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Church History

Often times examples from the Bible, especially the Law of Moses, are adduced to support the view that the Bible depicts God as a misogynist, and therefore it cannot be trusted. In other words, the apparent inequitable laws relating to women in the Mosaic Law are used to discredit the Bible as a whole. But are the Bible and gender equality so antithetical that one’s only hope to reconcile them is by stripping divine inspiration from the Bible, arguing that it is a book written by humans concerning their perspective of God over time? I believe affirming the divinity of the Bible will prove far more fruitful in incorporating the Mosaic Law within a Christian worldview that embraces equality between men and women. To illustrate this, consider the Mosaic Law in a historic rather than a m... Read more
Happy Friday! Another great week of posts speaking out against patriarchy and lifting up the biblical ideal of mutuality in marriage and leadership. Be encouraged, dear friends. Apostles, Deacons, and the Women of Romans 16, by Nicholas Quient One can only imagine the honor of hearing the stories of one of the most outstanding women God has given to the world, and what a debt we owe to her. Christian history, it seems, is built off the deeds of such women. 10 Ways Male Privilege Shows Up in the Church, by Gail Wallace (The Junia Project) I think many Christians are becoming more aware of racial and class privilege, but I don’t see the same level of awareness about male privilege in Christian circles. A Legacy for Women, by  Michelle Mosier Would... Read more
In order to better appreciate church life in this century, it is helpful and perhaps essential, that we understand how Christianity has been lived since the very beginning. Mindy & Brandon Withrow have combined their gifts for writing and a passion for history to bring us 5 easy-to-read books with the series title "History Lives" Each book covers a period in church history with different tiles describing the church at that time. So we have 'The Ancient Church', The Medieval Church', The Reformation Church, The Awakening Church and The Modern Church. One reviewer says...'This is history without the wooliness and with all the wonder'. There are some charts and statistics along with important timelines. Church councils are explained, types of music desc... Read more
With our recent conference in Colombia, and today being Liberian Independence Day, I couldn’t help but remember that this exact time last year I was in my homeland of Liberia, and how our conference theme fits exactly with the experience that I had there. Liberian women created a movement of liberation during the civil war, and after it, they are creating a movement of sustainability, peace, and equality. This movement has intense religious ties, as ordinary market women realized the change that they could bring to their country. My experience in Colombia and the conference topic of identity in Christ made me realize that I became confident of that identity in Liberia. Post-war Liberia is now beginning to highlight the equality that God has put in both men and women, equipping... Read more
What an amazing week. Because of a week-long synchroblog called Faith Feminisms, the Christian blogosphere has exploded with posts about biblical gender equality. Can faith and feminism coexist? The resounding answer: YES! Not only coexist, but feminism comes out of our faith in a Lord who breaks down the walls that divide us and limit us along gender lines. There is no hierarchy in the kingdom of God. I'll highlight some posts here, but if you want to immerse yourself in the bounty of these writings, please go to FaithFeminisms.com to check out the entire list. Here are a few of our favorites: RECORDING: Faith Without Feminism, by Emily Rice (Thirty Seconds or Less) I need feminism in my faith to challenge those lies and to remind me that all are made in the... Read more
I'm reading N.T. Wright's latest popular installment entitled Surprised by Scripture and chapter 4, "The Biblical Case for Ordaining Women", caught my attention. Having previously read his stance, I expected not to be "surprised." Though I wasn't "shocked, amazed, stupefied, or bewildered" (all synonyms of "surprise"), I did get another picture, of sorts, about Galatians 3:28 (from which my blog's theme takes it's name, by the way). This text likely means so much more than a prima facia reading suggests. For starters, "this verse is often mistranslated" (p 66). Here's Wright's take on it: "Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female.... Read more
There are so many great posts around the web proclaiming biblical equality. Here are some we noticed: 5 Ways Married Men Can Act Like Adults Around Women (Single or Not), by Luke Harms (Living the Tension) It is possible to maintain eye contact without being skeezy. If you lack the self-control to do so, it’s because you sir, are a creeper. But what’s more, you have so devalued women in your own mind that they don’t exist outside of the parts of their body that you find attractive. The Many Female Followers of Jesus, by Marg Mowczko (The Junia Project) Many women were dedicated followers of Jesus during his ministry on earth.  Many of these women seem to have been independent of fathers and husbands, and some were independently wealthy.... Read more
This month marks the 27th anniversary of the famous "Tear Down this Wall" speech. "Tear down this wall!" was the challenge issued by United States President Ronald Reagan to Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to destroy the Berlin Wall. Reagan said. “We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. General Secretary Gorbachev … tear down this wall!”He continued, “Across Europe, this wall will fall. For it cannot withstand faith; it cannot withstand truth. The wall cannot withstand freedom." [1] Similar to other epochal times in church history, (E.g. the Protestant Reformation and th... Read more
Flashback to Cleveland, Tennessee, 1981: I became aware of a small Pentecostal Bible institute and church I wanted to visit. One Friday evening during a weekend seminar, I slipped into the back pew, as the special guests were already fully engaged. He spoke, then she spoke, then he spoke, then she spoke...so on and so forth. Wait a minute, I thought, they're not simply testifying, and she's not going to sit down while he ministers the word. They're preaching in tandem, a finely choreographed presentation of God's word that I had never witnessed before nor any time since. The man's wife didn't sit down after her few words of greeting, an action typical among evangelicals and Pentecostals. She was speaking as one having authority, just as he was. After they finishe... Read more
Scripture teaches that the company we keep can influence our character. How many of you also believe that the books you read can impact your spiritual life? The friends we keep, even from earlier generations, can inform our faith in powerful ways. Perhaps that is one reason why so many of us are passionate about church history and Christian biographies! Did you first embrace biblical equality, not because you were influenced by secular feminism but because you were influenced by a Christian woman of an earlier age? Do you consider Katharine Bushnell, Dorothy Sayers, Lilias Trotter, Dorothy Day, Clare of Assisi, or Junia one of your treasured friends? If not, consider visiting our book service this week and make a few new friends this summer–friends who will change your life foreve... Read more

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