Arise: the official blog of CBE International. Mobilizing Christians for biblical gender equality

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Christianity Today surveyed 750 people in 2002. There were many interesting results but two are especially important for CBE. 1. 78% stated that "Christian leaders need to speak out on proper roles for men and women". 2. 38% agreed with the complementarian contention that only men should be ordained. 47% disagreed with the complementarian contention that only men should be ordained for ministry. Both of these conclusions argue strongly for our task to preach the truth of Scripture about gender relationships to a generation which hears many competing voices. [For the whole survey, see Christianity Today, the article titled "Adam and Eve in the 21st Century," March 11, 2002.] Read more
Together with a team of 5 others, I translated a New Testament for an Asian Bible-less tribe back in the 1980's. Wycliffe, Living Bibles and others helped us get it out. I know something about translating. Having written that, the recent activity of whole denominations and religious groups publicly stating that the recent TNIV translation is "not commendable" makes me flash back to the 1950's to the pictures of fundamentalist churches piling up huge stacks of RSV's in their church parking lots and burning them. I suspect God cringed in the 1950's and He does now in the early part of a new millenium over the same behaviors. The issue is control. The critics of the TNIV want to control 60% of the church [read: the women]. These self-proclaimed "Bible ev... Read more
The most popular Christian web site according to the traffic counter ChristianTop1000.com is a Bible question and answer site called GotQuestions.org. The most asked question out of 84,289 total questions asked is: "What about women pastors and preachers, what about women in the ministry?" Our task on the web at CBE is extremely important. We have an important voice and answer to the most often asked Christian question on the web. Read more
"Soft patriarchy is described in several recent books. For example Christian America, by University of North Carolina sociologist Christian Smith, finds that American evangelicals speak complementarian rhetoric and live egalitarian lives." I read this recently in an Australian article on the web. I have felt this often, as well. I watch my complementarian friends and they often live just like egalitarians. It seems that their lifestyle is ahead of their doctrine. Unfortunately, this is not true all of the time. Read more
The very witty Dorothy Sayers calls on women to be looked on as individual humans in her Are Women Human? (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971). Here's some of what she says. "A woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person." [24] "What is unreasonable and irritating is to assume that all one’s tastes and preferences have to be conditioned by the class to which one belongs. That has been the very common error into which men have frequently fallen about women." [25] "It is p... Read more
I sat in a discussion thirty years ago at Gordon-Conwell Seminary listening to Dr. Andrew Lincoln and Dr. Gordon Fee discuss the place of women in ministry. The discussion between egalitarianism and complementarianism had only really begun back then. The two terms were really not even used because "complementarianism" was not even a word commonly used in the English language. Even today, 99 percent of Christians in the church around the world probably know neither the term "complementarian" nor "egalitarian." The real question has been "Is it legitimate for a woman to lead in the church of God?" At the time, Lincoln was less egalitarian than he has become. Fee, then as now, was egalitarian to the core. I find Lincoln's drift both commendable an... Read more
The issue of gender equality is far more important and much bigger than many Americans realize. Because of the degrading views that so many cultures have towards women, women continue to suffer in record numbers. Millions of girls and women are less educated, are sold into the sexual slave trade, are victims of mutilating clitorectomies, and are systematically destroyed as infants because of their insignificance. "Two thirds of the world's illiterate people are women." See Daughters of Hope by Kay Marshall Strom and Michele Rickett, IVPress, 2003, p. 13. Daughters of Hope is available for purchase at CBE's bookstore, www.equalitydepot.com. While the issues of equal recognition of spiritual gifts, ordination of women, and the correct interpretation... Read more
So Peter Parker has his spidey-sense. Trust me—even the Webslinger is envious of my superpower. I have a finely-calibrated justice meter. My mom will confirm that I was born with this ability. As a kid, I wanted to be a judge so I could right all the wrongs of the world, from teenage drug abuse to nepotism in the workplace to sandwiches cut into unequal “halves.” Once I realized that going to law school wouldn’t necessarily keep my brother from getting a bigger helping of lasagna, I decided to open up my career options. Got a theology degree instead. (Which didn’t solve the portion problem either, but after gaining the freshman fifteen, I didn’t care so much about that anymore. And theology turned out to be pretty useful in learning how to use my su... Read more
As a child I was nurtured on regular doses of science fiction, particularly Star Trek. The original series always found its way onto our television sets. Captain Kirk and his crew regularly averted complete destruction by some clever (or sometimes corny) means. Kirk’s strength was superhuman—a model for men (I thought); he was “a red-blooded American boy,” as one man called him. He was the protector of his ship. When The Wrath of Khan came to the big screen, I remember the surprise of many Trekkers in our congregation to the idea of a woman as captain. There on the big screen stood Kirstie Ally, giving orders to all of her male subordinates. What had become of Starfleet anyway? Don’t they know that women are irrational? “It’s all right,... Read more
Every organization says they want feedback. It helps the leadership to finetune its knowledge of what the members want and may even uncover the next new thing or important next development. Members in organizations like knowing what their colleagues are thinking and experiencing and such communication helps them to develop professionally and may even change opinions. Sometimes communication may bring us up short. Sometimes we may learn more from feedback than we really want to know. Certainly hearing each other's stories and what we're thinking is a good thing, but there is a risk that our pat ideas may get challenged. Blogs are a particularly good tool for giving and getting opinion, but like other technologies, it has its side effects. Email, for example, speeded up lette... Read more

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