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Mutuality

Tim Krueger
Soft patriarchy makes men kings who play at being one with their subjects, but requires them to keep their crowns. It retains the kind of power-over structure that Jesus gave up when he became human. The exchange of power for oneness is where the power of the gospel, and Christian marriage, resides. Read more
Gricel Medina
Hispanic marriage is all about tradition. Generation after generation, we honor the traditions passed down to us. To question them would be to dishonor our culture, our family, our identity. But what if a pattern is wrong? What if it’s not the pattern our designer wants us to follow? Read more
Christians are used to hearing about Joseph and Mary, usually around Christmas. Then, they’re the supporting cast, and Jesus is the focus. They certainly don’t often come up in conversations about Christian marriage. Perhaps they should. If we pay attention, Joseph and Mary point us toward what makes a good marriage. Read more
We've had doubts, debates, disasters, and delights. Sometimes, we haven't liked each other. Sometimes, we haven't liked ourselves. Read more
How is it that any man who walks through our church doors—whether once a year or once a day—can walk away believing that domestic violence is justified? Perhaps because precious little is being done to challenge it. A 2014 Sojourners survey revealed that only thirty-five percent of pastors have spoken more than once about domestic abuse. This statistic is alarming, but must not blind us to this truth: all pastors teach their congregants about abuse one way or another. When we preach, lead Bible studies, or interact pastorally or socially with people, the language we use and the way we present topics will either reinforce or challenge an abuser’s narrative. Read more
Whether married or single, Christian faith is a social faith. It knits everyone into communities for support and service. In as much as each believer is united to Christ, the head of the church, we are also united to the members of Christ’s body, the church. Our union with Christ and the church creates a network for human flourishing, because each member of Christ’s body is gifted with abilities necessary for the thriving of others regardless of gender. The giving and receiving of spiritual gifts within the family of God is essential in strengthening giver and receiver alike. For this reason, “alone” is not only the most terrifying word in any language, but was also the only “not good” in a perfect world (Gen. 2:18). Read more
Recently, someone asked my thoughts on racial segregation in the US church on Sunday mornings: “How will we ever move forward together, as a unified church, if people of color don’t forgive us for the past?” Read more
The word “submission” elicits a strong and often negative reaction in our culture. For many, it provokes images of oppression, slavery, or abuse. Submitting sounds like giving in, or giving up. But submission has always been an important part of Christian theology. After all, salvation flows through Christ’s submission to God on the cross. Read more
I was raised complementarian. More importantly, I was raised in something of a theological echo chamber where my complementarian convictions went undisputed. All diligent Bible readers would obviously conclude that men were to lead, and even more obviously, that women were not to be pastors. What could be simpler? Read more
Most of us have heard about the Mommy Wars: the tension between mothers who stay at home and those who work. In this conflict, mothers who work are portrayed as selfish, pursuing wealth and personal fulfillment at the expense of their families. Those who stay at home are judged for wasting their energy and creative potential on diapers and Pinterest-worthy boxed lunches.  Read more

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Book Review: Women Leaders and the Church

This new book is one of the best I have read in a long time, due to its easy-to-read style and thorough treatment of women and the Bible. The author is professor of biblical literature at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago.

Book Review: Is it Okay to Call God Mother?

When I first saw the title, Is It Okay to Call God Mother, my mind raced ahead. Is this book promoting heresy? Is it theologically liberal, radically feminist, or new age? Yet, I was intrigued and decided to read the book. And, what a book it is! It is a must read for evangelicals! Is It Okay to Call God Mother provides rich biblical material on the feminine attributes of God which has been largely overlooked by the evangelical community.

Book Review: How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership

Alan F. Johnson's compilation of narratives entitled How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals is a particularly fresh, honest, and persuasive resource in the growing collection of books on gender equality and women in leadership. The recognizable evangelicals in this book speak humbly and clearly about how their theological convictions and understanding of Scripture, with reference to women in leadership, were transformed through personal experience.

Book Review: Eve's Revenge: Women and a Spirituality of the Body

It’s what’s inside that counts.” After years of working to believe this, I’ve found a book that confirms my suspicions—this hollow phrase is only half-true.

Book Review: When Momma Speaks

“The purpose of the stories about biblical mothers falls on literary and socially deaf ears unless they mean something to twenty-first-century mothers,” Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder writes in chapter ten of her book, When Momma Speaks: The Bible and Motherhood from A Womanist Perspective. This is the essence of Crowder’s mission: to forge a story connection between biblical mothers of color and modern African American mothers.

Book Review: Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible

When I was a little girl, I loved acting out Bible stories with my mom, especially the one about Mary Magdalene meeting the Risen Lord. I would be Mary, kneeling in front of the old Franklin stove that passed for the garden tomb, my shoulders heaving with imagined sobs. My mother would be Jesus. We’d run through the dialogue, and when my mother said “Mary,” I’d gasp and throw my chubby arms around her legs. It was a fun way to pass a winter afternoon, but it also brought up questions I wouldn’t have thought of if I hadn’t immersed myself so fully in the story.

Book Review: Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You

A few months ago, an acquaintance confided that her marriage is in trouble. She asked about egalitarian marriage resources, and I enthusiastically recommended Dorothy Greco’s new book, Making Marriage Beautiful.

The book’s eleven chapters survey a range of topics, from managing expectations to navigating in-laws, gender roles, communication, conflict, abuse, addiction, community (outside of marriage) and healthy response to external challenges and crises.

Book Reviews: Naked: Reclaiming Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

Naked is a marriage book thoroughly steeped in egalitarian theology and completely free from gender stereotypes and tired “male headship” language. Tim and Anne Evans bring decades of counseling and ministry experience to their work, and the result is an extremely helpful and approachable guide for married couples.

This book is presented in three parts, the first of which presents a healthy theology of sex and counsels the reader through deconstructing any unhealthy views of sex they may have learned throughout their life, whether from church, family, or culture.

Kristina LaCelle-Peterson's Liberating Tradition: A book review

Kristina LaCelle-Peterson writes a compelling outline of Christian feminism that serves as a valuable tool for the average evangelical seeking more refined and informed thinking about gender from a biblical perspective. The book's title hints at its ambitious purpose: to liberate evangelicals from cultural trappings that have misdirected our reading of Scripture, our family structures, and our models of church participation.

Book Review: Forgotten Girls: Stories of Hope and Courage

A Tibetan girl named Sonam used to spend her days collecting dung for fuel and desperately trying to patch the worn sides of the tent she shared with her mother. That is, until something as simple as a basic cinder-block house freed her family from the elements and allowed her to attend school. Then there's Meerim, an accomplished young Kyrgyz woman who was kidnapped and forced to reject her Christian faith for an unwanted Muslim marriage. And Mai Lin, a Chinese AIDS orphan. After years of rejection by her community, she was educated and cared for at a Christian school.

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