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The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood created quite a sensation by paying for a two page advertisement in the January 13, 1989 issue of Christianity Today. The group was begun in response to groups such as Christian for Biblical Equality because, Wayne House explains, “There is a tendency to think biblical feminism is the only biblical view.”1 What a great affirmation to biblical feminists who hold the Bible as authoritative and reliable that some should now see our position as “the only biblical view”! However, this Council believes (among other things) that “Scripture affirms male leadership in the home” between “the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives.” In contrast, many fine studies have been done to disprove the notion that Ephesians 5:22-23 affirms male leadership in the home.2 I would like to reinforce those studies by an in depth look at the literary context of the passage, and also by highlighting the figurative language Paul uses.  Read more
One searches in vain for a focused study of 1 Corinthians 7:1–40 by an evangelical addressing Paul’s extensive call for mutuality in marriage and singleness as it relates to the contemporary gender debate.1 Instead, individual sections of this passage are referenced on occasion by both sides, usually in isolation from their larger context, and generally as peripheral to the debate.2 Read more
The Bible sets forth an ideal and calls the ideal woman an eshet-chayil, which is the Hebrew for a “virtuous woman” (KJV) or a “wife of noble character” (NIV). This Hebrew expression occurs only three times in the Old Testament, but a study of these three passages is likely to reveal what the Bible supports as an ideal of Christian womanhood. Read more
To fully understand a book, it's a good idea to start reading at the beginning because you usually get a focus there for what follows. The same is true of the Bible. To really understand what it's all about, you need to begin with the Beginning. That gives you a perspective on cosmic and human history that puts the rest of Scripture in focus. We then see the Bible "through the Lens of Eden," as Mildred Enns Toews from Winnipeg, Manitoba says.   Read more
There is indeed a noticeable increase in rhetoric from the conservative wing of the church calling for rigid roles for men and women, in effect defining activities in home, church, and society primarily by gender. And very often this rhetoric claims to be representing a Christian world view, thus – at first glance -making its conclusion seem ironclad. Well, any of you who have read my book, EQUAL TO SERVE, know that I am a questionasker. Therefore I ask: What is a Christian world view? Surely it must be more than a televangelist's cliché or an empty religious slogan. A Christian world view must mean a basic, scriptural way of looking at life that will cut across denominational particularities or emotional bias or cultural pressures. So let's explore the matter to see if there is a broad outline to our Christian world view that we can establish before we go on to those particularities, or deal with that emotional bias or cultural pressure. Certainly if someone stopped you or me and said, "Define a Christian world view," we would not begin with particulars but would start with the broader basics. So let's ask some questions about those basics, and see if our answers will shed light on this particular matter of gender roles. Read more
Biblical feminists, as opposed to other feminists outside and within the church, accept the full authority of all Scripture for all the people of God. But they recognize, with all modern people, that we do not absorb Scripture in its pure form into our understanding. Like anything else we read, reading Scripture is an interpretive process. In other words, while Scripture is perfect, our understanding of it is limited. It is limited by the tradition in which we receive it – how it has been interpreted for us by others. It is limited by human incapacity to completely understand God. In other words, there is no error in the Word of God, but there may be error in how we interpret it.   Read more
Proverbs 31:10–31 is one of the better-known passages of the Old Testament. Many of us hear sermons preached from this text every Mother’s Day, yet these sermons often miss the meaning of this passage. Many pastors hold up the Proverbs 31 woman as the model for all women, yet they present a distorted and limited view of women, hindered as they are by imprecise English translations. Given the weight placed upon the Proverbs 31 woman as an example of “biblical womanhood,” it is essential that we correct our reading of the text. One of the best ways we can do this is by returning to a more literal or primary-sense translation. Read more
Until his retirement in 1978, Frederick Fyvie Bruce, 78, occupied the prestigious John Rylands Chair of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at Manchester University in England. Today, he continues to be the dean of evangelical biblical scholars. The following interview was conducted by W. Ward Gasque and Laurel Gasque, who recently visited with Professor and Mrs. Bruce in their home in England. Read more
The book of Ruth is one of my favorites. A literary masterpiece, it offers a rich exploration of God’s providence, a theology of mission, and a case study in a plethora of Christian virtues, including courage, trust, generosity, hospitality, sacrifice, humility, kindness, compassion, friendship, stewardship, purity, perseverance, faith, hope, and love. There is a harvest and thanksgiving theme as well as an eschatological one. It is no accident that observant Jews make the book of Ruth the liturgical centerpiece for the twin feasts of Pentecost and First Fruits (Shavuot). Read more
Where and how we start in our interpretation of Scripture determines where we will end up. When seeking to understand the relevance of the Bible’s teaching for our lives, interpretive starting points are particularly significant. The method by which we read and derive meaning from Scripture is the fundamental determinant of the nature of the meaning we will derive. Read more

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