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“Side by Side” is a recognized American colloquialism. It is even the title of a song first written and composed by Harry Woods in 1927 and then rereleased in 1953 by singer Kay Starr on Capitol records. “Side by side” is also the intended relationship of man and woman by virtue of creation and is expressed as such in Genesis 2:18–24. Read more
Evangelical Christians can agree: marriage is a foundational relationship ordained and blessed by God. It is the beginning of healthy, stable families and forms the groundwork for children navigating through the world. It provides the basis for their worldview and even for learning about God. Evangelicals also agree that premarital counseling can be a good way to start off a strong marriage. Jack and Judith Balswick explain that the premarital stage is the stage of differentiating from the family of origin: “The goal of differentiation is to develop a clear sense of self that enables one to relate to and interact with others in interdependent ways. . . . Success in differentiation gives one the best chances for a mature marriage.”1 Read more
The Stilwells’ Dodge Ram van weighed five tons. Donna Stilwell weighed 115 pounds. Her husband, Richard, was hardly thinking about the comparison when he slid underneath the van to fix the transmission. But, as he worked on it, suddenly it slipped out of park and the vehicle crushed down on him. He could not move. He screamed for Donna, who dashed out of the house, and leaped into the van, trying to drive it “gently” off him, but “the pain was unbearable.” So, Donna Stilwell, all five feet two inches and 115 pounds, jumped back out, grasped the van over the front left wheel, and lifted the van off her husband. “She has wrist problems and has a hard time moving a coffee table,” Richard reflected afterwards, as he recovered from “internal bruising” and a “broken arm.” “The end result could have been a lot worse if not for the super human strength of his wife,” observed reporter Christina Wallace of the Boston Metro. But, another remarkable aspect Wallace records is that “Donna has reported no back, wrist or arm pains since performing her feat of strength.”1 Read more
Shepherd, Instructor, Director. “Father, lead in righteousness. Read, teach, command. We have gone astray. Father, take the hand of the people. Read more
An honest conversation with a young Christian woman in the United States would reveal the prevalent hurt and fear in her experience as well as her search for meaning and identity. Media and society encourage her to find empowerment in a “Girls Gone Wild” or “Spring Break” rite of passage experience and to allow her peers and the opposite sex to form her meaning and identity. The Christian church negates these ideas, but offers discipleship that is often one-dimensional teaching about following God’s commands. She needs more than that. Read more
When I speak on the topic of biblical equality, I look out at the audience and wonder why each person has chosen to come. Some may be women who feel restricted in their church circles and not given opportunity to use their gifts, who hope to find help. Some may be men who want to understand more clearly the biblical basis for God’s view on gender and who need help in being able to give an answer to the many who hold a gender bias. Others may be women seeking guidance on how to juggle home, family, and marriage responsibilities more effectively with their church or business leadership positions. Read more
Every Christian knows that Jesus Christ’s “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19 has been the motivation for his people launching out across the world and discipling all who respond to the good news of salvation since our Lord began the church. What many Christians do not know, however, is that an entire theology of God is present in this great epic statement. And a summary of our way of life and our hopes of glory are all here too. Read more
I am made differently from you. I have something inside of me you do not have, and can never have unless you hold me. Because of that tiny cradle of muscle and blood, I can sing to a baby before a baby is born and the baby will hear me. I am made differently from you. There is always a place in me waiting for new life to take root and grow. Eternity shines through the belly of mortality, the placenta of light shines, the cord of life thickens, and the baby begins water-dancing. I am made differently from you. The echo of life sings against your heart— memory in a bony rib. Read more
By the time he wrote the letter we call 1 Corinthians, Paul was obviously becoming exasperated with the saints at Corinth. After his ever cordial and didactic greetings—reminding them that their calling and sanctification in the Lord is not unique to them, but it is a privilege that they share with other Christians everywhere (1 Cor 1:2)—he starts right in on what he sees is wrong with them. But, before he does that, he shares some words of encouragement, nourishing his students with a kind of pedagogical sandwich, as every good teacher will, mentioning something positive, then the negative that needs correction, then ending with a positive, encouraging appeal, urging the students to do better in the future. Read more
When we say, “We are persuaded from Scripture that masculinity and femininity are rooted in who we are by nature,”1 what do we mean by “nature”? How do we relate our view of nature to our understanding of the role of women? In this article, I will examine how John Calvin, to whom contemporary Reformed churches owe so much for their confessions and practices, used the argument from nature to understand the role of women as different from that of men. Read more

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