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A few years ago, I was a workshop presenter at a popular women’s conference. The other presenters and I had gathered to pray at the beginning of the conference. We’d exchanged greetings, participated in a cute little ice breaker, and had a wonderful time of prayer. I was the only woman of color, but this wasn’t new for me. I’ve become accustomed to occupying spaces like these. During one of the general sessions, there was a panel discussion about women in ministry. I wasn’t a panelist and didn’t particularly care to be because I was exhausted from the breakout session I led. I’d just completed a workshop on racial reconciliation among clergywomen, and it was ninety minutes of really deep, honest, and rewarding dialogue. On the heels of that sessio... Read more
For the past two weeks, allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian have appeared on blogs and in news reports. These circumstances require a response from CBE, given Dr. Bilezikian was an early egalitarian thought leader not only in CBE’s circle of influence, but he was also a prominent theologian at Wheaton College and a lead teacher at Willow Creek Community Church (WCCC). If you’ve been involved in the early egalitarian movement, then you probably know that his work emerged early on and gave significant momentum to CBE’s mission. Because of this, we believe it is necessary to provide some history on his relationship with CBE, past and present. During my seminary studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS), I was privileged to meet... Read more
Cory Driver
Editor's Note: This is a Top 15 CBE Writing Contest winner. Enjoy! My family moved to a new place last year, so we are relatively new to our current church. I am still in that awkward phase of introducing myself to others only for them to say that we’ve already met and vice versa. Recently, a man whom I’ve met several times introduced himself to me. His wife leaned over to him and said, “Honey, you know him. He’s the one who is always wearing a baby.” It is rare, indeed, for me not to have one of my children strapped to me on Sunday mornings, or any time that I am out of the house with my brood. Wearing my baby gives me two hands free to try to keep the older one safe and out of trouble, or help my wife carry all our children’s accoutrements. I hav... Read more
Leanne Weber
Editor's Note: This is a Top 15 CBE Writing Contest winner. Enjoy! I am at the weekly prayer meeting that all church staff are required to attend. The leaders like it when spouses come too, but they understand that work and family obligations sometimes do not allow this. I am the only woman on staff whose spouse does not also work at the church. We are a one-car family, and my husband works at a group home forty-five minutes away from the church. I take a deep breath and scan the room, hoping to see another woman or a couple that I can catch a ride home with after the meeting. Otherwise I must sit in my office until almost midnight waiting for my husband to pick me up because, although it is not official policy, church culture dictates that a man and a woman who are not married to ea... Read more
Meredith Flory
The same year my husband was in the process of enlisting in the military, I was studying the Bible with a group of women on Wednesday evenings. I don’t remember the exact study, but at one point we were to read a passage in the New Testament about heroes of the faith, probably Hebrews 11. This is a long list of people from the Old Testament who made an impact on history by their faith in an unseen God. We were to choose one person that we admired, felt inspired by, or related to and write about them. I say people, but truth be told, this is primarily a list of men. When a woman is included, the language is passive and is focused on her reproductive power (for example, Sarah “was enabled to bear children,” Heb. 11:11, NIV). While reading, I was drawn to this verse: By fai... Read more
Kara Triboulet
Editor's Note: This is a Top 15 CBE Writing Contest winner. Enjoy! “When you grow up, you can be anything you want to be; anything God desires you to be, no matter who you are,” the director of ministries said. Every Sunday morning before the children were dismissed to their Sunday School classes, they would gather around the stage facing the congregation and listen to a short message from a staff member. This was the message that Sunday. When I heard this statement, I was twenty years old. It wasn’t even directly stated to me, but it threw me into season of confusion and frustration. This wasn’t a statement of hope for me. Instead, this statement had hidden limits attached to it. Limits that nobody around me seemed to have a logical explanation for. I sat i... Read more
Graham Joseph Hill
Editor's Note: This is a Top 15 CBE Writing Contest winner. Enjoy! The masculinity movement is now an entire industry with books, seminars, and speakers. The movement has grown up around notions of “biblical manhood,” but in reality, it reinforces worldly ideas of masculinity and femininity. A whole generation of boys and men today are looking for guidance on how to live as men, and the Christian masculinity industry feeds on their feelings of longing and insecurity. Sadly, the solutions it offers cause further damage. Additionally, a lot of the energy behind complementarianism and the search for “clear gender roles” comes from a crisis of masculinity. Instead of digging deeper into Scripture for guidance about how women and men can live as disciples who confor... Read more
Editor's Note: This is a Top 15 CBE Writing Contest Winner. Imagine this scenario with me: A husband in his sixties hurls physical threats and curses at his wife daily. She walks a fine line to avoid aggravating him to the point of violence. The empathy and thoughtfulness that had long been natural between them evaporated. She celebrates important dates without his acknowledgment. He is demanding and seldom shows appreciation; he never says, “thank you,” nor considers the stress he creates. He regularly threatens divorce. He called 911 to have them “take care of her.” This situation escalates over ten years. Would you stay in this marriage? This is my story, but the man I describe is not the same man I married, even though he appears the same and recognizes t... Read more
As 2019 winds down, the staff at CBE International have been thinking back over the books that we’ve enjoyed and learned from this year, and we wanted to share those with you. This list comprises some CBE staff favorites and some picks from our bookstore that we wanted to highlight. All these books exemplify and elaborate on our convictions that women and men together ought to be free to exercise their God-given gifts to serve God and others. Add these books to your 2020 reading list, and you’ll be off to an empowered and inspired year! Staff Favorites Mimi Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women: Fresh Perspectives on Disputed Texts by Lucy Peppiatt I admit my endless admiration for the work of Lucy Peppiatt, a New Testament scholar and principal (“Brit spe... Read more
While reflecting on God’s faithfulness throughout 2019, I remembered a recent conversation with Alexia Salvatierra at the Evangelical Theological Society. An internationally recognized community organizer and seminary professor, Alexia remembered Archbishop Desmond Tutu saying once, “We are resurrection people!” Yes, God’s resurrection power is not only our hope, but the power and lift in all of our work at CBE International. God’s risen presence led CBE’s community throughout this year and awakened new empathy and resolve in us to balance power between men and women. I hope the stories I share inspire your faith as they have mine. I enjoy connecting with CBE’s community wherever I travel. While CBE’s community is dive... Read more

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