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The CBE staff didn’t miss the irony of attending a “global celebration” less than a week after the September 11 terrorist attacks. How dare we ask the world to celebrate when nearly 7,000 people died in one day? Should we laugh and rejoice when people around the world are weeping and mourning? Read more
Women who are called to teach or preach face opposition to their ministries from people who believe that women’s role is to remain quiet in the church and submissive at home. This view of women’s role is so pervasive that women themselves may mistake God’s call for the devil’s temptation. They may resist preaching the gospel in order to fulfil expectations based on their gender. They may remain focused on staying within their own four walls instead of going out into the world to spread the good news. Read more
I was a junior in college when I first discovered biblical equality. Mimi Haddad had come to lecture in one of my classes. Almost a decade later, I still remember it vividly—my perspective from the fourth row of tables where I was situated, the blue and green background colors of Mimi’s PowerPoint slides, the Bible I was using as she directed us to look up particular passages. Most of all, I remember the rush of emotions—shock, which quickly turned to relief, and then to excitement, and finally to determination to do something about all I had learned. I had spent the previous few years wrestling with the idea that the God I loved preferred men over all the gifted women I saw around me. It was like a terrible itch that just wouldn’t go away. But now Mimi was guiding me through biblical passages that affirm the dignity and worth of women, showing me Phoebe the deacon, Priscilla the teacher, even Junia the apostle. The message was, as a CBE member described once to me, a healing balm for my soul. And how grateful I am to Jesus that it came when it did—as I was young and sorting out my gifts and calling and dreams.  Read more
Twenty-three years ago an economist from India, Amartya Sen, reported the largest human holocaust in all of history. His research showed that over 100 million females were missing! Though Sen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, few were mobilized by the horror he had uncovered. Even the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists Kristoff and WuDunn said that “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, Half the Sky, xiv). How could the world be so disinterested in the sufferings of females? Read more
Like many churches, ours on Boston’s North Shore is invested in a mission in a developing country. In our case, we support a school in Haiti. The vision belonged to one of my students in the first class I taught for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (its Boston Campus) some fifteen years ago. Joseph is himself a Haitian with a burden for a poor village outside of Port-au-Prince. It had an infant mortality rate of more than 80 percent, since the people had to depend on a river for everything— drinking, washing, etc. Read more
When Aída and I were living and ministering in the center of Newark, New Jersey, first as interns in the summer of 1970 and then as missioners in the years between 1974 and 1978, we slowly came to realize that the complex set of social, racial, and economic problems in which our city was enmeshed originated not in itself, but extended as a legacy of oppression from the conquest of the New World itself. More than a decade later, I dissected those problems in the chapter I wrote for our book, The Global God. The deeper we involved ourselves in the imprisoned lives in our neighborhood, the deeper we realized the issues ran with spiritual, practical, and historical attitudes and behaviors that were inexorably intertwined. You can lead someone to water, but they may no longer have the heart to drink it. Read more
Community is one of the most valued gifts that God has bestowed on humanity. Every church I have ever encountered has wanted to be a healthy, supportive, Christian community. The term, after all, is built from the New Testament word koinonia, which means “close association involving mutual interest and sharing, association . . . fellowship, close relationship”—a description every church claims for its identity. Koinonia was brought over into the Latin as communio, transferred to late Middle English as the cognate commuyone, and finally adjusted into modern English. In Spanish it became communidad, in French communauté, describing a group of people living together. Read more
What price do women pay in following God’s call to ordained ministry? For Lou­ise Woosley in 1889, her ordination in Nolin Presbytery cost her the support of her father, her colleagues, and many in the larger Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee, of which the presby­tery was a part. Read more
Susan was a sophomore at a small Christian college. Working on campus during summer break, she was walking to her dorm alone one evening when a man suddenly appeared on the path. “It’s not safe to be out here by yourself,” he told her in a kind voice. He said he was going her way and would accompany her back home to ensure she would be protected. When she reached her door, he pushed it and her inside. Read more
Tim Krueger
In the rare event that we at CBE find ourselves unable to use our computers due to a power outage or network problem, we put ourselves to work giving the office a good, thorough cleaning. I always enjoy the change of pace and welcome the chance to locate those buried papers I gave up searching for weeks earlier. It also seems that every time we embark on a major cleaning endeavor, we uncover some treasured object from the early years of CBE. Whether it’s a priceless photo from a conference, a stuffed animal from a beloved member, or an old cookbook we find in the recesses of the office, everything has a story. And each of these stories helps to tell the story of CBE. Read more