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A basic tenet in the hermeneutics of theology is to build a doctrine upon the clearer, or less disputed, passages and then interpret the more difficult passages in light of the clearer passages.1 However, in gender studies, the ground is often first broken in the rough terrain of 1 Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 11 and 14, or with the household codes of Ephesians 5–6, Colossians 3, and 1 Peter 2–3. This study will examine three passages involving women in Mark’s gospel—in Mark 3, 5, and 14—all of which are undisputed in terms of significant lexicography, grammar, or relevant gender theology. As clearer passages, they form part of a greater foundation to the theology of gender studies. Read more
The dream of every truly Christian parent is to raise godly offspring—children who live wholeheartedly for Christ no matter what the cost. This dream was fulfilled by the daughters of a father named Pudens. Read more
Like Mary waiting on Easter morningregretting a dream she thought was deadin a world whence God had seemingly fledleaving her weeping, perplexed, forlorn,but daring to ask “Where is the Lord?”and hearing at last the holy word, Read more
Behold a child is softly crying who will save a world lost and dying, the wooden trough where he is lain precursor to a cross of pain.     Read more
As night gives birth to a billion stars when day is gone darkness is ever destined to be the herald of dawn; out of a place where hope is not must hope be born. Read more
The doctrine of the Trinity is one of those core Christian beliefs that—on the basis of scriptural revelation, orthodox religious tradition, and common Christian spiritual experience—was carefully pondered, debated, and then formulated in the Apostles’ Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed. These “ecumenical creeds” are recognized and subscribed to by most Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Protestant churches as the true definition of who and what the Lord God Almighty, the One True God we worship and serve, truly is. Read more
Is God more like a totem pole or a circle? That is to ask, is God a being in tandem, a hierarchical Godhead with degrees of rank, glory, and even divinity: the Father at the top, the Son in the middle, and the Holy Spirit on the bottom? Or, is the Trinity an equal community—a permanent triunity of one great God, in three completely coeternal, completely coequal persons (or personalities, or faces)? Read more
When editors Ronald Pierce and Rebecca Groothuis’s Discovering Biblical Equality came out in 2005, many were surprised to read its subtitle: “Complementarity without Hierarchy.” “Wasn’t that term ‘complement’ already taken? Didn’t it already mean ‘hierarchical’ by its inherent nature? Was this a case of co-opting a word and attempting to redefine it away from its original meaning?” were the questions to ask. Those who took the time to check it out in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary may have been surprised to read: “1. something that completes or makes perfect . . . 2. The quantity or amount that completes anything . . . 3. Either of two parts or things needed to complete the whole; counterpart.”1 Read more
A superficial glance at the New Testament in translation, combined with an expectation of a subordinate role for women, results in generalizations that Paul commands women not to teach or have authority (1 Tim 2:11–15), except in the case of older women teaching younger women how to be housewives (Titus 2:3–5), and women are not to teach in official, public, formal positions in the church, but they can teach in informal, private, one-on-one situations in the home. Read more
A perennial and difficult question for conservative evangelicals to answer is the relationship between the Bible and the creeds and confessions of the church. We evangelicals say that we believe in the ultimate authority and sufficiency of Scripture. We thus often hear evangelical teachers saying, “What we believe and teach comes directly from the Bible.” I frequently heard these words as a young theological student, and they rang in my mind for twenty years until one day, when writing an article on “the how” of doing evangelical theology, I came to see they were inherently untrue. We evangelicals draw on a rich theological tradition that impacts heavily on how we interpret Scripture on doctrinal matters. Scripture is our ultimate authority in matters of faith and conduct, but we always come to Scripture with the theology or doctrine we have inherited from our teachers and mentors in our minds. This theology does not spring directly from the pages of Scripture. It is the product of a long process of reflection and debate over many centuries as to what is the primary emphasis, the fundamental insight, given the diverse teaching of Scripture on specific doctrinal issues.  Read more

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