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This article originated as a paper that I presented at the Pacific Coast Region/Society of Biblical Literature meeting, New Testament Epistles and Apocalypse Section, at St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California, in March 2002. I wish to focus here on the distinctive theology of Hebrews and how it relates to gender equality. Read more
It is impossible for me to know the full effect on girls and women of a lifetime of hearing masculine nouns and pronouns in contexts and situations that were supposed to include all people and persons. The best I can do is compare it to situations I have experienced when language used did not apply to me or excluded me—such as in school when I knew I wasn’t included in a certain group, or in a foreign country when I knew I was not included in an invitation; or in a gathering of sectarian church members where I knew I was no longer accepted as one of the “real Christians.” Read more
Recent events in the evangelical community—particularly with the release of Todays New International Version (TNIV) Bible translation—have raised concerns over masculine language. Does Jesus ask us to be fishers of people or fishers of men (Matt. 4:19)? Is there a difference? Should we be afraid to use words like people, especially when the ancient text and context warrants this? Read more
Remember praying to Howard as a child? Yes, that’s right: “Our Father, whose art’s in heaven, Howard be thy name.” I still think God’s art really is in heaven (or at least some of it), but the name of God I know now is a more glorious one: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Most children think of God as a kind of old grandpa in the sky. One hopes, however, that with age has come a greater wisdom about the nature of our living, infinite, loving Creator. Read more
I want to share with you my personal reflections on my forty years’ involvement with women in ministry, trusting that I am old enough and have been at it long enough that such personal reflection is not in poor taste. Read more
John Stuart Mill was a Victorian political and social philosopher. He received a unique and rigorous education starting at the age of three when he learned Greek and went on to be lauded as the first great interdisciplinary mind of the modern world. His most famous works are his Autobiography, Utilitarianism, and On Liberty. Utilitarianism is Mill’s statement of Utilitarian ethics, the principle of which is that the right action is that action which will tend to increase happiness and decrease un-happiness. By happiness Mill means pleasure, both physical and mental, and by unhappiness, pain. Mill’s goal was a collectivist one, the improvement of society. Read more
Before the nineteenth century, a Chinese woman’s life was wrapped around three men: father, husband, and son. The famous “Three Submissions” taught that a woman should follow and obey her father while still young, her husband after marriage, and her eldest son when widowed. “A woman married is like a horse bought; you can ride it or flog it as you like,” says a Chinese proverb. Widows with no sons could not inherit property; sons alone could continue the family lineage and fulfill the duties of ancestral worship. Sons stayed within the family and worked for the honor and prosperity of the family. In contrast, daughters were money-losing goods. In desperate times they were the ones to be sold, abandoned, or even drowned—but never the sons. Read more
Forbes now is in secular academia, teaching rhetoric in writing, and she's turned her research attention to selected women who have unwittingly wielded a great deal of influence if not power, particularly in the twentieth century: devotional writers or compilers, principally a woman known for decades as Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman and the earlier Mary Wilder Tileston, compiler of the 1884 book of 365 dated readings, Daily Strength for Daily Needs (still in print). Read more
Joseph B. Modica
Val Webb, adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota and author of four books, including In Defense of Doubt, has written an engaging, readable, and mostly historical approach to feminist theology. Her thesis is straightforward and often restated: "The goal of this book is to look at the diversity of the feminist movement and show how limited and inaccurate negative stereotyping is."  Read more
History—at least official history—is always written by the winners. For some time, the advocates of an institutional, hierarchical, orderly, and preeminently masculine vision of the church have undoubtedly been the winners, and they have been permitted to frame the discussion. Read more

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