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Taylor Murray
Nate Pyle is a pastor in Fishers, Indiana. His recent book, Man Enough, tackles the question of biblical gender roles from a fresh perspective . . . Pyle focuses on the often-ignored role of men and asks the question, “What makes a man?” Pyle’s study answers this question by demonstrating that Christ’s teaching and example set men (and women) free from the traditional stereotypes. Read more
Vicki Scheib
When I was asked to lead a single adult ministry in my church, my response was a quick and emphatic “No!” As a thirty-something woman wrestling with my own singleness, how could I muster the strength and wisdom to minister to those on a similar journey? Working with single adults would only highlight my own personal angst as my season of singleness extended longer than I anticipated. Read more
My marriage was killing me. Either my marriage needed to end or my belief in this “all-loving God” who had “allowed” my husband to abuse me had to end. Thanks to the “godly” Christian counsel I received, I attempted to submit to emotional abuse in order to be faithful to God and to my marriage. But this was a far cry from what marriage was meant to be. My marriage could not be approved by a loving God. Submission to an abusive man results only in destruction and death. Read more
There has been much hand-wringing in the African American community over the steep decline in the number of black couples marrying. From 1860 to 1960, black people thirty-five and older were more likely to marry than white people in the same age bracket. These numbers began to flip in the 1970s—white couples were more likely to marry than black couples. The continuing rise in the number of black people who have never married has led to efforts by both the black church and governmental and non-profit agencies to reverse this trend. Read more
We are shaped by our stories. In fact, our stories, once in place, determine much of our behavior without regard to their accuracy or helpfulness. Once these stories are stored in our minds, they stay there largely unchallenged until we die. And here is the main point: these narratives are running (and often ruining) our lives. That is why it is crucial to get the right narratives. Read more
Tim Krueger
I was a heartbroken twenty-one-year-old. My relationship with my girlfriend was falling apart, and I was desperate to figure out what had gone wrong and how to make it better. Deliverance came in the form of a popular Christian relationship book. It taught me the principle that many evangelicals know so well: “women need love, men need respect.” Suddenly it all made sense. I could hardly contain my excitement when I shared this good news with my soon-to-be-former girlfriend. Read more
The perception in evangelical church culture persists that one of our primary goals as a church is to create good, healthy, safe, Christian families. Sure, we might have singles’ ministries in our churches, but even those are usually designed to help singles meet each other! It is no small secret that the ultimate goal of some singles’ ministries leaders is to work themselves out of a job. Consider this note that I received from a friend after discussing this topic with him: Read more
Dismayed and confused by constant concerns about safety for girls and exclusion of women from church leadership, Faith Martin began a journey searching for theological developments regarding such demeaning views of women. Other studies of women in the church, such as Ruth Tucker and Walter Liefeld’s Daughters of the Church, reveal a consistent disparagement of women since the third century. Interpretations of NT household codes favoring male authority have often been cited to support such practices. These interpretations bear two kinds of illusions. One implies that church membership is predominantly male. The more serious concern is that presumptions of superiority and inferiority contradict the gospel message of love and grace, the good news of setting the oppressed free. Therefore, a proper theological hermeneutic of the NT household codes demands the inclusion of cultural dimensions. Read more
This article is a philosophical reflection on dowry and how it bears on burial disputes among the Luo people of East Africa. Part one offers preliminary remarks to convey my position on dowry. Part two describes the implications of dowry on the burial dispute of a Luo woman named Veronica, as a way of illustrating the far-reaching effects of the dowry system. I have utilized Bernard Lonergan’s Transcendental Method in my thought process about dowry. This method is derived from Lonergan’s cognitional theory—experiencing, understanding my experience, judging the understanding of my experience, willingness to act informed by the judgment of the understanding of my experience, and finally leading to intellectual, moral, and religious conversion. In our efforts to raise consciousness about dowry, we can transpose the method into an invitation to engage in the following five imperatives: be attentive, be intelligent, be reasonable, be willing, and be loving in our discourse on dowry and its long term implications. Read more
Dowry, or bride-wealth payment, is a widespread practice in many African societies. In traditional African societies bride-wealth had some positive aspects but mostly negative consequences, for it stands at the foundation of patriarchy. In traditional African societies, bride-wealth was related to goods and services that a bridegroom and his kinsmen transferred to the family of the bride. Traditionally, this transfer involved the delivery of livestock by a suitor to the father or family of his prospective bride Read more

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