Practical Applications | CBE International

You are here

Practical Applications

As I noted in my previous post, the resurrection of Jesus Christ marked the inauguration of the New Covenant. Depending on which theologian you read, one might say this “inauguration” period reached its peak with Pentecost, the day when the promised Spirit was poured out on the church (Acts 2). Whatever the case, Christians today—generally since the time of Christ—are living in the age of the “New Covenant.” Being “new,” the New Covenant is different from the “Old Covenant,” which (again, depending on theology or context) may refer to the Mosaic covenant, or all of the covenantal administrations prior to Christ (e.g., Abrahamic, Davidic, etc.). For simplicity and convenience, most Christians typically refer to the “Old Co... Read more
Paul Hjellming
It’s that time of year again. Oscar season. Well, technically it’s been that time of year for a while but the beginning of February seems to be the time when awards season reaches a fever pitch. The Golden Globes, the Producers and Screen Actors Guild awards have been handed out and now it’s on to the Oscars (if you don’t count the Directors Guild Awards.) 2014 was a mixed bag (as so many recent years have been) for women in film. On one hand you have very strong performances from women in female-centric films like Julianne Moore in Still Alice and Reese Witherspoon in Wild. Patricia Arquette played a strong single parent in Boyhood, at times overshadowing the titular plot about a boy growing up. The president of the Academy since 2013, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, is a wom... Read more
“Men and women are different.” This is an obvious enough statement, right?  After all, the divine establishment of male and female is a fundamental tenet of humanity created in the image of God. Yet, what does it mean exactly to say that men and women are different, and is there a framework that guides the way we draw implications from the difference between male and female?  On the one hand, if one develops a framework starting from an anatomical perspective and reproductive roles perspective, the gender distinction is largely binary—male and female are mutually exclusive.  This perspective lends itself to making implications that emphasize the differences between men and women—e.g. books like “Men are From Mars…,”... Read more
This post originally appeared on Scot's blog Jesus Creed on August 5, 2014: What we believe and how we behave are not quite perfectly matched, at least not this side of the kingdom, but it is not unfair to say that what one believes is seen in how one lives. If you say you believe in God but never pray, or if you say you believe in forgiveness and hold grudges, or if you say you believe God loves all but your circle of friends is restricted to folks like yourself — well, your acts reveal what you really believe or you have acted outside the bounds of your beliefs. Sometimes, however, it works another way: sometimes what we believe needs praxis to reveal what the beliefs entail. Sometimes the beliefs are... Read more
Recently I commented on a Facebook post that I disliked the word “feminist/feminism” when used to describe what I would brand an evangelical egalitarian position (that men and women may serve equally in the home, the church, and the world as God has so apportioned and enabled them). Even when adding the adjective “evangelical” in front of “feminism” (as some have done in their publication titles), negative connotations remain. Moreover, “feminist/feminism” is clearly gender-specific having to do with qualities associated with women only and hardly shows a balanced and “equal” treatment. If anything, “feminism” incites heated and rarely fruitful discussion in e... Read more
I recently watched a TED Talk by Colin Stokes called “How movies teach manhood.” The ideas expressed in this talk struck a chord in me and got me thinking about the role models—and the villains—we present to children. Far too often the villains are women—wicked witches, evil sorceresses, evil queens, and evil step mothers. And far too often, the heroes are princes or knights or at least male. Before you read further, watch this TED Talk. It’s only 12:53 minutes long. There are Star Wars, Wizard of Oz, and other classic favorites mentioned throughout. Click here to watch the video. Children’s movies do a great job of, “teaching girls how to defend against the patriarchy but aren’t showing boys how to defend against the patriar... Read more
Do you find yourself questioning your church’s perspective on gender? Are you often the one to initiate dialogue with family or friends regarding what the Bible says about women’s positions in the church and home? Do you feel alone on your egalitarian journey? At CBE we continually hear from people with very few others in their life who share their egalitarian views. They write to us from all over the world asking for prayer, fellowship and guidance on how to challenge their church leadership. They are often discouraged and long for someone to walk beside them. They turn to CBE for help. What sort of help do we provide? We pray daily for these people! We encourage them to become active in our online community - The CBE Scroll. We suggest that they consider joini... Read more
How many of us have found ourselves alone in a foreign country, faced with difficult challenges, without anyone with whom to pray or share our hearts? This is the situation many Christians in the armed services face. As our military people encounter one trial after another, they often do so without the help of trained spiritual comforters and counselors. They are often alone spiritually and emotionally, according to an article in a recent issue of Insight, published by the National Association of Evangelicals. The article suggests that the chaplaincy is: … under significant strain. There is ‘one chaplain for every 518 service members,’ according to Newsweek (May 7, 2007), a ratio deemed appropriate in peacetime, but not for war… To become a chaplain candid... Read more
This past week I’ve found myself considering the idea of hospitality. The idea came up following both the announcement of courses in homemaking offered in Southern seminaries this fall as well as the responses to a blog post I wrote on the matter. The question of hospitality as an exclusively feminine endeavor aside, I have had reason to look at hospitality as a charge to all Christians—an often-difficult way to follow up love with service. I found myself reminded of Luke 14:12-14, where Jesus says “when you give a feast” to “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Jesus recommends giving in a way that expects nothing in r... Read more
One reason that questions about men and women continue to confound us, I’m convinced, is that we’re asking the wrong questions, which tend to lead us to inadequate answers. So in an effort to un-confound things, I offer the following tweaked questions (TQ) so we can move toward answers that are more effective in addressing our concerns. Q: How can a woman adequately balance work and family? TQ: It’s difficult, but then it’s also difficult for a man to balance them both. How does he do it? Q: Typically by having a spouse who helps him reach his career goals and who will be there for the children when he is overwhelmed at work. TQ: Wouldn’t that also help a woman – having a spouse who helps her reach career goals while stepping up inv... Read more