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Mutuality

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.

Book Review: Singles and the Church: A Match Made in Heaven?

At my former church, I offered a suggestion to the pastor. I told him that his morning sermon had been geared toward the married members of the congregation, but did not have application for singles. I suggested that he try to include messages relevant for single churchgoers as well. He looked at me and straightforwardly replied, "I don't know how to include singles because I am married."

Book Review: What Science Says About Superiority: Shattering the Myth of Race

Shattering the Myth of Race by Dave Unander is a thoughtful discussion of the conflict of race and ethnicity against the backdrop of the history of Western Europe and the United States.

Unander speaks of many people's lack of family roots in his Chicago neighborhood in the 1920s and 1930s to suggest that people can lose a sense of racial or cultural identity. In his multiethnic neighborhood, what people were like had more bearing on what he thought of them than their racial or ethnic background.

Book Review: Unmarried But Not Unimportant: Single Women: Challenge to the Church?

Intended for single women and the churches they attend, Single Women: Challenge to the Church? tackles the unique challenges faced by single, Christian women through the eyes of nearly 100 women who were surveyed and interviewed for the project.

The book also addresses the church's response to these challenges and provides practical suggestions for the church on how to serve its single members. This work is an encouragement for single women because it views singleness as a gift that holds a distinct purpose for a woman's service to God.

Margot Starbuck's Unsqueezed: Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights, and Stilettos: A book review

I will be honest about this. Margot Starbuck's Unsqueezed: Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos (InterVarsity Press, 2010) is not a book I would typically pick up, let alone excitedly read. With its giant, bright red, high heeled shoe on the cover, and a different pair of shoes gracing the first page of each chapter, I worried that it would be a "fluffy" message about how all women are beautiful—a Christian "chick lit" book that would provide milk when I was longing for meat, to use the metaphor of Hebrews 5.

The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James: A book review

James begins by giving her readers an in-depth look at what it means to be a widow and a barren woman in Old Testament times, a heart-wrenching reality for both Naomi and Ruth. Her treatment on barrenness is particularly full of insight as she describes how God uses pain to engage his people on a deeper level, while also making it clear that the pain of loss can never be glossed over. She writes, "Even when we can pinpoint 'something good' that came out of tragedy, it never balances out what we have lost . . .

Susan McLeod-Harrison's Saving Women from the Church: A Book Review

I had just finished teaching an adult Sunday School class on spiritual gifts when a friend ran up to me and asked, "Did you hear what pastor said today in his sermon—that women can't teach men—and he used you as an example?" In processing my pain and confusion from that day, I found resources from Christians for Biblical Equality that helped me heal, and led me to Jesus. Now, there's a new publication that offers similar hope and healing for women: Susan McLeod­Harrison's Saving Women from the Church—How Jesus Mends a Divide.

Book Review: Jo Anne Lyon's The Ultimate Blessing

JoAnne Lyon feels the way all of us do sometimes—depressed, bitter, lonely, helpless. But she also remembers what we often forget—that through the pain and frustration of human existence, we are blessed by a transcendent God who loves us and promises to be with us always.

Book Review: Crossing the Divide: Daughters of Islam

Daughters of Islam: Building Bridges with Muslim Women is a wonderfully relevant book for Christians who have little knowledge of Islam or the people who subscribe to it. This book helps readers peer into the hearts of Muslim women, to perceive what they feel and think, and to understand how they live.

Book Review: Kate Hurley's Getting Naked Later

Are you still looking for a way to use those two-for-one coupons you long to share with a spouse? Or, are you constantly giving your single friends advice on how to snag a mate? There's something for you in Getting Naked Later, by Kate Hurley. Don't be put off by the title—she never gets into specifics.

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Volume 18

We often ask, “Why does God let abuse happen?” But I think the Lord may be asking the church, “Why do you allow it?” Martin Luther King, Jr. said that if there is one thing this generation should repent of, it’s the chilling silence of those who call themselves righteous. –Dr. José Vinces Read more
As I grow older, I relate to the Bible as I do my long term friends. Some friends I can remember in their teens, then twenties, and thirties. I remember the struggles we have faced over the years, the victories we have celebrated together, and how our values have grown and changed over time.  Read more
In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul calls the men and women who were praying and prophesying in the assembly at Corinth to respect culturally relevant gender markers like head coverings, hair lengths, and hairstyles as a way of honoring God and each other. In doing so, he uses the metaphor of “head” and emphasizes interdependence between men and women. He shapes this passage in such a way that the key points are set in parallel groups with the strongest emphasis appearing at the center.  Read more
A few years back, at a local Barnes and Noble, I picked up a copy of Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice’s bestselling Christian book for teen girls, For Young Women Only. I vividly remember sitting in the café with my mother and reading her excerpts; it was the only time I have actually wondered if my eyes were bugging out of my head. In a chapter about the importance of makeup, weight loss, and being physically attractive, I found this quote: Read more
It is the season of weddings! Many of us will have the pleasure of celebrating with family and friends as they join their lives as husband and wife. Though we have all enjoyed countless weddings over the years, there always seems to be that one moment in a wedding ceremony where we are hit by the immensity of the occasion—when two become one flesh. As bride and groom commit before God and their community to love and serve one another, despite what life may bring, their boundless joy splashes over us, their family and friends. We feel a knot in our throats and tears on our cheeks, and we reach for the hands next to us. Something within us remembers we have encountered the ecstasy of oneness before—in the early chapters of Genesis. Read more
My daughter, As I'm writing this, I am watching you in the corner of my eye, eating blueberries. You look at me in between stuffing your mouth with a chubby handful and you laugh with great delight. I want you to stay this way forever—one and a half years old, toddling around, fearless, determined to discover everything you can about the world, confident that you are safe because of our love, and appreciative of all the sweet things God has created for us to enjoy. But I know that time will pass and things may change.  Read more
You’re not pretty enough. I’ve heard that voice in my head ever since I was a little girl. It didn’t matter if I got straight A’s, if my poem won a contest in school, if I succeeded in a spelling bee. As I grew older, the voice became more shrill when I realized that, according to culture, beauty was destined to define my relationships, as well as my inherent worth. It became easy to attribute both my failures and successes to my physical appearance. After all, the ability to be desired, respected, and included all seemed to hinge on beauty. Everything else that I planned for my life would naturally follow and fall into place, as long as I was beautiful enough. Read more
Things are getting bananas, people.  Toddlers are wearing tiaras. Parents are giving teenage girls breast enhancement procedures for their Sweet Sixteens. Dark-skinned girls are lightening their skin with bleaching products. Chinese women are getting their legs broken—on purpose!—in leg-lengthening surgeries. It’s nutty, right? Read more
To our great surprise and sorrow, our first president, beloved leader, and founder of Christians for Biblical Equality, Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger, contracted pneumonia and died suddenly on Monday, February 14, 2011. Please join us as we celebrate this great woman of faith. Read more
Do you find yourself reluctant to attend women’s retreats, Bible studies, or conferences because too often they focus on fashion, dieting, women’s emotions, and new forms of abdominal exercises? Are you confused by Christian blogs for women where, again, the discussions center on fashion and appearance? How many times have you perused Christian bookstores or event booths where resources for women fixate on beauty? A CBE staff member suggests that Jesus might turn these tables over, angry that the daughters of Abraham—destined as strong agents of gospel-service—are reduced to lesser pursuits. Read more

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