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Book Review: The Christian Family in Changing Times

In the last three decades, Christians have endured intensive teaching about the family— marriage and parenting seminars, books and tapes, even radio broadcasts and Web sites. Yet the more resources thrown at families, the more the family has eroded.

“Perhaps it’s time to rethink the evangelical sound byte we call the Christian family,” says Robert M. Hicks in The Christian Family in Changing Times.

Book Review: No Place for Abuse

“When abuse strikes, there is no home.”

So say Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark in their book, No Place for Abuse. This quote struck me, as I grew up in a fundamentalist church where mentioning some personal abuse brought blame to me and sympathy to my father. This book is refreshing in its directness as it addresses the ticklish issue of how churches have traditionally dealt with abuse.

Book Review: 10 Lies the Church Tells Women

In a conversational, no-nonsense approach to a controversial issue, 10 Lies the Church Tells Women discusses 10 traditional ideas many Christian churches have used to claim the Bible restrains women from leadership. J. Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma magazine, counters these unscriptural mind- sets with his message of freedom for women to be all that God is calling them to be.

The book looks carefully at biblical texts used to support traditional church teachings in ten major areas. Among the lies Grady challenges are:

Book Review: Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know

The only thing wrong with Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know is the title. This book contains information essential to every person, not just pastors.

Motivated by what he terms “the magnitude of pastoral neglect” of domestic violence, Rev. Miles has written a compelling and practical book, based on years of experience in hospitals and interviews with 158 clergy members, 52 survivors, 46 professionals working in the domestic violence field and 21 former batterers.

Book Review: Good News for Women

When I was asked to review Good News for Women, I groaned. Not another evangelical book going over the same few texts and putting forward the same old arguments. Having read most of the books written by evangelical egalitarians and hierarchalists in the last twenty years, I did not expect to be excited by this book.

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.

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Volume 21

Egalitarians and complementarians share much in common. We adore Jesus and serve him passionately. We are committed to justice as a biblical ideal. And, we’re both devoted to Scripture as God-inspired. Though we both long to see the world embrace the gospel, we promote two distinct worldviews. What is our difference? Male-only authority. Is it God’s design or is it a result of sin? We are divided by worldviews that we believe reflect the moral teachings of God and our purposes in this world. And, our differing views have enormous consequences. Sadly, believers have encountered this problem before. Read more
South Africa was named the rainbow nation on February 3, 1990 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For our country, with its nine official languages, this name is indicative of diversity as well as acceptance. Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela brought us together in a spirit of unparalleled reconciliation and forgiveness. There is still work to do, but at least our journey has begun. Read more
Taylor grew up in the church and attended every youth group event that was offered. He attended a Christian school and spent hours after class discussing theology and ministry (and even Greek!) with a favorite Bible teacher. From the age of twelve, he knew he wanted to study and teach the Bible. Taylor traveled to youth conferences and mission trips, encouraging other students and growing closer to God with every passing year. When Taylor was in high school, his leadership gifts were evident and he was asked to plan and lead the youth worship every Sunday. Since Taylor had been at the same church since first grade, there were dozens of adults—former Sunday school teachers and youth sponsors—who encouraged him in his calling. He was well-loved, mature beyond his years, and confident in the knowledge that God had big plans for his life. Read more
The professor asked for two volunteers, one male and one female, to go to the front of the room where a small table was set up. Our course was about the church’s role as reconcilers, and that day we were discussing systemic gender inequality. Read more
It was the raspberry ices that broke me. It was the late nineties, and the women’s Bible study I was attending was going through A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George, one of those guides to “biblical womanhood” that offered a few good insights, but mostly just made me feel guilty and inadequate about my fledgling homemaking skills. Something about the theology seemed off, but as a young mom, I took the older, more experienced women’s words to heart. Or at least I did until George described how she served her daughters raspberry ices when they came home from school, and a case of spiritual brain freeze spurred me to righteous rebellion. Read more
Tim Krueger
“Your epidermis is showing!” my friends gasped, struggling to keep straight faces. Noticing the mischief in their eyes, I rolled my own with feigned confidence and hoped nothing embarrassing was actually happening. Still, I felt uneasy until I learned that “epidermis” was just a fancy word for skin. Their teasing capitalized on the distress we feel when we learn that something we thought was hidden (or didn’t know existed) is on public display. Read more
Tim Krueger
Several months ago, my wife and I attended an event where a panel of experts spoke about sex trafficking prevention. When asked what we, as regular people, can do to prevent sex trafficking, a Minneapolis police officer who works with both victims and perpetrators on a daily basis had only one response: “We need to reinvent what it means to be a man in our society.” Read more
In a world in which real men didn’t cry, Jesus wept. In a world in which masculine men didn’t characterize themselves as women, Jesus compared himself to a hen, and his Father to a woman who lost a coin. In a weapon-wielding world, Jesus told Peter his sword was out of place. Read more
In the Christian single world, many people equate purity with sex—or lack thereof! But just as our sexuality is more than intercourse, purity is far more than sex. Purity stems from the heart. It is a way of being, seeing, speaking, and living. It is a gift of grace from God. Read more
Exulting in celibacy and singlehood, the apostle Paul reminds the church in Corinth that the anxieties of marriage are part of a world that is “passing away” (1 Cor. 7:31). Of course, nothing could be further from the sentiments of Christians today. Our pursuit of romance and marriage is out of step with previous generations of Christians, who formed communities of love and service to Christ, free from distraction. Teeming with spiritual and intellectual life, these communities produced significant advances in science, medicine, philosophy, and theology. What is more, they were also places of enormous companionship and love. Unmarried but never alone, single Christians drained the swamps, fed the poor, kept the Scriptures alive, and preserved Christianity from peril. Consider some prominent examples. Read more

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