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Workshop Descriptions

2017 Conference Workshops

Note: This is a tentative schedule. Please know that CBE reserves the right to make any necessary changes.

Workshop Block 1
Friday, July 21 10:00–11:00 
a.m.

Gricel Medina
In It Together: Widening Our Reach and Our Message
Widening the net of authentic dialogue with a passionate intentionality in the 21st century. How to be more intentional, relevant, and strategic in the way we reach a multi-cultural community. Tailoring our message for all ethnicities is possible. How to avoid monolithic rhetoric that often undermines and dilutes biblical gender equality. Discover ways you can expand the dialogue to reach a more diverse audience. 
 
Steve Baker
Pay it Forward: Wise Stewardship, Creative Giving, and Estate Planning
Have you ever heard biblical stewardship is the same as giving to ministry? If so, what is the difference and how will understanding the difference impact our generosity and our relationship with God? In this session, we will look at important differences and how we can be creative in ways we support ministries and participate in building God’s kingdom. We will also explore ways that can increase our support of ministries while also providing for our loved ones.
 
Mimi Haddad
Women’s Leadership throughout Church History: Following the Teachings and Examples of Paul
Throughout history, the apostle Paul has been the most frequently cited authority for restricting women from shared leadership not only in ministry but also in marriage and the world. Sadly, those who cite Paul as an opponent of women's equality overlook the many examples of women leaders building the church beside the apostle, in addition to his theological emphasis on newness of life in Christ. This workshop will show how 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 are eddies off the stream of Paul’s egalitarian teachings and practices.
 
Aida & William Spencer
Creating Evangelical Egalitarian Scholarship and Scholars
How do we understand evangelical egalitarian scholarship and scholars? The idea includes interdependent Christian leaders in community serving Jesus while using the spiritual and natural gifts given each by God. We are envisioning something more than simply “Let the women participate,” or the opposite extreme: women now being the hierarchical leaders instead of men. We want to discuss creating opportunities for others, especially those underrepresented in the academy, so that women and men serve equally, interdependently, each leading by God’s gifting. This workshop will discuss some of the biblical principles important for ministry and present some examples, as well as include a practical brainstorming session.
 
Ronald Pierce
Yielding Personal Authority in a Mutual-Partnership Marriage (1 Corinthians 7:4)
Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7:4 constitute Scripture’s only mention of the common Greek word for “authority” (exousia) in clear reference to husbands and wives in marriage. This radical denouncement of either spouse insisting on personal “authority” over her or his own body in marital intimacy is a stunning reversal of the cultural norm of Paul’s day—as well as throughout the majority of church history. What does his bold statement mean in its biblical context, and what does it say about Christian mutuality in both marriage and singleness today?
 

Workshop Block 2
Friday, July 21 3:00–4:00 p
.m.

Paul Chilcote
The Methodist Defense of Women in Ministry
The purpose of this workshop is to explore the defense of women in ministry in the Methodist tradition and how this legacy can inform our advocacy of women today. The quest for biblical equality within Methodism was not an effortless or painless story of progressive advance. Women like Phoebe Palmer, Catherine Booth, Frances Willard, and Georgia Harkness, as well as men, all developed potent defenses for women’s ministry. Ultimately, the Methodist defense of women in ministry reveals the centrality of liberation—spiritual, cultural, and communal—one of the central themes of the gospel vision recaptured by the Wesleys.
 
Tristen Paige
Embracing Your Identity in Christ: Building Confidence and Resilience
This is a confidence workshop created to equip and edify men and women with the tools to empower each other. The goal of the workshop is to unleash the power of God that is within you, not by working for it, but by discovering that their is abundant power in being. It is in the discovery of being where God's glory shines the brightest.
 
Rev. Prof. Kabiro Wa Gatumu
"Ephesians 5:21-33 and Gender Equity: Towards a Mutual Egalitarian and Gender-Balanced Church Leadership"

The exclusion of women from church leadership has often been justified by the New Testament household codes. Some scholars are of the view that the household codes are used to declare that a wife should "submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." The idea is that Ephesians 5:22-33 demands women to be led because it is a comparison of the husband-wife relationship to that of Christ ruling the church. The imagery of the head has been interpreted to imply male superiority and female inferiority in all spheres of life. This happens despite the fact that Ephesians 5:21-33 does not mention any kind of leadership from the husband, only sacrificial, nurturing love. It is therefore open to suspicion that the household codes have been read through Greco-Roman cultural perspective. Evidence suggests that this patriarchal view is a a rooted in Greco-Roman culture codes.

