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Several weeks ago, my husband John and I watched The Breakfast Club with Emma and Lucas. I initially questioned whether or not the film would be good for them. The kids assured me they hear bad language in school all the time, and they know all about marijuana. Great. I feel so much better. But we decided to watch it together and then discuss it as a family. The Breakfast Club is an all-time classic from my era. I watched it over and over with friends, and thought little about the overt theme that plays out in this movie. Now, as a grown woman and a mother, I have to admit, I’m less concerned about the swearing than I am the menacing bully who takes the movie by storm. In The Breakfast Club, we've got a rebel bully with anger issues who comes from a terribly abusive f... Read more
A brutal grand jury report on clergy abuse of minors in Pennsylvania was published last week. It details a mass cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by more than three hundred priests in Pennsylvania, and outlines the procedures churches employed to protect predatory priests and conceal sexual abuse. Clergy used their positions to rape and molest and torture little ones in the name of Jesus—and then retired quietly. Or, they were shuffled to another diocese. Or their victims were hushed and discredited. Few of these men will ever answer for their crimes. Many of these abusers died with good reputations. For years, they’ve been celebrated as righteous representatives of God. What could be more horrifying? Unnamed, silenced victims suffered alone while thousands unknowingly atten... Read more
Recently, my husband wrote about his own journey in realizing that sexual aggression toward women is not about his own moral purity (not all men!), but about the worth and value of women. He was responding to a colleague’s story of a man’s verbal sexual aggression toward her just two weeks ago–in church. My husband writes: “It took me years to realize that such aggression is embedded in the male culture in which I participated daily at school, work, and church. I cannot begin here to unravel that culture but I know that we very much need to do it. We need men to own their culture and the actions it helps to create. We need to call sexism what it is–abhorrent.” Sexism is multi-layered, but we can start unraveling it by acknowledging the simple inte... Read more
Dorothy Greco
In part 1 of this series, we established that sin, group think, evil spiritual forces, misuse of power, and an inadequate understanding of Scripture have led to misogyny and broken expressions of sexuality. Now that the origin and manifestations of misogyny are clearer, we can explore how the gospel offers the solution. A Biblical Hermeneutic of Gender and Sexuality Before we can experience whole and healthy relationships characterized by mutual respect and honor, we need to grasp God’s creative intent for humanity. Genesis 1 reads, Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” … So God created human beings in his own image.     In the image of God he created them;     male and female he crea... Read more
The news coming out of Willow Creek Community Church recently has been nothing short of tragic. It has been painful to hear the stories of the women who were victimized, and heartbreaking to know that their church and their pastors betrayed them, neglected to help them, and called them liars. Sadly, the mishandling of abuse allegations is not unique to Willow Creek. We have seen and read story after story of women reporting abuse to a pastor or church leader, only to be told that they were somehow responsible, or to have their stories ignored. We have seen pastors stand up and “confess” their sins only after they have been exposed and backed into a corner, while congregations give standing ovations. We have seen churches protect leaders over victims, and keep abusers in their... Read more
Dorothy Greco
This is a two part series. In part one, we’ll trace the history and impact of misogyny. In part two, we’ll explore what Jesus has to say about healthy, whole, male-female relationships in a more just world. The #MeToo movement uncovered a fault line running across the entire country. Revelation after painful revelation exposed the pervasiveness of misogyny and sexual brokenness in the United States. Among the accused were Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, politicians Roy Moore and Al Franken, talk show host Matt Lauer, physician Larry Nassar, and perhaps most shocking, Willow Creek’s founder and head pastor Bill Hybels. The charges certainly didn’t come as a surprise to the 321,500 Americans who are victims of sexual assault or rape every year. After... Read more
Last year, CBE hosted our first ever popular writing contest and it was a huge success! We’re holding the contest again this year because we’re determined to give those passionate about biblical gender equality/egalitarian theology/Christian feminism an opportunity to share their stories and insights. We’ve also got more great prizes this year: winners can get published with us; win a $20 Amazon gift card and a copy of Kathy Khang’s new book: Raise Your Voice; and get a free CBE subscription! Topics: We want to hear from you on one of these seven topics. Each broad topic includes a series of bullet point prompts to help you understand the intent of the prompt and to provoke ideas. You can mix and match the prompts we’ve provided or answer multiple p... Read more
Does God prefer “debt-free virgins without tattoos”? A recent viral article claims that men do, and that women should avoid college, independence, career, and the world—lest they fall into debt and sexual failure and be unattractive to Christian men. Notably, tattoos, after the title, get precious little mention! And there's our first clue that the author doesn’t support her claims well. The article says nothing further about tattoos and also says little about biblical values regarding fiscal responsibility and sex. Despite the author’s well-intentioned desire to teach young women to live biblically, she promotes a culturally-influenced view of Christian womanhood. Fundamentally, this cultural view of women assumes they’re more susceptible to world... Read more
“Her very name evokes images of beauty and sensuality, yet when we look for this creature in the New Testament, we look for her in vain.” –Susan Haskins, Mary Magdalene: Myth and Metaphor Who is Mary Magdalene to you? Apostle or icon of penitence? The Feast Day of Mary Magdalene is on July 22. In 2016, Pope Francis elevated her memorial day from a celebration to a feast. He wrote, “Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of a true and authentic evangeliser.” In the Eastern Orthodox Church, she is “the apostle to the apostles” as one of the first women to witness and announce Jesus’ resurrection to the male disciples. Yet even with such official praise, and sainthood as well, Mary Magdalene’s name is still ta... Read more
The Bible’s Warning to Leaders From Genesis to Revelation, Scripture speaks emphatically about character alignment in leaders. It’s impossible to miss God’s point. Leaders have an impact on lives—sometimes for good and sometimes for harm. We will be held accountable by God when our actions are inconsistent with God’s expectations of leaders (Gal. 5:22-23, 1 Tim. 3:1-14). Passages like Matthew 18:6, Acts 20:28, Romans 2:21-23, and James 3:1 give sober caution to anyone eager to become a teacher or leader. Choose wisely, because the Bible also makes clear that those with power rarely manage it well. That’s why successful leadership depends on systems of accountability. Without accountability, bad leaders do enormous damage to decent people, to strugg... Read more