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Christians condemned to death by fire were asked by their anxious families and friends to raise their hands if the suffering was endurable. Onlookers awaited the signal. As the flames began to rise and consume their victims, one by one these noble martyrs waved their hands overhead exuberantly as if to say God’s ecstatic presence met them in the flames. What seemed a horrific death to onlookers was, in reality, a participation in God’s boundless joy. Things are not always as they appear. God, as C.S. Lewis has suggested, is not safe, but he is always good. Read more
Is it okay to open a door for a lady? Come on, no laughing. Sometimes small things tell us something about the big things. I’m a fairly egalitarian male; some would say I’m hyper-sensitive regarding unequal treatment of women in the church and in society. But when it comes to the traditional chivalrous role the male gets to play ... I confess I enjoy it. So am I a hypocrite? Read more
Did you know that the Bible is filled with single people who were loved, called and used by God? Whether prophets or widows, eunuchs or church leaders, these single souls served God “with gladness and singleness of heart.” And the greatest among them was the Son of God. Read more
An American journalist covering the ordination of women in the Church of England entitled her article: “Women’s Ordination: A Second Reformation?” As I consider the similarities between reformist movements of the past and the current gender debate within the Church, I see why one might refer to it as a “reformation.” Read more
In the introduction to his book The Different Drum, M. Scott Peck recounts a mythic tale about a monastery that had fallen on hard times. What had once been a great order had, for several different reasons, deteriorated to the point that there were only five monks left in a decaying main house: the abbot and four others, all over 70 years old. However, in the deep woods surrounding the monastery there was a little hut that a rabbi from a neighboring town occasionally used for personal retreats. As the abbot agonized over the fact that his order would likely die with the five monks who were left, it occurred to him that maybe the rabbi could offer some insight that might lead to a revival of the order. Read more
I have an interest in passion plays, so when my pastor asked me to serve on the Easter drama team with a small group of fellow believers, I eagerly agreed. As a team, we worked on the production with one goal — to express the incredible sacrifice Christ made on the cross. Our team was made up of three males and three females. Initially I wondered: would the males want a production that dealt with the facts of the Gospel message while the females sought a more emotional experience? If I stuck to my guns on a point, would I be seen as aggressive? However, as we dug ardently into our task, gender differences fell away. Looking back, I see a tiny snapshot of God’s plan for his people — a plan where believers work side-by-side with love, hope and purpose. Read more
We headed to England this fall with some trepidation. We were attempting some- thing new in the history of CBE—hosting a symposium in a foreign country. Why England? A location in the United Kingdom was selected in part because of scholarship of evangelicals such as N.T. Wright, Elaine Storkey, David Instone-Brewer, Mary Evans and Esther Reed. These and many others were eager to offer biblical, historical and theological insights into the challenges of gender. England is also central to our symposium partners, Women and the Church of England (WATCH) and Men, Women and God (which is also active in India). Together we planned, prayed and waited to see how God would move. And, move he did! Read more
Some time ago, the movie Legal Eagles featured a scene in which two lawyers, a man and a woman, organized some ship- ping invoices. One of them put the invoices in piles according to the size of the shipment; the other organized the invoices according to the shipment’s destination. They kept redoing each other’s stacks to make the division more “logical.” In my experience, that’s too typical! What seems logical to women seems illogical to men. What seems to be a natural and effective way of organizing work to a man looks confused and haphazard to a woman.  Read more
“Can you stay late again tonight to help me work out one last kink in the budget?” Pastor Keith gently urged Sarah from the doorway of her office. Sarah glanced at her watch, then back at Keith. His big blue eyes won again. “Sure, I’ll come to your office as soon as I make a quick call home.” Her heart began to race a little. She had worked for other pastors before, but never had one of them appreciated her as much as Keith did. She really felt special around him. “Great!” he beamed as he gave her a wink and big smile. By the time Sarah had cleared her desk, made the call and joined him, all the other staff members had gone home. As she entered his office, he jumped up and offered her a chair beside his desk. “You’re an incredible woman, Sarah. You’re the best administrator this church has ever had. Besides that, you bring me more joy than you can imagine!” Keith exclaimed. After that last comment, his face clouded and he added, just above a whisper, “I wish I could say that about my wife.” That she could mean so much to Keith touched Sarah deeply. How she longed to save him from the heartache he was experiencing in his marriage... Read more
As business partners, Charles Arnold and Jaime Nolan share the same goals as most business owners: serving their clients, making a profit, growing their business and maintaining a positive work environment for their employees. However, as Christians their top priority is to remain centered on God’s will. “From the very beginning Charles and I have prayed about every potential client, every potential employee and every potential direction the company can go,” Nolan says. Read more

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