Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Two years ago, I made friends with a woman in another state via social media. We communicated through Facebook and Instagram, and sometimes on Twitter. She was thoughtful, caring, and generous. She wrote about her children, her family, and the ways God was working in her life. She has several kids, and always seemed to be laughing about the ups and downs of raising a big family. I admired her, was maybe even a little jealous of her overflowing life.

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This year, I have noticed Mary more than usual. One of the things I’ve seen is a very strong person who bucks her culture to be what God calls her to be. That resistance has a hidden cost that the Bible doesn’t record directly. 

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Most evangelicals are accustomed to the Mary of icons with an emotionless face, the Mary of statues draped in a powder blue robe, and the Mary of piety who quietly and submissively obeys orders. And, if you are like me, you have been nurtured in a faith that, intentionally or not, ignores Mary.

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Complementarians often shift their footings when it comes to Junia (Rom. 16:7). They want to find some argument on which they can stand to diminish the significance of the woman.

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The story of Jesus’ birth might be the most misquoted and misunderstood story in the gospels. Luke’s gospel account of both the annunciation and the nativity are strikingly unique.

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For most of my life, I didn’t understand the significance of Advent. It paled next to Christmas. And I felt the same indifference for Advent that I had for every other church season.

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In the study of female authority and church leadership in scripture, much attention has been paid to the arguments in scripture, but much less has been made of the voices in scripture.

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In churches where men are welcomed as priests and leaders simply because they share the male body of Jesus and the twelve male disciples, we too easily assume that women’s bodies represent, by contrast, an inferiority. 

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We have put you on a pedestal,
scattered petals at your marble feet.
Entombed now in stone,
once their warm flesh danced in Cana

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One Sunday, about a year ago, I was visiting a new church. It was December, and the pastor was preaching about Mary. I was surprised by how well he positioned Mary as an equal to the congregation—neither meek nor superhuman.

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