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My conference workshop, "A Question Mark Over My Head: Learning From the Narratives of Female Theologians in the Evangelical Academy," presented the voices of evangelical women theologians--the struggles and the triumphs, the creative ways in which they are following God's call, and their insight on the state of the church and the evangelical academy.

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Recently I was told the story of a 55-year-old woman currently attending an evangelical seminary. This story, and others like it, drive my upcoming research at the Evangelical Theological Society conference.

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The book of Galatians reminds us we are called to be free, and to use that freedom to serve in love. 

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Paul may not come across as a loving father-figure. But when you look at 2 Corinthians through Deuteronomy 21, it starts to look like Paul treated the Corinthian church like a daughter he cared for deeply. 

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When translators choose to use “whore” throughout Ezekiel 16, they let readers think it’s okay to use words with inescapably derogatory connotations. And the true focus of the passage—apostasy—gets lost.

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Hidden behind much patriarchal thinking is a pervasive patrilineal worldview. The belief that the family line is a male line and that males own and inherit the resources, has colored nearly all our cultures in the past and still accounts for much oppression and sidelining of women. Beulah will speak from her experience in south Asian culture, recognizing that, within families, women often become the perpetrators of discrimination against females. Does that happen to some extent near all of us? The Bible culture too is patrilineal. How shall we view that?

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Are the Bible and gender equality so antithetical that one’s only hope to reconcile them is by stripping divine inspiration from the Bible, arguing that it is a book written by humans concerning their perspective of God over time? I believe affirming the divinity of the Bible will prove far more fruitful in incorporating the Mosaic Law within a Christian worldview that embraces equality between men and women. 

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I was raised in something of a theological echo chamber where my complementarian convictions went undisputed. All diligent Bible readers would obviously conclude that men were to lead, and even more obviously, that women were not to be pastors. What could be simpler?

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How might someone’s view of gender impact the doctrine of salvation through Christ? I believe it does, and in significant ways. I will argue that if women are subordinate simply because they are women, then Jesus’ redemptive work can—in some fashion—not fully apply to women.

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When it comes to leadership, the assumptions we make and the stereotypes we unwittingly fail to challenge can have much more far-reaching consequences.

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