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“Why do you care so much about the women’s issue in the church?” The question came from a friend, as I was trying to express why a sermon on gender roles in marriage had deeply upset me. It wasn’t an accusatory or dismissive question; it was a curious one. But I knew that, as a pastor, my friend was weary of debates in the church, and that he was tired of self-righteous Christians arguing with one another over matters both small and significant. I had been busy highlighting to him all of the errors I saw in the sermon’s logic, so I paused before I answered his question, examining my motives.  Read more
Welcome to the “Creative Writing” issue of Mutuality! This is a new adventure for us, as we have never before published an issue entirely filled with creative writing. Much prayer has gone into this issue—which has been in the works for nearly three years—and we hope that you find it to be refreshing, encouraging, and challenging. Read more
In the upcoming film Courageous (by the makers of Fireproof), four men make a commitment to love, protect, serve, and teach their wives and children, as “the spiritual leader” of their homes. “The Bible actually has a lot to say about fatherhood,” the main character asserts. The conclusions he reaches throughout his study of Scripture prompt him to write a resolution for fathers, which the men in the movie each sign, affirm publicly in a formal ceremony, and display proudly in their homes. Read more
Several years ago, I was speaking with undergraduates at a well known Christian college. As we discussed the biblical material related to gender equality and service, a male student raised his hand and said, “Look, I have no aspirations of becoming a preacher. I know I will never be like Billy Graham. But that does not bother me. I don’t see why women should be upset either.” With eyes flashing and cheeks flushed a woman in the class immediately responded with, “Limiting service because of gender does not impact your life. But imagine how I and other women might feel!”   Read more
I will admit that I love New Year’s resolutions. I love to imagine new adventures and projects. And I love to set goals, taking care to write them each down and share them with friends and family (which, my psychology professors in college assured me, make us much more likely to successfully complete them). Just a few days ago, I was catching up with an old friend and happily comparing our “2011 lists.” He is going to learn a new language; I’m going to run a half-marathon. And our lists went on and on.  Read more
Kimberly’s story left me speechless. She had believed that, as a Christian woman, she was to play a secondary role in ministry and in her marriage. “I was determined to be the kind of Christian wife God would be proud of. Yet nothing worked like it should have. I did all the submitting I could think of and more, but I could not do a thing about the abuse,” she wrote. After enduring terrible emotional and physical abuse from her husband and feeling certain that she was worthless to God and everyone else, Kimberly found herself at a breaking point. Then, in a seemingly meaningless chore—taking out the garbage — she discovered a book that would change her life: Gilbert Bilezikian’s Beyond Sex Roles. Kimberly had believed she was garbage, and yet, in the dumpster, she found a book that told her otherwise. Read more
If you’ve been a passionate egalitarian for any length of time, you’ve probably heard someone say, “Yes, the egalitarian position is biblically sound, but it is not a “primary issue!” What is at the heart of such a comment? Primary issues are generally understood to mean those issues that focus on the gospel, evangelism, and the leading of the lost to Christ. Is women’s shared leadership and authority a primary issue? One’s perspective on gender and authority most certainly advances or diminishes the good news of the gospel.  Read more
As a person who examines words for her profession, I am consistently amazed at how often we (myself included!) use certain words and expressions and assume that we all understand what they mean. For instance, consider the phrase “spiritual leader.” For as long as I have been a Christian, I have heard this concept applied to men, as a way to explain “male headship.” Read more
In Half the Sky, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Kristoff and WuDuun document the global exploitation of women—an abuse to which we have become indifferent. According to WuDunn and Kristoff, the wholesale degradation of women is not often considered newsworthy. Read more
While this may not be at all surprising to the CBE community, I loved discussing the question of women in leadership with my friends in college. We would stay up too late, sitting in the halls of our dorm, whispering reflections and arguments for our particular position on the matter while trying not to disturb our sleeping (and clearly far more responsible) roommates. The most frequent response I would hear during these sessions was, “Well, I think that God is probably okay with women in ministry, but I’m just not comfortable with it.” For many of my friends, this wasn’t a question if the Holy Spirit gifts women for leadership—it was simply a question if we could step outside of our comfort zone to recognize and utilize those women. Read more

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