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I used to hate the word lonely. Where I came from, to say you were lonely was to admit weakness. Even to utter the word was to confess vulnerability. You were exposed, out of control. And maybe a little incompetent. God forbid a white, educated, middle-class woman from the great American West should be incompetent! Read more
Stripped of all the theological debates and boiled down to its raw essence, Christianity and Christians will be judged by two actions: how much we love God and how well we demonstrate that by loving our neighbor. This is Christianity in a nutshell. But pushing these two great commands to the back pages of our practical theology has allowed Christians to join in with the world in separating along racial lines. Read more
When we tell a woman that the Lord hates divorce, why do we fail to add that the same verse declares God’s hatred of violence? “I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering his wife with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty. “So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” (Mal 2:16, NIV) Read more
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery against his wife” (Mk 10:11). While I leave aside for the moment other matters of interpretation in this passage, I want to draw attention to the phrase, “against his wife.” In Jesus’ day some Pharisees allowed husbands to divorce their wives for almost any reason, but the law did not permit wives to divorce their husbands (though under extreme circumstances courts would force the husband to grant his wife a divorce). The wife had no legal recourse to prevent the divorce. In a society where only men received fair pay for their work, divorce put women at a severe economic disadvantage. Read more
I’m a number cruncher and concept designer, an engineer by training. By up-bringing, I’m an Evangelical Christian, having leaned toward fundamentalism throughout my early life in my search for all truth in the literal words and expressions of the Bible. Read more
I’m really not against the family—honest. Just ask my wonderful wife of 18 years and my three (great) kids. I’m really not against the Bible—really. I spent 13 years working toward a doctorate so that I could teach the Bible as a Southern Baptist seminary professor. What I am against is the disgusting and deceptive way that some use the Bible to oppress and manipulate faithful, honest church folks. Read more
If you are a conservative Christian, you may be worshipping at the altar of Baal. A conservative is anyone who wants to preserve the existing social order. While a conservative Christian may identify himself or herself as one who safeguards the orthodoxy of Christian doctrine, often there is also blind allegiance to customs having no divine sanction. Read more
Have you noticed how much competition is part of modern life? It is all around us, influencing us in ways in which we are not even aware. There is competition between academic and athletic teams of various high schools and colleges. There is competition between politicians, political parties, political philosophies, and sometimes between the various branches of government. There is competition between businesses, and between labor and management. Read more
I was raised all over the world. I carry a United States passport, but that may be the most American thing about me. I love America, and I am very aware of the heritage that is mine, being born in this great land. But the world in which I have grown up and that I really call my home, is what I call “the real world.” It is a world close to the earth, a world desperate for good news, a world that does not know all that we know and therefore does not engage in all of the arguments that divide us. It is a world in bondage to all the effects of sin and separation from God. The people of this world do not know why they are in the condition they are in. They are just there, waiting for a voice, a hand, a message, an expression, and an answer to their problems. Read more
From ancient times and in almost every culture the role of women has been questioned, debated, and regulated. At present in the evangelical Christian church, much of the debate centers on theology as it defines the role of women in ministry. Actually, different biblical passages and different interpretations of the same passages give rise to quite different theologies. On the one hand, when the focus is on a few selected verses in the Bible that seem to restrict the ministry of women, a restrictive theology of ministry is the result. On the other hand, when the seemingly restrictive verses are put in their cultural and historical context and when the whole of Scripture is taken into account, a theology is revealed that supports women’s mutuality with men in all forms of Christian ministry according to the gifts of the Spirit. Read more

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