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Mutuality

The struggle for power has always been part of the human story. Sometimes the quest of a person or group of people to dominate another is easy to see, such as in the rising and toppling of civilizations throughout history. But other times the struggle for power grows right under our noses, while we remain largely unaware of its serious consequences. Such is the case with misogyny, which is rapidly mutating and infecting society in the viral form of pornography. Pornography is growing more violent and abusive toward women. It is also becoming more culturally acceptable. And, alarmingly, most of us don’t even recognize how much it is seeping into our everyday lives.  Read more
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
“I was born. Whether or not that is of consequence is yet to be determined.”  I still remember writing those words for a high school creative writing assignment. I had not yet determined if my life was relevant or even necessary. Those thoughts were not new to me; they had haunted me for as long as I could remember. Why?  Read more
Kimberly’s story left me speechless. She had believed that, as a Christian woman, she was to play a secondary role in ministry and in her marriage. “I was determined to be the kind of Christian wife God would be proud of. Yet nothing worked like it should have. I did all the submitting I could think of and more, but I could not do a thing about the abuse,” she wrote. After enduring terrible emotional and physical abuse from her husband and feeling certain that she was worthless to God and everyone else, Kimberly found herself at a breaking point. Then, in a seemingly meaningless chore—taking out the garbage — she discovered a book that would change her life: Gilbert Bilezikian’s Beyond Sex Roles. Kimberly had believed she was garbage, and yet, in the dumpster, she found a book that told her otherwise. Read more
It’s all around us; we are surrounded. Sometimes it’s in our faces; other times it’s become such a normal part of everyday existence that we hardly even take note. On the television, on the radio, at the movies, at the local drug store or the checkout lane at the grocery store: it is “raunch culture,” and it is invading nearly every aspect of our lives.  Read more
Christian leaders often subscribe to stereotypes and myths about men and women and their sexuality. Most of the time, emphasis is placed on Christian women needing to dress modestly and for men to avoid the temptations of their “visual nature.” By proclaiming sexual myths, a “gendering” of sexual sin occurs which enables some and adds an extra level of shame for others. Basically, women are seen as less sexually motivated, and therefore issues such as female sexual addiction and pornography go unaddressed in many churches. Read more
Someone has said that one of the biggest problems with pornography is not that it shows too much of a woman, but that it doesn’t show enough. It doesn’t show that she is an individual with a soul, who has a right to be valued as such. It doesn’t show that she has the right to privacy and honor and respect. It doesn’t show that she is a person of worth, created in the image of God, fully human.  Read more
Have you ever noticed how Scripture celebrates our interdependence, our mutuality, and our oneness as the church? To be members of Christ’s body gives new meaning, fellowship, and comfort to us in our weaknesses and suffering.  Read more
In 1899 Joseph Conrad wrote the classic novel Heart of Darkness, using the context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expose the malevolent darkness of the human heart. Now, over a century later, the Democratic Republic of Congo epitomizes the reality and potency of human depravity. In the past decade Congo has experienced a series of foreign invasions and civil wars that have led to the deaths of over five million people. One byproduct of these years of conflict, coupled with entrenched patriarchy, is epidemic levels of violence against women.  Read more
“Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). In the Book of Job, we read the ancient story of an upright and blameless man who is surrounded by God’s protection and blessing. Wealthy by everyone’s standards, Job had a large family, livestock numbering thousands, and many servants. But suddenly, for no apparent reason, Job is ruined. In a single, unimaginable day, disaster strikes and Job loses everything. Enemies attack and steal his livestock and murder many of his servants.  Read more

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Scot McKnight's Junia is Not Alone: A book review

"Let me be clear once more. The editors of Greek New Testaments killed Junia. They killed her by silencing her into non-existence" (p. 14).

Such strong words are echoed throughout this short e-book from Scot McKnight, illustrating how a historical person was systematically eliminated from Bible translations. The record of how this happened is detailed very clearly in Junia is Not Alone: Breaking Our Silence About Women in the Bible and the Church Today—Scot McKnight has definitely done his homework.

Book Review: Resources for Egalitarian Men's Ministries: Coming of Age

Coming of Age is a result of the Young Male Spirituality Project, a joint effort of Lutheran Men in Mission, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minn.) to find out why young men are staying away from the church in droves, a pattern that surveys are showing is increasingly alarming.

Book Review: Coming to Know Christ as Lord: A review of Anne Rice's novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

Anne Rice's writing is usually associated with vampires, witches, and devils. The twenty-six books she has written over the last 30 years included two cycles chronicling the lives of her characters. Paralleling her return to the faith of her youth, Rice's new novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, marks the beginning of a profoundly new cycle in her authorship.

Book Review: Rise Up: A Call to Leadership for African American Women

I applaud Sylvia Rose for writing an impassioned plea for African American women to step forward, rise up, and take leadership in the world. One challenge I had in reading this book was identifying the intended audience. It seems most likely to appeal to African American women who are well-educated or in the church already. But I believe Rose's message is valuable for readers with a broad range of education and church experiences.

Book Review: Tracing God's Women from Genesis to the New Testament: God's Women Then and Now

This book, written by two ordained women, deals in a winsome and loving way with the issue of women in leadership in the church and home. While solid in scholarship, the book is easy to read and full of personal and biblical illustrations.

Book Review: Mirror Mirror Reflects God's Love for Teens

When I heard about Mirror Mirror, I was immediately skeptical. Given the general genre, I was surprised and delighted by the thoughtful, creative egalitarian content of the book. I quickly realized I was wrong to judge this book by its cover.

Is There Any Good News About Injustice?: A Book Review of Good News About Injustice

Educating ourselves about the manifestation of injustice in the world can be painful, and as a result many of us try to avoid it. Like children who bury themselves under the covers with flashlights in fear of the dark, some of us are guilty of averting our eyes from the results of injustice by pretending the victims do not exist. However, for those who have been victims of injustice, the results are impossible to avoid.

Book Review: What Bible History Says About Women in Ministry: From Bondage to Blessing

If you want one book that clarifies controversial biblical passages about women in leadership, documents God's use of women in both the Old and New Testaments, and explains how and why the church grew away from equality after the time of Christ, this is it. In From Bondage to Blessing, Dee Alei traces the argument for biblical equality chronologically through the Bible and history. She also takes readers through the questions to a greater depth of understanding of biblical equality.

Book Review: Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage

Let me tell you about my car. It's your typical sedan. It doesn't have many special features, but I honestly appreciate what it offers (all-wheel drive). The trouble is, when the mercury drops below zero, which happens all too frequently in Minnesota, it probably won't start. But it will toy with me, turning over just enough to inspire hope. Sadly, it rarely comes through for me. It's the kind of car you don't drive if you have a better option. But if you have to drive it, you'll survive, as long as you can manage its many problems.

Love & War by John and Stasi Eldredge: A book review

While enjoying Valentine's Day dinner this year, my husband and I talked about the joys of being married. When he asked me what has been the most pleasant surprise of the past three years, I thought for a moment, slowly smiled, and said, "Marriage has been a lot easier than I thought it would be."

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