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Among responsible and useful methods of promoting egalitarian thinking -- writing about it, supporting organizations like CBE that promote it, seeking out churches that put it into practice -- my favorite is what I call the “auntie model”:  consistently giving loving ideological nudges to those in my closest circle, especially the little ones. I grew up in a patriarchal family and church.  Though I have had my “aha!” moment and embraced the egalitarian position, most of the rest of my family continue in the patriarchal tradition.  And they take “be fruitful and multiply” seriously: just three siblings have given me (so far) 13 nieces and nephews, none older than 8.  For the most part, their parents are not actively cultivating ge... Read more
Last week Mimi explored the unusual fact that Paul addressed most of his letters to whole congregations rather than to church leaders. Paul rarely refers to others by “title.” He introduces Phoebe to the church in Rome as a “deacon” and “benefactor” (Rom. 16:1-2, TNIV), but his other uses of diakonos to describe himself and other named individuals should be translated “servant” or “minister.” He uses “apostle” of himself to underscore his unique, God-given ministry—and that of the eleven “apostles” (Gal 1:15-18)—but his applications of the word to others emphasizes their service (Rom 16:7; Phil. 2:25), not their position or authority. This stands in stark contrast to our leader-dr... Read more
Suppressing the Gospel-leadership of Women: The SBC Kicking Against God’s Will? By Mimi Haddad Just recently more than 100 bookstores controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) removed the recent issue of Gospel Today—a magazine that highlighted the gospel-work of women. Have you ever wondered if the SBC might be “kicking against the goads” in their tireless efforts to censor the obvious fact that God, throughout history, has and continues to gift, call, and bless the gospel-service of women? Removing copies of Gospel Today, as it celebrates women leading the world to Jesus, is like trying to suppress the early apostles! It is a futile effort because it opposes the will of God. Removing Gospel Today from 100 bookstores no more suppresses God... Read more
How many of you love listening to people who are retired discuss their life achievements? If you have a family member who lived through the Great Depression, or World War II, or some other devastating event, you often hear them celebrate the sacrifices and achievements of others whom they worked beside. In fact, they seem to delight in remembering the contributions of family and friends who made their work possible. When you consider your own achievements, how many people come to mind whom you might acknowledge as integral to the success of your own work? Few of us accomplish any worthwhile goal without the sacrificial work of others. While the church today (and the world as a whole) seems preoccupied with leadership and the achievements of leaders (with endless books and seminars on ho... Read more
Just recently more than 100 bookstores controlled by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) removed the recent issue of the magazine Gospel Today which highlighted the gospel-work of women. Have you ever wondered if the SBC might be “kicking against the goads” in their tireless efforts to censor the obvious fact that God, throughout history, has and continues to gift, call, and bless the gospel-service of women? Removing copies of Gospel Today, as it celebrates women leading the world to Jesus is like trying to suppress the early apostles! It is a futile effort because it opposes the will of God. Removing Gospel Today from 100 bookstores no more suppresses God’s power in women than throwing Peter in jail stopped the growth of the early church. T... Read more
It has come to our attention that there is to be a debate on the Trinity between two staunch proponents of hierarchy, namely Wayne Grudem and Bruce Ware and two theologians of apparent egalitarian persuasion, Tom McCall and Keith Yandell. The following announcement was made by the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The Carl F.H. Henry Center for Theological understanding of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is excited to announce that on October 9th, 2008 at 6.30 pm, it will host a Trinity Debate at the TEDS Chapel featuring Drs. Bruce Ware (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Wayne Grudem (Phoenix Seminary) versus Drs. Tom McCall (TEDS) and Keith Yandell (University of Wisconsin-Madison) on the question: "Do relations of authority and submission exist eternally among... Read more
I met an extraordinary teenager recently who had come to faith in a small town in Latvia. He was passionate about Jesus and wanted to live his life fully for Christ. When I asked how he wished to serve Christ, he made a comment that continues to inspire me. He said, “I want to give words their true meaning.” As a gifted linguist, this young man recognized that words should always be used to clarify truth, rather than to obscure it. This is especially true when discussing the important questions concerning faith, gender, and authority. Consider the following example. Many of us have heard the claim that though women and men are equal, they are said to have “different roles.” How are men and women equal but different? Perhaps you imagine the most obvious issue of a... Read more
In my last pastorate, I was invited to hold a monthly service at an assisted living center.  Each time I led this worship gathering and preached, one faithful attendee came armed with her Bible and a frown.  She would sit near the front and, as the service closed and I walked about to greet my white haired "congregants," she always brought me the same admonishment.  "What do you do with the verse that says, 'Women are to keep silent?'" she would ask with a stony face and cold condemnation.  The first few times I spoke with her, I tried to explain about the verse, Greek, punctuation, the cultural context, the whole canon of scripture, (everything in my tool kit!), but I soon found she would have none of it.  So, I simply came to e... Read more
"Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided" (Judg. 4:4-5, TNIV). "Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel" (Judg. 5:7, TNIV). Last week we celebrated the political prominence women enjoy today as a direct extension of the gains earned for women by early evangelicals. The early evangelicals were some of the first to develop a whole-Bible approach in their advocacy of gender and ethnic equality—biblical ideals that propelled their work as suffragists, abolitionists, and evangelists on mis... Read more
According to the Australian Oxford dictionary, the word EVIDENCE is “anything that establishes a fact or gives reason for believing something.” While there are many evidences to show that equality among God’s children is a fact, one which comes to mind is the many descriptions given to those who follow Jesus and are his children. All these descriptions are without any hint of gender distinction and are directed to those who are referred to as ‘THE BODY OF CHRIST’ or ‘THE CHURCH’. The references below are all from the NRSV – a gender inclusive version. It is recorded in Matthew 5:13 that Jesus said to his followers, “YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH” and in the following verse “YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.”... Read more

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