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At the heart and soul of our lives as followers of Christ is this: We are trying to walk the talk. In the Scriptures and in the healing witness of Jesus, we have encountered the powerful, life-changing invitation to an alternative way of living. We have been given a vision of the realm of God, and invited to live out that vision in the particular soil of our lives.  Read more
Biblical egalitarians rightly argue that the Bible does not support the perpetual and cross-cultural priority of men over women in the home, the church, or society. Biblical scholars, theologians, social scientists, philosophers, and others have given a solid defense, or apologetic, to this end. However, there is another apologetic mission that egalitarians are in a unique and opportune position to fulfill. This involves presenting the message of biblical equality to the unbelieving world in a persuasive manner, thus winning to Christ people who might never be touched by traditionalist approaches. Read more
Many, particularly women, have felt that the patriarchal overtones of Scripture exclude them from participating in God’s divine work: only men are to be the leaders, preachers, and teachers. They find the masculinity of Jesus limiting instead of liberating because they cannot relate to His male identity. If Jesus as a man was the perfect human, how can women ever hope to measure up? Read more
One of the ways Jesus demonstrated the Kingdom of God was by calling unusual disciples. He called twelve Jewish men in order to show that God was reconciling himself to the sons of Jacob (Israel) by a New Covenant. Though these disciples may be the most familiar to us, they weren’t the only people Jesus called to be his disciples. Read more
Abigail, whom we read about in 1 Samuel 25, is one of my favorite women honored in the Old Testament. Often, the church peddles a romanticized and chivalrous ideal (which has no foundation in Scripture) to encourage women to be submissive, quiet, dependent, and careful not to make waves. Particularly within a marriage, many churches teach that women should submit to the decisions of their husbands, even if the husband is making very wrong decisions. Women are encouraged that if they will submit and pray, God will honor this and intervene on their behalf. God may intervene, of course, but often this type of response leads to more problems, including domestic violence and abuse. Read more
In chapter 3 of his first letter, Peter draws an analogy between Christian wives of the first century and the Old Testament matriarch Sarah. This directive (1 Peter 3:5–6) subsequently has been used to support the view that, universally, every woman “should submit to her husband as she submits to the Lord.” On the other hand, some scholars hold that this passage simply “reinforc[es a] dominant patriarchal system and phallocentric mindset” and should be rejected altogether as oppressive to women. How are we to understand Peter’s charge? Is this a universal, divinely inspired mandate for hierarchical marriage relationships? Or is Peter hopelessly patriarchal and irrelevant? In fact, Peter’s rhetoric points to an entirely different conclusion: Peter advocates qualified submission to non-Christians in order to be a witness for Christ’s self-sacrifice. Read more
Considered the most influential woman affiliated with the Welsh Revivals (1904–05) and earlier the Keswick Conventions (1875–1910), Jessie Penn-Lewis (1861–1927) distinguished herself as a writer, speaker, and advocate of women’s public ministry. A cru­cicentrist of the highest order, Penn-Lewis’s egalitarian theol­ogy grew out of her understanding of Christ’s completed work on Calvary. For Penn-Lewis, the cross provides not only forgive­ness for sin (redemption), but also victory over sin and preju­dice (sanctification). Crucicentrists like Penn-Lewis celebrated the social consequences of Calvary that included unity and rec­onciliation, not only between men and women, but also among individuals once hostile to one another. Thus, Penn-Lewis’s sote­riology (what she understood about the work of Christ) shaped her egalitarian ecclesiology (what she understood about the work of the church). She promoted this view through her writings and leadership initially within the early Keswick Conventions and ul­timately within evangelical circles around the world. Read more
Tim Krueger
In 1976, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich set out to uncover the history of ordinary, virtuous women in the colonial United States. In her article “Vertuous [sic] Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668–1735,” she lamented the fact that history has deemed well-behaved women uninteresting or unimportant, and has largely ignored them: “Hoping for an eternal crown, they never asked to be remembered on earth. And they haven’t been. Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Read more
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find even one woman in the whole of Scripture who did what was right but did not also exercise leadership alongside or over males? From God’s introduction of Eve in Genesis, we see that women were created to serve as rescuers and leaders. After God creates Adam, God declares that it is not good for Adam to be alone. God’s remedy is Eve, whom he celebrates with the Hebrew word ezer, meaning a strong help or rescuer. The use of the word ezer in Psalm 121:1–2, which portrays God’s rescue of Israel, helps us understand Eve’s—and woman’s—created purpose. Throughout the Old Testament, leadership appears inseparable from woman’s creational destiny as God’s strong rescue. As Old Testament women live out this destiny in obedience to God, they consistently defy the patriarchy of their culture as ezers.  Read more
I was sixteen years old, confused, and tired. I had a thousand little journals with themes like “becoming a woman of God,” “finding your calling,” and “biblical femininity.” But I still hadn’t found the answers I needed. I was weary. Who had God made me to be? What was I to do with my life? What did the words of the Bible mean for me as a young woman? Read more

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