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

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We live our lives in history's continuum. Pearl S. Buck honored her missionary mother and father by writing biographies about them. Even with her Godly heritage, being raised by missionaries to China, Pearl S. Buck really had no faith in the gospel at all. This is both unfortunate and instructive. Ruth Tucker writes that Buck's mother, Carie Sydenstricker, was a victim of serious sexual discrimination and oppression in the family [her husband was, in Tucker's words, "embued with the Pauline doctrine of the subjection of the women to the man"]. This produced resentment in Carie. One must ask the question, did this obvious violation of the freedom of the Gospel turn Pearl S. Buck away from the gospel itself? Indeed, we live our lives in a continuum of history. Read more
I thought this was quite an interesting story. The MacArthur, Piper, Sproul "Together for the Gospel" conference this weekend excluded women from attending. This is the report by a complementarian of his frustration with this. -- Andy Read more
My husband lovingly calls me a “glass half empty” person. “Sometimes it’s even three-quarters empty,” he told me the other day. (It must have been a particularly rough day—sorry, honey!) It’s true. I crave order and balance, and a world corrupted by sin doesn’t offer much of either. My reactions to gender issues are often of the strong negative quality. I get angry, frustrated, depressed by the way people, including Christians, willingly oppress one another. The fact is, I’ve seen some things that would disturb the most devoted optimist. I was going to list some of them here, but based on your comments on Brandon’s recent post, you don’t need me to convince you that the church can be a downer! When I’m stari... Read more
Apparently we been noticed by Ms. Magazine, even if only for marketing purposes. I received the following email. The new issue of Ms. is on newsstands today (April 24), full of its usual galvanizing coverage of the feminist movement. We thought some of the stories might make for interesting posts on The Scroll or Christian Egalitarians, particularly Ani's recent work to revitalize Buffalo, Geena Davis' campaign to get female characters into G-rated movies, and our cover story--on the women garment workers who are the real victims of the Jack Abramoff scandal. In addition, gender and language expert Deborah Tannen explained to Ms. why her new New York Times bestseller, "You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation,"... Read more
Pastor Cho Yonggi oversees the largest congregation in church history (about 3/4 of a million). Years ago as he was looking for new leaders to oversee his house fellowships, the Lord confronted him with six questions. 1. From whom was I born? The answer: a woman. 2. On whose lap was I nurtured? The answer: a woman. 3. Who followed me throughout my ministry and helped to meet my needs? The answer: women. 4. Who stayed until the last minutes of my crucifixion? The answer: women. 5. Who came to anoint my body in the tomb? The answer: women. 6. Who were the first witnesses to my resurrection? The answer: Mary Magdalene, a woman. These were the reasons Cho gave for how God showed him that women should also be allowed to lead the contemporary church. Very counter culturally, Cho all... Read more
"I would have enjoyed seminary so much more if it wasn't for the women." So were the words of a minister I was introduced to one day several years ago. Mindy and I were together, and both of us were introduced, but he looked right past her and ignored her "hello." She was invisible. He heard I was a Ph.D. student at a reformed seminary and wanted to know if I was enjoying it. "It's been challenging," I told him. "But I'm learning from the best and I'm enjoying it. Where did you go to seminary?" He told me, then added those words that have stayed with me for years. Of course my curiosity got the best of me. “What was it about the women that ruined seminary for you?” “The questions,” he replied c... Read more
I would like to generate some discussion about how to attract men to CBE. At the conference last summer there was some mention about CBE wanting to do that -- maybe it was even put in terms of a goal -- I can't remember. If any of you have been successful in doing that (signing men up), I'm sure it would be helpful to the organization if you would share it here. Personally, I don't have much hope that it can be done, at least in large numbers, due more to the nature of the way Christianity is practiced than the nature of CBE. Beyond the obvious reason that many do not agree with CBE's mission, a lot of men don't like something even more basic: going to church and other Christian organizations' meetings. In Why Men Hate Going to Church [Thomas Nelson,... Read more
I have been driven to biblical egalitarianism by honestly evaluating what the Bible teaches in the light of historical research. I have never actually thought of myself as a "feminist". Given the "lightening rod" kinds of connotations around that word, I am surprised I have not thought about it more. This is especially true, given the fact that I am a linguist, Bible translator, and teacher. I suppose that people would consider me a "feminist" but I have honestly never even given it a thought until today. I am actually quite neutral about this label. The label is less important than the content in the can anyway. I bet there are others out there that think like I do. Read more
Conversations continue about Today's New International Version (TNIV) translation of the Bible. While much has been debated over this issue already (see CBE's articles in response to criticisms of the TNIV here), I believe the direct personal critique of the people involved in this translation warrants a post. Gordon Fee, Ronald Youngblood, Bruce Waltke, and others on the translation team are men of that stature and outstanding biblical scholars; I studied text criticism under Dr. Fee and I know Dr. Youngblood from his work in the ministry I presently help oversee. One wonders where this might lead. Read more
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