Welcome to CBE’s Library

Tip: to find an exact phrase or title, enclose it in quotation marks.

Just as it matters who we see on TV, it matters who stands behind our pulpits on Sundays. If the Bible teaches that women and men are both called to lead and preach (and it does), then our churches must reflect it. 

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I am reminded that many things, large and small, have contributed to CBE’s history without my knowing it. In fact, it’s easy for those of us who have not lived through CBE’s history to be completely unaware of it.

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Depending on how it’s used, who says it, and what they mean, “submission” can be anything from dirty and disgusting to offensive and oppressive. Or, perhaps, even beautiful.

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I sat uncomfortably rehearsing how I’d ask the question that had to be asked. I knew it would initiate a painful conversation, but we couldn’t ignore it forever.

I was not wrong. It became clear in that meeting that yes, our pastoral candidate was a staunch complementarian. Our church, with its egalitarian tradition, governing documents, and leadership structure, was poised to hire a pastor firmly opposed to the leadership of women.

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Evangelical tradition places a high value on the biblical text, which is a good thing. But too often, we buy into a myth that our favorite translation is God’s true Word, pure and untainted by bias. Changes are seen as a threat to God’s truth, motivated by a social or political agenda.

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Watching God engage different cultures is not just a trendy exercise in diversity; it reveals something about our God. The gospel challenges every culture in unique ways, and is incarnated uniquely in each one.

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This issue is devoted to those stories that remind us not just that egalitarian leadership is biblical and right, but that God is using it to make the world new.

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Soft patriarchy makes men kings who play at being one with their subjects, but requires them to keep their crowns. It retains the kind of power-over structure that Jesus gave up when he became human. 

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Many of the stories we learn about gender show us a world where selfish fantasies are fulfilled or fears are realized, but they teach us very little about actual love. They teach us even less about who God made us to be.

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The observation that well-behaved women seldom make history isn’t just a statement of fact, but a call to action.

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