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My faith in Jesus Christ was nurtured in a conservative evangelical tradition, which partly defined itself in reaction to cultural liberalism and Pentecostal enthusiasm. As a result, we did not recognize women prophets. Looking back, however, I believe they were among us. Scripture explains their enduring presence as clearly as church history explains their marginalization. Here is some of the biblical evidence.   Read more
A: Paul’s childbearing comment, infamously found in 1 Timothy 2:15, has long confounded interpreters. First, I will share my own view of this perplexing verse, but humility and honesty require me to give others’ opinions as well, for the most certain thing that can be said is that interpreters disagree on its meaning. Though Paul knew what he meant when he said, “she will be saved through childbearing,” his meaning has long eluded his readers. Read more
Have you had a hard time bringing the principles of egalitarianism into your church? If so, you’re not alone. Getting biblical egalitarian principles accepted in a local congregation can be a daunting task, but there are a few things anyone can do to help this vision become a reality. Read more
Havilah Dharamraj
Q: An ever-present “woman” in the Old Testament is Israel, God’s metaphorical wife. How are Christians to understand the imagery of Israel as God’s unfaithful wife, and what is the relevance of the divine-human marriage metaphor in our lives today? Read more
One of my first experiences as an intern with Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) involved my staffing a CBE booth at a conference. Here, I met a woman who was very excited about egalitarianism; however, in spite of the enormous favor toward egalitarianism that she found in the Bible, she still considered herself a complementarian. Why? She said it was due to the “order of creation.” The creation of Adam before Eve was the last and major “obstacle” that she could not surmount. Read more
To speak about God is a dangerous venture. On the one hand, the Bible warns us that God is beyond our comprehension. As Elihu explains to Job, “Surely God is great, and we do not know him” (Job 36:26a).1 Or David exclaims, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable” (Ps. 145:3). The Lord tells Isaiah, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:9). Read more
In 1664, a young Puritan minister named John Cotton Jr. was found guilty of “lascivious unclean practices with three women.”1 Mr. Cotton was a Harvard graduate, a descendant of well-respected parents, and a husband and father. As a punishment for his sinful deeds, English officials in Massachusetts forced Cotton to give up his pastorate of a local church. The question was, what could he do to support Joanna, his wife, and their children? Puritan leaders found the answer in an unlikely place: Martha’s Vineyard. For many years, members of the Mayhew family had labored as missionaries on the island, trying to teach local Indians about Christianity. The Mayhews needed help, and John Cotton Jr. was sufficiently qualified, in the eyes of the English at least, to preach to Indians. So, in 1666, John Cotton Jr. began a long missionary career on both Martha’s Vineyard and in the town of Plymouth. In many respects, his legacy lasted beyond his death, for his two sons, Josiah and Roland Cotton, preached to Indians in Massachusetts long after their father was gone.2 Other scholarly works have examined male members of the Cotton family and how they interacted with Native Americans.3 In this article, however, I wish to explore the experiences of Joanna Cotton, a wife and mother of missionaries in colonial America. In particular, I will explore the extent to which Joanna fell in line with expectations regarding gender roles in colonial New England. These roles typically involved a degree of female subordination to males. Read more
Q: My church does not believe that women should be elders, based on the phrase in 1 Timothy 3 that says elders must have one wife. Does this phrase really exclude women and single people from being elders? How should I approach this subject at my church? Read more
Q:  My church is unwilling to address the gender debate, feeling that it is too divisive. I have tried many times to advocate for women, but I am labeled as a trouble-maker and a radical. How do I, in a non-threatening way, encourage my church to examine the issue? A: This is a familiar dilemma and there are no easy answers. Perhaps some of the following suggestions will be helpful: Read more
When Bob Dylan sang “the times they are a-changin’,” he wasn’t kidding. Recently I glanced over at my seventeen-year-old son doing his homework. While he was online doing research for a paper, he was also instant messaging four of his friends-all of this while listening to his iPod and typing words into his research paper. He explained to me that he’s able to work better when he has a lot of stuff going on. It helps his concentration. What a contrast from the time I got irritated at the librarian at the University of Northern Iowa for whispering too loudly while I worked on a research paper. The times they are a-changin’. Read more

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