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As a girl growing up in an evangelical church, I was taught to see Christ’s likeness in male heroes like Moses, David, and Paul. The imagery of redemption was male, too. There were farmers, owners of vineyards, a prodigal son, a Good Samaritan. All of them men. Read more
Their stories are strikingly similar. I was lying in bed one night reading Hillary McFarland’s Quivering Daughters, which artfully weaves together the stories of several women caught in a patriarchal branch of Christianity known as the Quiverfull movement. Even though it was very late at night, I couldn’t put the book down. I ached for these women. Under their patriarchal system, they could never be selfless enough, they could never submit enough, they could never be good enough. Abuse, shame, devastating guilt, and suicidal thoughts marked many of their experiences, some on a daily basis.  Read more
While it sounds virtuous, and is appealing to those who would like to believe that involved fathering is the answer to all society’s ills, the idea that any human being, apart from Christ himself, can take spiritual responsibility for another has no place in historic, biblically-based Christian doctrine. Read more
Scot McKnight is a prolific author and speaker on the New Testament and is the Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies at North Park University (Chicago, Illinois). He is the author of an award-winning blog, Jesus Creed (blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed), and is a highly respected figure in both academic and pastoral circles. He is also a quiet and consistent advocate for biblical mutuality, which he defines as giving women “the freedom to discern what God has called them to do — whatever it might be, including preaching, teaching, and leading in the church” (The Blue Parakeet, p. 161). Read more
Tradition helps us remember where we come from and who we are as a culture. We should uphold and honor tradition—as long as we don’t begin to mistake it for truth. Read more
In pondering humans’ relationship with God, the ancient monk St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) describes four “degrees” of love (which can apply to all other relationships as well): Level 1) I love me for my benefit. Here’s an infantile, self-involved person with a severe personality disorder—excessive self-love and the inability to recognize or acknowledge the distinct individuality of others. This is narcissism—pure ego—unaware of, or indifferent to, differing experiences, ideas, interests, concerns, etc. which are the reality of friends, neighbors, and family. This relationship proceeds from and results in the demoralization of all concerned—it is all about me; there is no you. Read more
As we celebrate the strong and faithful examples of many women in the Bible, we also recognize that their stories have too often been left untold.  Read more
Every time I visit a Christian bookstore, the section on teenage dating has grown. Many of these books advocate for alternate dating methods like courtship, others promote sexual purity and some denounce the dating process altogether. Each book has its own angle, but it’s apparent that a substantial number of books are tackling the issues associated with adolescent relationships.  Read more
“I don’t understand what you’re saying. God created women as helpers. Our most important purpose is to affirm the guys in our lives — to let them know that we respect them, and that we trust them as our leaders.” So went another conversation with a young Christian woman on gender. While in general we are observing great forward leaps on behalf of biblical equality among college students, in this conversation I (Megan) hit a wall. Where had I heard that “women are created to help men” reaction before? I wondered, and then my eyes wandered to my shelf of books written to Christian teenagers. A rush of compassion for my young friend hit me: she might well have been quoting directly from one of those books. I thought back to my high school days, remembering similar books that I had eagerly devoured. Was it any surprise that I went to college opposed to full equality between women and men?  Read more
I have known enough saints to know they fall just like the rest of us. They fail to see the mud globbed on their feet and leave their footprints on the Persian rugs. They slurp their shakes. Read more

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