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What do evangelical Christians mean when they use words like “equal,” “complementary,”—or even “biblical”—to describe the truth about gender? Egalitarian and complementarian scholars discussed these issues at sessions hosted by the Evangelicals and Gender study group at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) annual meeting entitled, “What is Truth?” Read more
We headed to England this fall with some trepidation. We were attempting some- thing new in the history of CBE—hosting a symposium in a foreign country. Why England? A location in the United Kingdom was selected in part because of scholarship of evangelicals such as N.T. Wright, Elaine Storkey, David Instone-Brewer, Mary Evans and Esther Reed. These and many others were eager to offer biblical, historical and theological insights into the challenges of gender. England is also central to our symposium partners, Women and the Church of England (WATCH) and Men, Women and God (which is also active in India). Together we planned, prayed and waited to see how God would move. And, move he did! Read more
My Lebanese uncle appeared in our home for the first time when I was 9 years old. Dressed in a long robe, he held prayer beads and spoke Arabic with great animation. He was an avid collector of icons that revered our ancient Christian heritage. I was ashamed of his oddity. My father explained that we needed to love him, regardless of his clothes and mannerisms. With pride my father recalled how his brother spoke many languages, was highly educated and ran a successful international business. To my young mind, however, my uncle’s otherness seemed insurmountable. Read more
Most people are curious about CBE's mission. One man at the NACC conference agreed as I explained the great need for the body of Christ to open spaces for men and women to exercise gifts of the Spirit without limitations due to gender roles. He commented that the mission organization he works for witnesses the most effective ministry when men and women work interdependently. One woman listened thoughtfully before questioning, “But doesn't the Bible say a woman cannot have authority over a man?” I appreciated her willingness to discuss that difficult question, and I shared my journey of squaring Paul’s instruction with other passages that affirm public teaching of women within churches (Lydia, Priscilla, Junia, among others). She was interested in knowing that the plain meaning of the original Greek text, within first century Ephesus, differs from the plain meaning of 1 Timothy 2:12 in modern English. Paul does not prohibit a woman's authority (exousia) over a man since that word is absent from the passage. Rather, Paul prohibits a woman from dominating a man for selfish gain that may involve licentiousness (authentein). I explained that this makes sense given Ephesian cultic practices that were creeping into the church. The woman looked excited, “I had no idea.” Read more
Tim Krueger
In mid-November, I joined two other CBE staff members and our distinguished Australian guests Kevin and Lynley Giles as we piled hundreds of books and journals into two vehicles and caravanned from Minneapolis to Milwaukee for this year’s annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). As in past years, CBE had a visible presence at ETS not only by our booth in the exhibit hall, but also through the many sessions and discussions hosted by egalitarian scholars.  Read more
Seeking community and empowerment, egalitarians from across Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand and beyond filled lecture halls during CBE’s 2010 Melbourne conference! Sadly, because of their egalitarian views, many experience censorship and marginalization in their churches and ministries. Some have even lost friends. This explains the low tone used by a woman who approached me in Melbourne that year, to share her aspirations to organize a CBE chapter in Sydney. Courageously, one year later, CBE members in Sydney took bold steps in becoming a CBE chapter which, like the CBE Melbourne chapter, would hold events and incorporate as a charitable organization in Australia. They honored me with an invitation to lead lectures with them in September. And, to make the trip especially productive, our Melbourne chapter asked me to address their group, as well. The journey gave me an opportunity to visit friends at Crossway College in Brisbane where three lectures were organized, introducing students and faculty to the work of CBE.  Read more
I was a junior in college when I first discovered biblical equality. Mimi Haddad had come to lecture in one of my classes. Almost a decade later, I still remember it vividly—my perspective from the fourth row of tables where I was situated, the blue and green background colors of Mimi’s PowerPoint slides, the Bible I was using as she directed us to look up particular passages. Most of all, I remember the rush of emotions—shock, which quickly turned to relief, and then to excitement, and finally to determination to do something about all I had learned. I had spent the previous few years wrestling with the idea that the God I loved preferred men over all the gifted women I saw around me. It was like a terrible itch that just wouldn’t go away. But now Mimi was guiding me through biblical passages that affirm the dignity and worth of women, showing me Phoebe the deacon, Priscilla the teacher, even Junia the apostle. The message was, as a CBE member described once to me, a healing balm for my soul. And how grateful I am to Jesus that it came when it did—as I was young and sorting out my gifts and calling and dreams.  Read more
Tim Krueger
In the rare event that we at CBE find ourselves unable to use our computers due to a power outage or network problem, we put ourselves to work giving the office a good, thorough cleaning. I always enjoy the change of pace and welcome the chance to locate those buried papers I gave up searching for weeks earlier. It also seems that every time we embark on a major cleaning endeavor, we uncover some treasured object from the early years of CBE. Whether it’s a priceless photo from a conference, a stuffed animal from a beloved member, or an old cookbook we find in the recesses of the office, everything has a story. And each of these stories helps to tell the story of CBE. Read more
In many countries around the world, men and women are said to be equal in all sectors of society. The reality, however, is often very different — male dominance often persists in the church and home, with women devalued and expected to unilaterally submit to men. Yet there is hope for women, in part because people around the world are encouraging the message of biblical equality. Read more
I recently had the opportunity to interview three of CBE’s most devoted members: Alvera Mickelsen, Ginny Erickson, and Betty Clark They were crowded around a table in CBE’s office, having volunteered to organize our historical files. As a newcomer to CBE, I had expected a cordial but formal interview (perhaps even with a few awkward silences). Instead, I was surprised and delighted by their sincerity and warmth. They welcomed me into the friendly conversation of longtime companions, openly discussed their lives with me, and asked me about my own life. They displayed all the humility and grace of true disciples of Jesus Christ. Read more