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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Does it really matter what the Bible says about man and woman? Jesus repeatedly affirmed the Scriptures to be God’s word. Paul affirms that all Scripture is God-breathed. The Bible is God’s perfectly holy word and has final authority on all matters, including man and woman.

So when some argue that the Bible opposes the equal standing of man and woman in the church and home, they are taking the issue to the final court of appeals, as they should. Twelve seemingly strong biblical pillars support their argument...

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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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Excerpts from the booklet, The Feminist Bogeywoman, written by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and published in 1995 by Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group. It is used here by permission. 

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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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Is there a divinely ordained hierarchy in the life of the church and home that is based on gender alone?

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Many modern Western marriage rituals—from engagement, to the wedding ceremony, to post-union practices such as female surname change—are clearly patriarchal.  

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From creation to new creation, the Bible’s message about gender in the church and marriage consistently affirms the equal standing of man and woman.

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