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Women participated significantly in the modern mission movement, serving as leaders in what was perhaps the greatest missionary impulse the world has ever known.

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Despite the opposition of medieval theologians who insisted that women were unsuited for leadership because of Eve’s sin, women leaders, mystics, and missionaries offered strong moral, spiritual, and intellectual rescue to the church in the Middle Ages.

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When I am invited to speak at a Christian college, I make an effort to learn something about the school, particularly about the founders and graduates. Over time, I’ve discovered an impressive history of women graduates who were trained by these early evangelical Bible institutes, today's Christian colleges and universities, in the 1800s. 

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We can follow these examples of radical acts of loving by making small choices each day: recognizing someone else’s pain before yelling at them for being too needy; giving someone the benefit of the doubt before jumping to conclusions; forgiving someone who has disappointed us.

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At its yearly convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America passed a statement opposing abortion, pornography, homosexuality — and female pastors. For Southern Baptist leaders, these issues hang together. They assume that on their side of the culture war, Christians must oppose these practices as a piece. It is only the liberal, secular, or religiously compromised people on the other side who think differently.

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Women were planting and leading churches right alongside Paul and Timothy. No matter the obstacles, they haven’t stopped.

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Many people don’t know that African American women were leading and pastoring churches from the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement in the early 1900s. Meet two of these women: Lucy Farrow and Jennie Evans Seymour. 

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Hild is one of any number of women who remind us that women have always played a role in leading the church. That role may be constrained or downplayed, but it nevertheless cannot be hidden.

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God is not male and neither is the Spirit, but one cannot avoid the fact that Jesus was male. Does this make any difference to how Christians should think about gender issues?

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