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Book and Film Reviews

Tim Krueger
Marriage is one of the most-written about topics among Christians. Rarely is it written about well. Katherine Willis Pershey is one of the few writers up to the task. Her new book, Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity, stands out among Christian marriage books for its depth, style, and vulnerability. She wrestles with the difficulties of marriage with honesty and humor, and her love of marriage itself shines through. Cracking open Very Married, I was a bit surprised. It was not a “Christian marriage book” as I expected. It didn’t go through the different aspects and challenges of marriage with lessons, tips, and exercises, neatly tying each to a biblical principle or Bible verse. Rather, it is a memoir. Its twenty chapters do touch on many of the classically... Read more
In Part 1 of this series, the author examines the implications of Queen Vashti's story on the historical objectification of women. In Part 2, we will examine the ongoing pressure on women today to conform to normative beauty standards.  In our culture, a woman’s body is regarded as her most valuable attribute. Carrie Fisher’s recent experience reprising her iconic role of Princess Leia Organa demonstrates how pervasive this expectation really is, and how women today are fighting that expectation. Fisher recently reprised her role as Princess Leia, now general, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She has received a lot of criticism about the way her body looks in this new movie compared to how she looked in her late teens and twenties in the original trilogy.... Read more
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a college kid in possession of five dollars will go see the midnight premiere of any major movie that comes out while she is supposed to be writing a paper. If this college kid goes to Bethel University, she will likely go to the same movie theater as more than half of the student body, subsequently freaking out any other community member who wanders in and wonders how eighty percent of the audience knows each other. As the lights dim, the chatter and selfie-taking will die down. The college students will lean back in their seats, waiting for that one Coke ad that plays before every single movie. Finally, the beginning credits will roll, and names of stars will appear on the screen accompanied by the essential dramatic music. One month ago,... Read more
Paul Hjellming
Ok I’ll just admit it. I didn’t plan on binge-watching an entire season of the new comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in a single evening but last Friday, having no other activities planned, I sat down to just watch a few episodes. And anyone who’s watched any TV on Netflix knows how easy it is to watch “just one more.” Unbreakable is Netflix’s latest original comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, two of the major forces behind 30 Rock (one of my favorite shows.) The show portrays Kimmy Schmidt, a woman who was recently rescued from a doomsday cult and is adjusting to normal life for the first time. I’m a huge fan of 30 Rock (like seen-every-episode-at-least-three-times huge) so I expected some solid comedy out of the show and it certainly deliver... Read more
Yesterday, we looked at #13 – #6 on our top thirteen list of egalitarian resources in 2013. Today we look at the top five:  Handbook of Women Biblical Interpreters: A Historical and Biographical Guide, Marion Ann Taylor and Agnes Choi, eds. Marion Taylor presents a one-volume reference tool that introduces readers to a wide array of women interpreters of the Bible from the entire history of Christianity, from the early church to the twenty-first century. “What an extraordinary, fascinating, enthralling, moving, and mind-expanding volume! This guide has achieved a vital recovery of interpretive sources and makes it clear that these interpreters must be explored and seriously considered not only by those thirsting to find women’s voices but also by a... Read more
At CBE we take great care to review numerous books each year in order to provide you with the best new resources on biblical equality. As we reflected on the highlights of the past year, we wanted to bring you a list of what we consider to be the top thirteen resources in 2013. The following resources have been chosen as top thirteen resources for 2013. Each makes an original contribution. Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling shares a particular view not often heard in the discussion of gender equality, while Thriving in Leadership provides insight by women for effecting change in organizational cultures. Still others are the first of their kind, like Called Out!, the first Bible study for youth that promotes an egalitarian world view. Below you will find comment... Read more
In Half the Sky, Pulitzer Prize winning authors Kristoff and WuDuun document the global exploitation of women—an abuse to which we have become indifferent. According to WuDunn and Kristoff, the wholesale degradation of women is not often considered newsworthy. They write: When a prominent dissident was arrested in China, we would write a front-page article; when 100,000 girls were routinely kidnapped and trafficked into brothels, we didn't even consider it news (Kristoff and WuDunn, xiv). When more than 100 million females vanished in 1990, Noble Prize researcher Amartya SenSen noticed a correlation between a culture's devaluation of females with steep drops in their numbers (Kristoff and WuDunn, xv). By contrast, in those communities where gender equality is value... Read more
“...through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart...we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Cor. 4:1-2, TNIV). Do you consider books your best friends? Do you remember reading your first book on biblical equality? The early books sold by CBE were few in number. We continued to add new authors from around the world as time passed and interest continued to grow from all corners of the church. But, then a miracle happened and the dam broke! Not only did we just add ten new titles to our bookstore, we have never seen so many groundbreaking books emerge in such a short time! Excited readers cannot be contained! They insist these new books will reform the church’s teachings on gender and service. These resources... Read more