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When Jessica and I got married, we began to learn a great many things. We learned, first of all, that most of what people had told us about marriage was untrue. The eye-rolling comments prefaced by “just wait to you get married” were found empty, and the endless, grim phrases such as  “it’s a lot of work” and “it’s not for happiness and enjoyment; it’s for holiness,” were likewise inapplicable to us—at least in the way they were often framed.  On the other hand, many of the “traditional” virtues aimed at couples proved to be as good of or better assets than our Christian community contended. Chastity, honesty, openness, teachability, etc. prevented countless weeds from ever sprouting. In that “cultiv... Read more
tim+anne evans
When Anne and I teach our co-leadership (mutual equality and mutual authority) marriage message, we are frequently asked our opinion on women being encouraged to serve as elders. The following is a conversation we had with a couple I refer to as “Diane” and “Jack.” My desire is to illustrate how selective literalism can impact a church’s elder selection process and treatment of women. Diane asked, “Tim, can you give me an example of selective literalism?” “I’ll try,” I said. “How about the issue surrounding women being encouraged to serve in all positions and offices in the local church—without restrictions? More specifically, let’s look at how selective literalism comes into play regarding women serving... Read more
While I was at university, I was obsessed with becoming a missionary. I wasted several years of my life trying to become one, because I was convinced that it was the Lord's will for me. Looking back, I now recognize how privilege, bias, and patriarchy drove my desire. Lurking beneath my perceived “calling” to missions was an unspoken assumption about my place in the world and the place of others in relation to myself. I now see that my goal and the assumptions driving it were rooted in my own bias. They were also a consequence of patriarchy.   I knew from childhood that I wanted to preach. I loved listening to my father preach every Sunday, and I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to dig deep and find out everything there was to know about the Bible. I wanted to c... Read more