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Mutuality

A professor of mine once remarked that the task of a history student was two-fold. First, unlearn the “history” you were taught as a child—the oversimplified, misleading, or plain false stories that paint history as simple and clear. Next, embark on the humbling but rewarding task of relearning a richer history—one of messy motives, nuanced accuracy, and unfiltered humanity. Read more
We are shaped by our stories. In fact, our stories, once in place, determine much of our behavior without regard to their accuracy or helpfulness. Once these stories are stored in our minds, they stay there largely unchallenged until we die. And here is the main point: these narratives are running (and often ruining) our lives. That is why it is crucial to get the right narratives. Read more
When I first met Melinda, my senior pastor and soon-to-be mentor, I sat in the congregation staring at her. I took in her block-colored suits, her no-nonsense pumps, and the platinum blonde hair that she curled around her ear as she preached. I listened to her talk about the strategy for our church and her vision to influence one million people for Jesus in her lifetime. I watched her speak authoritatively to all our leaders and boldly challenge our attitudes in her sermons. Read more
I was a heartbroken twenty-one-year-old. My relationship with my girlfriend was falling apart, and I was desperate to figure out what had gone wrong and how to make it better. Deliverance came in the form of a popular Christian relationship book. It taught me the principle that many evangelicals know so well: “women need love, men need respect.” Suddenly it all made sense. I could hardly contain my excitement when I shared this good news with my soon-to-be-former girlfriend. Read more
Who would think we would find important truths about marriage from the ancient agricultural implements found along the highways and byways of South India? Read more
The bloody tale of Jezebel’s daughter Athaliah’s rise to power has been used as a model to speak out against female leadership. Time and time again I have heard theologians, bloggers, preachers, and teachers refer to Athaliah’s attempt to assassinate her grandchildren to remain in power as clear evidence that women should not be leaders. Athaliah, they assert, is a typical picture of a woman in leadership: power hungry, blood thirsty, and downright unqualified for any leadership position. Read more
During my PhD studies at the University of Durham (Durham, England), I lived and studied beside some of the most dedicated Christians I have ever known. Separated for years from their families, they worked without ceasing, seven days a week, indebted to the communities that supported their education. Often struggling with English and the bitter cold climate (and culture) of Britain, they shouldered many heavy burdens. Keenly aware that each hour of study meant greater capacity to serve their churches and communities throughout India, China, Europe, and the Middle East, they worked without ceasing. Though they were young compared to most graduate students in our department, their disciplined passion was extraordinary, giving them that singular focus of an exceptional leader. Read more
“Submission.” It’s not a four-letter word, but it may as well be. Depending on how it’s used, who says it, and what they mean, “submission” can be anything from dirty and disgusting to offensive and oppressive. Or, perhaps, even beautiful. Read more
“You know what, why don’t you take Allison’s last name?” My mind instantly went back to the days of my youth, where I remembered that the very idea of doing such a thing would have gotten me kicked out of the youth group. Now there I was, in my mid-twenties, preparing for seminary and marriage, with a whole new outlook on life, and this little dilemma presented itself. Read more
Mark and I never meant to become egalitarians, at least not until we discovered we already were. This is the story of the long, winding road to recognize and gratefully celebrate that we are egalitarians. In retrospect, we were on that journey from the very first. Read more

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