Welcome to CBE’s Library

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

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A veil, invisible | Though deeply felt | Has been wrapped around me, Covering me, Restricting me,
 

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As we celebrate the strong and faithful examples of many women in the Bible, we also recognize that their stories have too often been left untold. 

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Hand in hand, I know thee.

Heart to heart, I love thee.

Side by side, walk near thee.

Face to face, work with thee.

One hope, in Him we’re set free.

 

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I really think it’s very sad
No! Not just sad, extremely bad
That Eve alone was blamed for years
And women oft reduced to tears,
Because she boldly took the fruit
And ate it, when the serpent spoke.
The Hebrew scriptures make it clear
Adam was with her, standing near.
Do you think that thus she would have dared
Had he her lust not fully shared?
Poor Eve, condemned thenceforth to bear
Within herself the painful share
Of ordained consequence! Yet worse
By far what men then did.

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God of Hagar, Tamar, and Mary Magdalene
Of Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel
 
 
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God of Hagar, Tamar, and Mary Magdalene
Of Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel

God of Ruth, Esther, and Rahab
Of the Woman at the Well and the Woman They Would Have Stoned

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I’ve avoided writing on rape culture for a while, because it’s a difficult issue to tackle from a Christian perspective. In my experience, Christian churches don’t often talk about power and consent, and even more rarely do they truly acknowledge the reach and implications of rape culture for the body of Christ.  

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We’ve all heard them. Stupid jokes and thoughtless comments. Sexist sayings and caricatures. From the pulpit, at the altar, in school, from boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, parents, and friends. People pass off myths as facts and case-by-case examples as universal truth. Women are like this and men are like that. Women are obnoxious. Men are arrogant. Women are needy and men are emotionally unavailable. These statements are infused with cultural and gendered assumptions. They have no basis in the gospel and what’s more—they are rooted heavily in socialization. And yet, despite Christians’ pledge to reject unhealthy and sinful cultural messages, these painful and divisive gender jokes and ideologies have infiltrated the church. And it’s not no big deal, people. It’s a really big deal. Here’s why.

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I’m a one-breasted woman,
          I’m Christ’s Amazon,
I’m a one-breasted woman,
          I’m ready to fight.
I’m a one-breasted woman,
          my ax is at my side.
I’m a one-breasted woman,
          I keep attacking the enemy.

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Of all the literature produced by the early Syrian church, the most prized was composed by Ephrem the Syrian, often called "The Harp of the Holy Spirit". One of his hymns memorialises the faith of the Samaritan woman whom Jesus met at the well and sent forth as a missionary (see John 4)

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