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Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Melodie Marske serves as a regional ministry director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, and in this episode, she joins Layla and Rob to share her perspective on mixed-gender partnerships as a single woman who has served in ministry for more than 30 years.

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In her introduction to Women in a Patriarchal World, Elaine Storkey reminds the reader of the important role that narrative theology has played in “both framing our doctrine and shaping our understanding of faith.”

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Seventeen essays explore how the biblical Miriam, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary of Bethany, and Mary Magdalene were portrayed in the early Christian era, also touching on Jewish and Muslim interpretations.

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The book lives up to its subtitle, A Provocative Guide. . . . Though it has some value, I do not recommend it without reservation, given her methods of interpretation noted above.

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In a faith centered on love and inclusion, are single people and their God-given gifts truly being welcomed in our churches? According to theologian Christina Hitchcock, definitely not. Instead, she argues, American evangelical churches suffer from a fear of single people. 

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In Breaking the Marriage Idol, Kutter Calloway describes how the modern church has become distracted by pagan norms for sexual expression and marriage, and why this contributes to our idealization of marriage and the marginalization of unmarried persons. Arguing that the church has bought in to the Hollywood notion that marriage is the antidote to sexual promiscuity, Callaway calls the church to provide new stories to refute this superficial formula. He offers vision for how the church can become a place where love for the other is the pinnacle, and both unmarried and married persons lead and follow side by side, representing the best expression of God's intent for his people.

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Pure examines the harmful effects of evangelical Christianity's purity culture with particular emphasis on the long-lasting and outward-rippling effects of shame. Of particular interest to CBE's audience, the book details the ways in which purity culture cooperates with patriarchy and harms women. 

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As a whole, Feminist Thought is a thoroughly-researched and concise treatment of a notoriously controversial and complex subject. Readers have professors Tong and Botts to thank for their tireless work on this extremely helpful volume. I highly recommend Feminist Thought if for no other reason than to put the brakes on judgment regarding what “feminist” might mean in today’s highly fragmented and tribalistic culture.

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In this episode of “Conversing,” Mimi Haddad, president of CBE, discusses gender equality and women in leadership. She reflects with Dr. Labberton, president of Fuller Seminary, on the complex relationship between theology and real-life injustice, the social and economic benefits of women in leadership, and the pressing task of “dismantling theological patriarchy” in the church.

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She has excellent advice for those "shipwrecked on the Isle of Singleness," and uses positive possibilities to draw us back to the God who loves us. Hurley has found a way "not to spend her life waiting," but to spend herself.

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