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If we all approach the text of Scripture, each having his or her own framework of understanding (even when we share a view of the Bible that it is inerrant and true in all it affirms and teaches), is there any hope that we can ever reach a “correct” or “objectively valid” interpretation,1 especially on passages that are so sensitive as those that deal with the place and privilege of women in the body of Christ today? Surely, no one particular set of presuppositions is to be favored in and of itself over any other set of presuppositions as the proper preparation for understanding a text. And no one starts with a tabula rasa, a blank mind. So does this mean we are hopelessly deadlocked with no possibility for a resolution? Read more
Human beings begin to develop gender identities very early in life as they pick up on cues and clues given off from the sociocultural contexts in which they find themselves. As people and institutions demonstrate socially appropriate ways of being male or female, children become apprentices and learn what it means to be a boy or girl in their culture. Read more
Where and how we start in our interpretation of Scripture determines where we will end up. When seeking to understand the relevance of the Bible’s teaching for our lives, interpretive starting points are particularly significant. The method by which we read and derive meaning from Scripture is the fundamental determinant of the nature of the meaning we will derive. Read more
Excerpts from the booklet, The Feminist Bogeywoman, written by Rebecca Merrill Groothuis and published in 1995 by Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group. It is used here by permission. Please note that it is not the same as ch. 8 of Groothuis’s 1997 book Women Caught in the Conflict: The Culture War between Traditionalism and Feminism (Baker, Wipf and Stock), which bears the same title. For more about the author, see Douglas Groothuis, “Rebecca Merrill Groothuis’s Contribution to Biblical Equality: A Personal Testimony and Lament,” Priscilla Papers 29, no. 3 (Summer 2015): 3-6. Read more
Gilbert Bilezikian published the especially influential book, Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family, in 1985—shortly before the founding of CBE International. Second and third editions appeared in 1989 and 2006. All three were published by Baker Academic, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The third edition included an extended endnote (note 55, pp. 248-50), which we reproduce here with kind permission from both the author and the publisher. Read more
In his book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, former President Jimmy Carter gives readers a look into his fight for women’s equality in his early life, presidency, and involvement in the Elders Organization. This book serves as an urgent message to both developed and developing nations regarding the inequality, oppression, and mistreatment women face which often goes unnoticed and unaddressed. Read more
Taylor
The challenges of being in ministry are difficult to navigate, but for women, the challenges are unique and often more difficult. Unfortunately, women who aspire to be in ministry have to face that they will be treated differently simply based on their gender. One area that is lacking for women is practical pastoral resources written in gender-neutral language. Most popular theology resources available today are written by men and it is difficult to find egalitarian resources written by women ministers for women ministers. One book in particular I recall reading in my undergrad pastoral program exclusively used male pronouns when referring to the title of “pastor” and discussed hot topics such as “The pastor and his wife,” “The pastor and his wardrobe,” and “The pastor as God’s man.” As I read these books I was assigned to take seriously and learn from, I would continually think to myself, (just as you hear in a cheesy infomercial), “There’s got to be a better way!” I am so thankful to have discovered the book SHE: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry by Karoline M. Lewis. This book fills a huge need in the world of practical pastoral resources. Read more
Virginia Musselman
A basketball team would never dream of winning their game with half its players benched. An army platoon would never fight its enemy if half the soldiers decided to stay back. Likewise, the church cannot and should not imagine God's kingdom will advance when half its members are “standing on the shore,” sidelined, benched, and dismissed from leadership (185). Read more
Vintage Saints and Sinners is a thought provoking introduction to the lives of several saints, including some who have been often ignored in our modern day. Karen Wright Marsh compiled this book after years of discussions with college students at the ministry she and her husband co-founded and run. Marsh has no doubt conducted deep research into the saints’ lives resulting in an accessible narrative with a bird’s eye perspective. Though these Christian saints lived very different lives and are separated from us by time, space, technology, and culture, Marsh puts them in conversation with the challenges we face today. Read more
Yehudit: Chosen by God is a rare book, difficult to classify. It is a fictionalized reimagining of the apocryphal book of Judith, a historical Christian romance, a devotional message to women, an egalitarian manifesto, and an invitation to follow Jesus. The author, Lauren Jacobs (who also goes by Aliyah), is equally a rare combination—Christian Jewish (or Messianic Jewish), South African, a counselor, pastor, writer, and speaker. Friends of CBE have seen her frequent blogs and articles highlighting women of the Old Testament and bringing egalitarian theology to bear on the topics of abuse and her South African context. Read more

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