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It is so with the transforming power of God’s Word which cleans and illuminates. When the true worth of a human being is revealed to us, we can never again treat that individual as a second rate person. Read more
I could not have realized in 1972 that my ecclesiastical and professional commitment to women in ministry, already established, would lead to one of the most important and consuming professional and personal aspects of my life as a New Testament professor, churchman, and advocate for a position I came to see as part of my commitment to the gospel. Read more
Stripped of all the theological debates and boiled down to its raw essence, Christianity and Christians will be judged by two actions: how much we love God and how well we demonstrate that by loving our neighbor. This is Christianity in a nutshell. But pushing these two great commands to the back pages of our practical theology has allowed Christians to join in with the world in separating along racial lines. Read more
My doctoral project proposal concerns itself with the issue of black women as Senior Pastors in the Baptist and other black Churches. This is an educational project designed to encourage black women to become more effective leaders in their churches by helping them to appreciate their gifts and talents and not have others to limit their use of them. The issue of black women's ministry limitations is discussed with a view toward change. The project is designed also to empower women to assist in the effort to overcome their limitations within their church tradition. The project is proposed to help black Christian women to understand how their heritage has both limited and created possibilities for their lives.   Read more
The silent loom. Silent? How can we even think about the cessation of activity at a conference centered on promotion of activity – weaving a tapestry of peace? Why, we’ve all got so much to do for God! In our personal lives, we’re striving to fulfill God’s plan while working through past hurts. In our homes we’re raising little Christian soldiers and modeling the Christ-lifestyle. In our careers we want to impact the world for Christ. In our neighborhoods we want to be salt and light. How can we suggest shutting down the loom at a time like this? And moreover, what about the big issues of world evangelization, of working for the equality and dignity of women and men of all races, ages and classes; what about encouraging all women and men to fully use their God-given gifts in ministry? How then can we even consider a silent loom? Read more
I had the pleasure of worshipping with the Bear-Barnetson family at the annual Wiconi International Family Camp and Pow Wow in Turner, Oregon, in 2008 and 2009, and found myself amazed at the beauty and freedom Cheryl and others expressed as women and as followers of the Jesus Way. Cheryl is Bear Clan, from Nadleh Whut’en First Nation within the Carrier Nation of British Columbia. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Pacific Life Bible College, Surrey, B.C.; an M.Div. from Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.; and a Doctor of Ministry from The King’s College and Seminary in Van Nuys, California. Cheryl and her husband, Randy, travel full time with their three teenage sons, Paul (17), Randall (15), and Justice (14), who also have their own band. I interviewed Cheryl in 2009. Read more
Come and go with me to a Navajo camp about 20 miles away. It can easily take one and a half hours. We will go in a truck because deep irregular ruts and wide deep mud holes or ponds will require a good engine. Our driver is a woman – a missionary who has made this daring trip dozens of times. Shortly after leaving the mission compound, we encounter a “wash.” Winding down the steep sandy road, we wonder if the wash will be running. If so we will ford the “river” if its depth permits. Of course, if the water depth is more than two feet, the flow will be too swift and we will turn back. More than one life has been lost to the violent waters of a treacherous wash. Read more
What a joy it was to be around Cathie! We met seldom, and it was always too short. She had so much information and so many new ideas and insights to share that there was never enough time to do all the discussing we wanted to do. And, underneath the intellectual excitement of learning more about our faith, Cathie always had a related concern for the wellbeing of others. Read more
In 1664, a young Puritan minister named John Cotton Jr. was found guilty of “lascivious unclean practices with three women.”1 Mr. Cotton was a Harvard graduate, a descendant of well-respected parents, and a husband and father. As a punishment for his sinful deeds, English officials in Massachusetts forced Cotton to give up his pastorate of a local church. The question was, what could he do to support Joanna, his wife, and their children? Puritan leaders found the answer in an unlikely place: Martha’s Vineyard. For many years, members of the Mayhew family had labored as missionaries on the island, trying to teach local Indians about Christianity. The Mayhews needed help, and John Cotton Jr. was sufficiently qualified, in the eyes of the English at least, to preach to Indians. So, in 1666, John Cotton Jr. began a long missionary career on both Martha’s Vineyard and in the town of Plymouth. In many respects, his legacy lasted beyond his death, for his two sons, Josiah and Roland Cotton, preached to Indians in Massachusetts long after their father was gone.2 Other scholarly works have examined male members of the Cotton family and how they interacted with Native Americans.3 In this article, however, I wish to explore the experiences of Joanna Cotton, a wife and mother of missionaries in colonial America. In particular, I will explore the extent to which Joanna fell in line with expectations regarding gender roles in colonial New England. These roles typically involved a degree of female subordination to males. Read more
It is apparent that the Christian church is grappling with the issue of women’s roles in ministry. Many churches rely on conclusions not founded in Scripture as the basis for their policies. This article seeks to illustrate such inconsistencies and challenge each church to carefully examine the scriptures as the basis for their attitudes and policies regarding the contribution of women to the ministry of the local church. Read more

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