Welcome to CBE’s Library

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The recent election has prompted significant reflection for many evangelicals, including notable contributions from Christianity Today managing editor Katelyn Beaty[1], Fuller president Mark Labberton and Fuller president emeritus Richard Mouw[2], and Northeastern assistant professor of New Testament Esau McCaulley[3], who writes about being black, evangelical, and an Anglican priest.

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Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.

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I’m a fairly egalitarian male; some would say I’m hyper-sensitive regarding unequal treatment of women in the church and in society. But when it comes to the traditional chivalrous role the male gets to play ... I confess I enjoy it.

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The bottom line is God did not create any woman to be a prostitute, a stripper, a porn star, or to feel like she must pursue an endless quest for physical perfection.

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Last week, theologian John Piper made headlines for saying that women shouldn't be seminary professors, because seminaries train men to become pastors, and since women shouldn't preach, they have no place training men for those positions. 

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Women were considered physically and emotionally frail and in constant need of men’s care and protection. These were the values that I grew up with, but I always considered them to be demeaning of women.

 

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Today women and girls are bombarded with messages meant to persuade us that we’re not really acceptable the way we are. And even though we’ve been told, at church, that “God thinks you’re beautiful,” we’re not feeling the love. Because it’s much easier to believe what we receive from the media, we end up feeling stuck, ugly, and ashamed. 

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In August 2017, an Australian Christian women’s online community published several true stories of domestic violence experienced by Christian women—one of whom is my friend. As I read her story, I took a moment to reflect on how her life has changed since leaving her abuser. My reflections inspired this letter.

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Instead of seeing marriage as a hierarchy, with a husband in authority over his submissive wife, we came to believe a wife and husband should be equals in marriage. For us, that meant making decisions together and both being wholeheartedly involved in the planning of our married life.

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Recently, in the small bowling alley where Shelby works, three immigrant women and eight children came to the counter to pay for their games. After Shelby realized that none of the women could speak English, one of them tried to apologize, saying, “Normally my husband…”  Shelby asked if her husband usually did the talking. She nodded and kept her eyes glued to the floor.

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