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The word “submission” elicits a strong and often negative reaction in our culture. For many, it provokes images of oppression, slavery, or abuse. Submitting sounds like giving in, or giving up. But submission has always been an important part of Christian theology. After all, salvation flows through Christ’s submission to God on the cross. Read more
Hardly a day goes by in which the news neglects to mention the turmoil of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Advocating biblical equality at a time like this might sound to outsiders like an exercise in futility. However, contrary to many stereotypes held by Westerners, this part of the world is most assuredly not hopeless. Here in Lebanon and throughout the region, women face challenges, just like women around the world, but this is no reason for Westerners to adopt an attitude of superiority.  Read more
This recording examines the twelve pillars most often adduced as biblical support for male hierarchy in the church and in the home. It shows that statements in the Bible adduced for this do not, in fact, support male hierarchy. To the contrary, they rather provide evidence for the equal standing and authority of man and woman. It surveys the exegetical, theological, and practical foundations for the equal standing of men and women in the church and in marriage. It shows that the weight of the scriptural data should lead those with a high view of Scripture to welcome women in ministry and church leadership. Read more
As Katharine Bushnell pointed out nearly a century ago, there are some hundred passages in the Bible that bespeak God’s direction, affirmation, and blessing upon the ministry and leadership of women. There is also profound sympathy for those conditions that leave women most vulnerable: widowhood, childlessness, pregnancy, famine, and atrocities in times of war. It is the very breadth of these supportive passages that started many of us on the journey to understand the limited number of scriptural selections that appear restrictive of women and their ministry. Read more
Snow covered the ground of the still sleeping German town as I trudged toward the chapel. Stepping swiftly, more from fear than from cold, I arrived safely at my destination: a beautiful, gray stone church built nearly 200 years ago. It was the United States Army’s Community Chapel in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Read more
As an elder in the church, how do you handle being in authority over others in the church, but being in submission to your husband at home? Doesn’t this create an enormous conflict? Read more
Most people do not think of the Bible as a love manual, but, unsurprisingly, the Scriptures support the idea of egalitarian sex—both wife and husband exist for each other spiritually and physically when they make love. From Genesis where God creates one-flesh union and the couple is naked and unashamed; to Song of Songs where both the beloved and the lover speak to each other in rousing and tender words; to the letter of Paul to the Corinthians where he declares that the husband and the wife have a conjugal duty to each other, the Bible provides a model of what a healthy, biblical sexuality looks like. Taking a closer look at the Scriptures provides a framework for romantic love that is not based on one-sided control and power, but on the freedom of sexual love within Christian marriage.  Read more
In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul calls the men and women who were praying and prophesying in the assembly at Corinth to respect culturally relevant gender markers like head coverings, hair lengths, and hairstyles as a way of honoring God and each other. In doing so, he uses the metaphor of “head” and emphasizes interdependence between men and women. He shapes this passage in such a way that the key points are set in parallel groups with the strongest emphasis appearing at the center.  Read more
Things are getting bananas, people.  Toddlers are wearing tiaras. Parents are giving teenage girls breast enhancement procedures for their Sweet Sixteens. Dark-skinned girls are lightening their skin with bleaching products. Chinese women are getting their legs broken—on purpose!—in leg-lengthening surgeries. It’s nutty, right? Read more
“If Jesus were really counter-cultural, why didn’t he choose any Gentiles to be his apostles?” or “Why didn’t he choose any slaves as apostles?” Jews thanked God that they were not born a Gentile, an untrained person (or a slave), or a woman, so wouldn’t Jesus have been really counter-cultural if he had Gentiles and Jews, untrained and trained (or slave and free), and women and men among his twelve disciples?  Read more

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