Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Some say gender hierarchy is God’s perfect design—a pristine plan for women and men’s good and flourishing. They point to Genesis, arguing that God clearly intended patriarchy from the start. But the text tells a different story.

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Many Christians believe that strict gender roles—men lead and women submit—are God-ordained. They attempt to find support for this claim in Genesis, pointing to “creation order.” 

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Whether married or single, Christian faith is a social faith. It knits everyone into communities for support and service. 

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This contextual reading notes that Jesus’s death on the cross, represented by Eve’s offspring crushing the head of the serpent, frees humankind from sin’s consequences and reorders concepts of male dominion for all time.

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“At the heart of every woman,” a pastor once commented on Mother’s Day, “is a God-ordained desire for beauty, marriage, homemaking, and motherhood. If you doubt it, check out the covers of women’s magazines at the grocery store.”

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The oppression of women spans centuries and borders. In virtually every country and culture in the world, women have less-than-equal status to men and they are often relegated to subservient and submissive roles. Women suffer from domestic violence, job barriers, lack of control over their bodies, and fewer options for healthcare. They often do not have a voice in matters as broad as politics or as narrow as what happens within their own families. 

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The complementarian conviction that women are under male authority and therefore must be excluded from (some) positions of leadership, rests in no small measure on their interpretation of God’s eternal, created order as established in Genesis 1-2. 

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Dating is difficult in today’s culture. As I have counseled single women and men through the years, I often heard pleas for help to find a Christian person to date. And let’s be honest. There are many different kinds of Christians. How does one get help to find a similar kind of Christian? One who values mutual submission and servant leadership in marriage?

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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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