However, it is clear that Paul opposes cultural relegation of women, focussing attention to men and commanding them to love their wives, to care for them and cherish them in order to bring them to maturity. As such, The NT household codes’ treatment of women is one of the key elements conveying the love and grace of the gospel, contrasting with the patriarchal hierarchy dominating the first-century Greco-Roman world. As Christian women bore witness in their daily lives, transformation began throughout the social structure. This means empowering women to lead alongside men since both are created and redeemed on the same footing.

 
Amy F. Davis Abdallah
Harry Was Wrong: Women and Men as Friends and Colleagues
The movie When Harry Met Sally has a famous dinner conversation where Harry states, “men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.” He was neither the first nor the last to express a sentiment that has consistently brought fear and suspicion into cross-sex relationships. While we should be cautious in our society of affairs, divorce, and casual sex, the time has come to look beyond our societal issues and ask whether that fear and suspicion among brothers and sisters is all we can hope for in the family of Christ. We need diverse perspectives in all aspects of society—even in our interpersonal relationships. This seminar will explore this question biblically and theologically, and more forward with practical steps to forming friend and colleague relationships with the opposite sex. Remember, Jesus had several close friends who were women.
 
Rob Dixon
The Blessed Alliance at Work: Women and Men Partnering Together to Advance the Mission of God
In Genesis, God envisions an equal and mutual partnership between men and women, as together they are called to steward God’s mission in the world. What does this “blessed alliance” look like today? Come learn what makes partnerships between men and women simultaneously satisfying and fruitful. Building on two decades of ministry experience and three years of doctoral study, Rob Dixon will help you discern ways to strengthen your partnerships so that they can become places of greater flourishing.
 

Workshop Block 3
Saturday, July 22 1:00–2:00 p
.m.

Philip B. Payne
Open Q & A: Paul and Gender
Following a brief introduction of the key passages used to defend egalitarians and hierarchal views, this workshop will be devoted to open Q & A on Paul and gender.
 
Joy J. Moore
Mediating Gender: The Cult of Inequality and Identity on Screen
This session considers the portrayals of gender that have been communicated through the media, to begin examining the ways in which media has communicated and cultivated gender-based limitations in the modern Christian social imagination. It is a portion from a larger project on identity in the world of sound bites. This session invites you to consider how media representations continue a long history of depictions that communicate a particular role for women in society and speaks for the church in contrast to the biblical witness.
 
Johnrice Newton
Healing Voices—Abused Women and the Healing Power of Telling the Story
This session will explore the spiritual, emotional, and physical healing women survivors of domestic abuse can experience when they give voice to their stories of overcoming through faith. The Healing Voices book will be presented as a backdrop of the liberating power experienced by women survivors/victims of abuse when they give voice to their experiences. They then become legitimate agents of change to move themselves from a position of brokenness into ministry to other women through the sharing their stories.   
 
Margaret English de Alminana
Human Trafficking and the Value of Women
What is the value of a woman? Historically, some have considered that the Bible teaches that women were created to meet the sexual needs of males. In fact, Augustine taught that the way in which women were the “helpers” of men was in the bearing children. But what does the Bible say about the worth of a woman? And how do biblical teachings square with cultural expectations, both past and present? This workshop will offer insight into the alarming increase of sex trafficking, and it will equip hearers with biblical and practical responses that can make a difference in the lives of hurting women. 
 
Diphus Chemorion
Human Dignity: Interrogating Biblical and Cultural Perspectives on the Creation Mandate in Genesis 1-3
The dignity that God bestowed upon human beings at creation has been undermined by patriarchy. This workshop explores various misconceptions about the being and purpose of
human beings which result from reading the Bible with a cultural mindset. With reference to creation narratives in Genesis and examples drawn from different cultures in Africa and other parts of the world, I will demonstrate how cultural worldviews contribute to the diminished view of women as less than men and what needs to be done to restore human dignity. The workshop will have two parts: The first part will focus on biblical reflections on human dignity and God’s image while the second part shall concentrate on “redeeming God’s purpose for creation of men and women.”
 

Workshop Block 4
Saturday, July 22 3:45–4:45 p
.m.

