All Resources | CBE International

You are here

All Resources

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
A womb,the currency of the day.Trade.Hagar’s womb: tilled soil.Gentile, slave,used and thrown away. Read more
Along a desert road, beside a remote, unnamed well, the angel of the Lord approaches a pregnant, abused, runaway slave named Hagar. The young woman has reached a breaking point. Wrapped in doubts and their own agenda, her masters, Abram and Sarai, had given her no choice but to become a surrogate mother to their child. Once she conceived, conflict arose between Hagar and Sarai. With Abram’s blessing, Sarai attacked Hagar with disproportionate cruelty, reasserting her position of power over her. Hagar was abused and mistreated so severely that she fled into the wilderness. Hagar’s life has now been irreversibly altered, and her future looks bleak. No doubt it surprises her that anyone—especially the angel of the Lord—would notice her. Read more
Margaret Mowczko
Jephthah’s daughter, Manoah’s wife, King Lemuel’s mother—the Old Testament is full of women whose names are withheld. They are typically identified only by their relationship to a man. I’ve often found myself irritated when reading an Old Testament narrative that features an unnamed woman. Why did the Old Testament authors leave out the names of these women? Weren’t these women important enough to be named? Is the Bible minimizing the significance of its female characters? Does the Old Testament promote a society in which the service of women is diminished or ignored? To answer these questions, I needed to step out of my world and into the world of the Old Testament’s unnamed women. Read more
Watch a few documentaries about wild animals, and you will see footage of a mother protecting her young. Do you know what happens when another animal bothers a lion cub? The lioness springs into action. Her claws come out, her fangs protrude, and she lets out a roar that can be heard miles away. God created female lions with an instinct to fiercely protect and fight when needed. When a lioness is provoked, watch out! Read more
Throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century, women be­gan to enter the seminaries of the United States in record num­bers. Upon graduation, many sought ordination and have served well in various ministry positions for many years. These same women now find themselves sitting on empty nests, entrenched in the “good old boys” network that makes up much of the patri­archal church structure, encountering a variety of “stained-glass ceilings,” and wondering if this is where they belong. Read more

Pages