Welcome to CBE’s Library

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

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I once wholly believed in a patriarchal view—not only believed it, but lived it. I didn’t care if it didn’t feel good, I cared about obeying God.

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Complementarianism framed our world, even before we knew what it was called. Yet the practice of complementarianism troubled us. It troubled us so much that we finally decided to challenge it. The Making of Biblical Womanhood tells this story.

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What the example of Deborah reveals about gender authority: As women have gained increased influence in society, and as Bible scholars offer a consistent egalitarian interpretation of Scripture, gender traditionalists have had to work harder and more creatively to justify the subordination of women within the church and family—even to themselves.

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I’d like to correct some of the most common false assumptions about egalitarian theology. I hear these a lot, but they’re simply not true.

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Critics have done a brilliant job of establishing all that complementarianism isn’t. I am grateful for their groundwork. But today, I want to explore what egalitarianism is. I want to move beyond a justified critique of complementarianism toward a strong egalitarian theology against abuse.

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Being made in the image of God, both male and female, has very little to do with modern notions of appropriate men’s and women’s roles.

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Marriage and friendship aren’t in competition. They aren’t two separate concepts on opposite sides of space, racing against each other to cross the finish line. They’re interconnected and intertwined, constantly intersecting to reveal a breathtaking paradigm of mutuality. 

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The debate concerning gender roles in the church and in marriage continues to divide Christians. Can the gap be bridged between complementarians and egalitarians? 

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Where and how we start in our interpretation of Scripture determines where we will end up. When seeking to understand the relevance of the Bible’s teaching for our lives, interpretive starting points are particularly significant. The method by which we read and derive meaning from Scripture is the fundamental determinant of the nature of the meaning we will derive.

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When people share their stories of harmful church teachings about gender roles, we’re accustomed to real horror stories of abuse. We also know that the problem is far more widespread, and it’s not always so overt.

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