Ben Witherington III
The Social Identity of the Earliest Christians
We in the West live in a world of radical individualism, even narcissistic self-centered individualism. People tout books by Ayn Rand on "The Virtues of Selfishness." The Biblical world however prioritized collective or group identity. Group identity was primary, individual identity was entirely secondary.  Many misreadings of the NT have been caused when modern people read the NT through the lens of late Western individualism, and one of the groups that has most suffered from this sort of misreading is women as they are presented in the NT. In this seminar we will consider the real nature of Greco-Roman and early Jewish culture, and ask and answer how this should change the way we read various passages in the NT affecting women and their roles.
 
Rebecca Kotz
Transforming Rape Culture
Rape culture is the most effective tool to maintain the dominant and submissive roles of men and women. This presentation examines how gender messaging and current pop-culture depictions (such advertisements, films, music, and pornography) socialize, normalize, and glorify men’s violence against women. This session will also reveal how biblical equality is the solution to transforming the exploitative culture in which we live. 
 
Aloo Osotsi Mojola
Bible Translation and Gender, Successes and Challenges—with speicific references to sub-Saharan Africa
The workshop will aim to open up for reflection and discussion the complex role played by Bible translation in the dissemination of the Good News of our salvation and liberation, and in championing issues of gender equality as an issue of faith and human dignity, as a question of culture, as an issue in our homes and in the family and as a challenge to the church. African examples will be presented to stimulate engagement with these issue and for discussion.
 
Cynthia Westfall
Paul and Gender: Highlights and Bombshells
Dr. Westfall will briefly introduce her book Paul and Gender which was released November 15, 2016. She will talk about some of the book's unique contributions, where they came from and how they impact the interpretation of key passages. We will focus on 1 Corinthians 11:3-18 and veiling and submission; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and women keeping silent; and Ephesians 5:21-33 and headship and submission in marriage. That's a lot to cover, but it'll be interactive, with time for questions and discussions.
 
Nilwona Nowlin
Ain't I A Woman?: The Imago Dei and/in Black Women
When pondering the nature or essence of being, we consider topics such as whether or not men and women are fundamentally different. However, in society and the church, this conversation has historically excluded women of color—particularly black women—who were often considered subhuman. Through a combination of storytelling and practical tools, participants will learn more about what it is like to be made in the image of God as a black woman in a society and Christian context that refuses to acknowledge that the Imago Dei resides in her.
 

Workshop Block 5
Sunday, July 22 9:00–10:00 a
.m.

Shi-Min Lu
Women's Role in New Testament Household Codes: A Dialogue with Confucian Filial Piety
Confucians believe that all virtue begins with adhering to filial piety because practicing filial piety teaches a person how to relate properly to those who are different from them. The patriarchal hierarchy imbedded in Confucianism, however, breaks the original design of harmony through filial piety and results in male dominance. This oppressive tendency is in dire need of the healing power of the gospel seen in women’s role in New Testament household codes.
 
Sue Bailey
Workshop description coming soon
 
 
Ashley Easter
Patriarchy: The Birthplace of Abuse . . . How It All Started and What We Can do to End Domestic Violence in the Church
The motivation for perpetrating abuse is always a lust for power and control. Patriarchy by nature produces a dynamic of power and control creating the perfect environment for abuse to grow, thrive and hide. Join me as we look at the links between patriarchy and abuse in the home and church. Listen as Ashley shares her own story of embracing equality in Christ and freedom from abuse. She will share with the earth-shaking details she learned along the way that will help release our Christian communities from the devastating effects of domestic violence among us.
 
Jamin Hübner
Complementarianism and "Biblical Truth"
Defenses of complementarianism and critiques of Christian egalitarianism appear to many as a massive, impenetrable series of competing claims. In 2004, Wayne Grudem published an 860-page book entitled Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth as a topical encyclopedia of criticisms of biblical equality. But, instead of decisive refutations, the work proved to be a desperate attempt at intimidating readers by the sheer quantity of material (instead of quality material). In this workshop, Dr. Hübner tells the story of how he began a responsive work Complementarianism and Biblical Truth and why he chose not to complete it. Participants will ultimately learn why focusing on theological method is often more helpful than simply accruing the “right” proof-texts and propositions.  
 
Jeff Miller
Where Did All These Men Come From? A Defense of Gender-Accurate Bible Translation
A common criticism is that gender-accurate Bible translation tactics, such as using "brothers and sisters" instead of "brothers," moves English Bibles away from the teaching, intent, and tone of the biblical authors. In contrast, however, this workshop will demonstrate that the opposite is true.