Welcome to CBE’s Library

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In every corner of the world, religious teachings on gender and power have an enormous impact on human lives, especially those of girls and women. For this reason, Christians have a responsibility to accurately critique biblical teachings on gender. This booklet summarizes the egalitarian position of Scripture—that Christians, both female and male, are equally called to exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in the church, home, and world.

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We Lutherans all want to argue on the basis of God's revealed truth in the authoritative Scripture. Yet all of us come to this debate with our own personal history and agenda. My own history includes aversion to women in the public ministry as a result of experiences, first as a teenager, then as a student in Germany. More recently, I have developed a growing understanding of the just claims of Christian women who have been disempowered and marginalized in the church and a horror for what has been perpetrated in the name of male headship. A re-examination of the texts and another (this time happy) experience of having a woman as my pastor in the United States about a decade ago led me to abandon my previously held view that the ordination of women is not the Lord's will for his church today. I am now convinced to the contrary, although I do not like using the broad term feminist. My own personal pain is not only that close friends and relatives hold an opposing view, but that I fully understand that view as one who once held it (this is not said in any spirit of superiority).

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La Bible a-t-elle une double lecture des genres ? Bien des auteurs évangéliques reconnus croient voir dans la Bible, une tension entre l’affirmation de l’égalité des genres  et la distribution des rôles entre l’homme et la femme. Peut-on dégager une position biblique raisonnable sans faire violence au texte ? Doit-on sacrifier une bonne exégèse sur l’autel de la théologie systématique ? A l’évidence, une bonne exégèse va de pair avec une théologie systématique. Pendant 41 ans, je me suis débattu, dans la prière, avec les apparentes contradictions relatives aux genres, et je peux dire que les textes bibliques eux-mêmes m’ont amené à les comprendre différemment. Dès la création, et jusqu’à la nouvelle création, le message biblique sur les genres, dans l’église et dans le couple ne varie pas : il affirme le statut égal de l’homme et de la femme.

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The promise of Gen 3:15—the greatest promise of all, known for centuries as the protoevangelium (“first gospel,” meaning “first [glimpse of the] gospel”)—runs through the OT as a beacon of hope.

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If we translate consistently key terms such as “prophet,” maintain female metaphors, and indicate the gender of feminine actors, readers will gain a grander understanding of how God worked through women in biblical times.

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In Mark 12:41–44, a woman shows the readers the way to follow Christ as she foreshadows the suffering that lies ahead for Messiah and for the disciples by giving her “whole life” to God.

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Rather than focusing on a woman and her sin, the focus in this story is on a group of sinful, male, religious leaders who use their privilege to try to kill a woman to solidify their power.

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Romans 16:7 presents two interpretive issues. Was the person named Iounian a man or a woman and was Iounian counted as “highly regarded among the apostles” or only “highly regarded by the apostles”?

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Two competing visions—egalitarianism and complementarianism—are embedded within Christian pre-marriage counselling. This article examines how differing interpretations of Scripture shape marriage advice.

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