Evangelical women face a myriad of messages related to pastoral and teaching roles in the church and academy. Some evangelical churches open their doors to women leaders while others reject the ordination of women and endorse explicitly hierarchical models of gender relations, both in marriage relationships and also in church and church-focused institutional hierarchies. Others even extend male authority to secular arenas, excluding women from exercising leadership or authority over men that is direct and/or personal.
Was C. S. Lewis a misogynist? The answer depends on which point in his life you choose to examine. Until fairly late in life, Lewis’ view of gender relations was more influenced by his attraction to classical Greek philosophy, Pagan myth and Jungian psychology than by ‘mere’ Christianity. However, with his late acquaintance and marriage to the gifted American writer Joy Davidman, this began to change, as can be seen in his last (but least-read) works, The Discarded Image, Till We Have Faces, and A Grief Observed.
When pondering the nature or essence of being, we consider topics such as whether or not men and women are fundamentally different. However, in society and the church, this conversation has historically excluded women of color—particularly black women—who were often considered subhuman. Through a combination of storytelling and practical tools, participants will learn more about what it is like to be made in the image of God as a black woman in a society and Christian context that refuses to acknowledge that the imago Dei resides in her.
Luke 1:46–55 is both a beautiful hymn sung to glorify God and an interpretive puzzle. This text, widely known as the Magnificat, is one of several songs Luke uses at a crucial moment in the birth narratives in order for characters to explain the amazing ways in which God is moving. Luke includes it in his narrative to foreshadow the ministry of reversal Jesus will bring, first to Israel and eventually to all people. It is a praise hymn made up of a combination of OT allusions—more specifically, allusions to the Greek translation of the OT commonly referred as the Septuagint and abbreviated LXX. What follows is a study of the LXX allusions that combine to make up this praise hymn—allusions which have the cumulative effect of presenting Mary as a key character in the continuation of God’s OT promises and plan.
What an understanding of culture’s influence should do is put gross generalizations about the nature of men and women out of reach. Moreover, it challenges us to think about how and why we value particular attributes connected to these gender stereotypes. So often we believe that we are reacting to Scripture or that the powerful feelings we have about particular gender activities are our created nature. Rather, we need to realize that we are exhibiting the cultural context in which we live.