states Brooks had been employed by Jeffreys.  

The fervor of youth enthusiasm tempered in time, and according to historian Desmond Cartwright, despite attempts to have the work removed the book remained in print.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

NUGGETS FROM NOEL

"Nothing is more wonderful in the New Testament than the transformation of the apostles of Christ from getters to givers, from the served to the serving. From the self-seeking to the self-denying. From men who were motivated by that spirit of self-interest which would exploit and corrupt event apostolic office and power, to men with a clean heart and right spirit."
--Brooks, Noel, 1914-2006
"Church Reform or Personal Holiness." Advocate, August 11, 1956, pg. 13.

NUGGETS FROM NOEL

"Holiness" cannot be manufactured by man; it must be given by God; man can only receive it."
--Noel Brooks, 1914-2006
Pardon, Purity and Power: The Threefold Ministry of the Holy Spirit.
(Franklin Springs, GA: Advocate Press, 1969, pg.12)

Biblical Basis for Missions

As a young man, Noel Brooks read eagerly the biographies of 19th century and early 20th century missionaries.  As an adult he supported the work of the church to evangelize the world.  As a church leader he traveled to South America, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere visiting first hand with other cultures and the emergent churches there.  The Biblical Basis for Missions was  published in 1976 by Advocate Press, Franklin Springs, Georgia.

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