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I believe strongly in biblical equality, but I’m tired of having to be an outspoken evangelical feminist. Instead of writing these words tonight, I want to burrow under the covers with the remote control and watch re-runs of Law and Order, my most recent escape. But I can’t. You see, I have been called. Deep within me is a passion for justice, a burning desire to see women freed and systems changed, to see the playing field leveled for all people, regardless of race, gender, economic status, ancestry, or ethnicity.   Read more
As a Christian who believes strongly in equality between women and men, I had often spoken up about gender issues with family and friends, in Sunday School classes, and among colleagues. However, when I was invited to teach a Gender Studies course at the Baptist university where I am a faculty member, I found this to be the most intense challenge I had faced yet. In some ways I would only be doing for students what I had already done with those who know me more personally. Yet, somehow teaching this course seemed much more daunting. Read more
Women in ministry leadership face unique challenges as they seek to follow their calling in a world that often discourages and discriminates because of their gender. Here ten women leaders share experiences, wisdom, and hope as they respond to these common obstacles. Read more
Is your church firmly committed to biblical equality? Hurray! If your congregation is looking to take the next step in affirming and valuing the gifts of both women and men, consider these tips: Read more
The process of change can be compared to a river. We are part of a flow of ongoing and changing conditions. If the river flows too slowly it can become sluggish and filled with silt. If the river flows too rapidly, it can tear away important structures along its way and be difficult to navigate. If the river has too much water it floods and loses its definite shape. If the river has too little water, it slows down and dries up. The ideal river is a work of art in nature. It has a steady source; it is fed by other streams. It flows cleanly and purposefully between well-defined banks. It contains organic life abundant in quality and quantity. It adds to the quality of life along its path. It adapts to the changing environment. And it contributes to a larger body of water at its end. Read more
Quick Bible quiz: Name one African person in the Bible. Did you mention Hagar, Simon of Cyrene or Apollos of Alexandria? What about the Ethiopian eunuch, or Queen Candace? If none of these characters came to mind, perhaps it’s due to a lack of understanding of the cultural and ethnic forces at work in the Bible. Understanding these forces can bring new light to familiar passages.  Read more
In the movie Swing Kids, a German teenager joins the Hitler Youth and is assigned a job delivering packages. At each house a child or woman answers the door, and as the teenager turns to leave after making his delivery, he hears screaming and crying from the house. Shaking with fear, he opens one of the packages to find a gold wedding band in a pile of ashes. Tears of rage and guilt begin to flow as he realizes he has been unknowingly participating in a cruel system: delivering the remains of husbands and fathers who have been murdered in the name of Hitler. To be white and middle class in America is to be a participant in a privileged power structure. Often unknowingly, we lay poverty and discrimination at the door of communities of color. The challenge to white middle-class people who follow Jesus is to begin to notice the cries of pain from these communities.  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
Since I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, I never questioned all the gender stereotypes that society generally accepted as normal in the 1950s and ’60s. For example, women were expected to stay home instead of going out in the workplace. Men were the main breadwinners. Women were not generally represented in professional life and men were not expected to do chores like preparing meals, house cleaning, laundry, ironing, or washing dishes. Women were considered physically and emotionally frail and in constant need of men’s care and protection.    Read more
Maybe you can relate to some of these experiences:  Friends are telling us about a prisoner they have been visiting who has recently become a Christian. The latest news is that his wife has also accepted Christ and is just beginning her walk with God. Our friends tell us how they have already encouraged this woman to submit to her husband now as “head of the house.” Should we speak up about this hierarchical view of marriage or just let it pass? Read more