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Mutuality

Tim Krueger
I would settle into a comfortable slouch at my desk in the corner classroom that hosted my contextual theology class, unwrap my giant blueberry muffin, and begin to dig in when the professor would bound into the room and ask “Did Jesus have to be a man?” This happened at least a couple times a month. Each time, someone would begrudgingly offer up the same answer: “Well, because of the culture of the time, Jesus couldn’t have accomplished what he did without the freedoms he had as a male. So… I guess?” Read more
Eight boys and three girls played in the cul-de-sac where our family used to live in the Pacific Northwest. Add the numbers, weigh the ratios (8:3; 3:8), and imagine the drama. I’m not one to stereotype, but boys in baseball caps frequently ran around shooting homemade toy guns, and girls donning fairy wings often retaliated with glittery wands. Boys seemed prone to scuffles; girls tended to avoid them. Boys excluded girls from street hockey. Girls shut boys out of makeshift clubhouses. Read more
As a young violinist, I had to practice with recordings that helped me get the notes of the piece in my ear and fingers. Honestly, these practice recordings were uninspiring to hear. They were useful and accurately represented the notes, but they weren’t beautiful. My Suzuki practice CDs sounded nothing like a virtuoso violinist playing the same music, because the virtuoso is not simply trying to play each note accurately. She is putting herself into that concerto. In turn, an audience connects with her honesty and self-revelation and is moved by the beauty of the piece. For me, this serves as an analogy that can illuminate some aspects of the gender debate. Read more
A couple of years ago, I preached on the topic of singleness at my church and during a post-sermon question-and-answer session, I was asked a rather unexpected (given the topic) and baiting question about the merits of egalitarian versus complementarian marital relationships.  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

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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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