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Mutuality

Perhaps you noticed the furor after Target removed gender signs on children’s toys and bedding. Some considered this to be caving to the culture’s “winding, zigzag gender line.”1 Others welcomed the effort as removing barriers that bar girls from toys, interests, and ultimately even careers once viewed as off limits to them. For these parents the question is not: Is my daughter confused about her gender? The issue is: Given male privilege, will my daughter’s aspirations and talents be welcomed? Will she have the same opportunities as males? Or will society shame her, accusing her of denying her femininity, as often happens? 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
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
The people are immensely likable—cheerful, extrovert[ed], quick-witted, and unfailingly obliging. Their cities are safe and clean and nearly always built on water. They have a society that is prosperous, well ordered, and instinctively egalitarian. The food is excellent. The beer is cold. The sun nearly always shines. There is coffee on every corner. Life doesn’t get much better than this. Read more
I will never forget that day in November 1999. I was serving as associate pastor in a church in the urban slum area of Lima, Peru. My wife, Loida, and I decided to visit Juliet (not her real name), one of the most faithful and endearing women from our congregation. She had been active in the church since childhood and had most recently served fervently as a deaconess. As she aged, she still delighted us with her voice. When she sang, it was as though a choir of angels had descended from heaven. Those of us who had the privilege of hearing her were always spellbound and captivated by the beauty of her singing.  Read more
QUESTION: I have no problem with Galatians 3:28 or with equality concerning salvation and spiritual gifts. I do have a problem with headship. Can you please tell me where any of the writers of the New Testament gave women the OK to be in authority over men? Read more
Karen teaches adult education in her church. Her classes are exciting. Despite her denomination’s support of gift-based roles for men and women, she is frequently questioned and criticized by a few who challenge — not the fruits of her labor, but whether women should even be fruitful. The more she tries to persuade her critics, the more weighed down she feels. Read more
When I reflect on my childhood and young adulthood, it’s not difficult to see why I struggled to understand God’s intent for gender roles. I was surrounded by mixed gender messages from my denomination, my family and my Christian college. Read more
Being married to her is the greatest happiness a man could feel. I could never love anyone more. My only desire is to love her and provide for her. I have made sacrifices for her, but she is worth every single one. I always want to be there for her. I want to save and protect her. I want to shield her from worldly dangers. She is my woman, and I want to be her man. I want to take the burdens away from her. I want to handle all the stresses of life for her. I will make the tough decisions. I don’t want her to have to worry about anything outside our home. I want to give her the perfect family and a life where she can just be a wife and a mother to our two boys. I want to give her everything. Read more
As far as anyone knows, I was born an egalitarian. My grandmother was a college professor beloved by a generation of students, especially women. They remember her as an influential figure who encouraged them to explore and use all of their gifts. My parents shared leadership in the home. My church had strong female leaders and staff members. When I went to college, I chose the Wesleyan school where my grandparents taught, Houghton College, and learned about the Wesleyan Church’s historic dedication to women’s rights and women in ministry. After seminary, even though I wanted to do PhD work, I encouraged my wife Jill to pursue hers first and resumed my own studies two years later, part-time, while pastoring a church. From an early age, I understood—and preached—biblical equality Read more

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Book Review: Women in Scripture: A Dictionary

When 70 Jewish and Christian scholars collaborate on a one-volume catalog reference work such as this, the result is sure to be of unprecedented proportions. This is what the editors of Women in Scripture had hoped when they started this project, and they were not disappointed.

Women in Scripture combines over 800 articles about every woman in the Bible in a comprehensive, easy-to-read format. Set up in three sections (Named Women, Unnamed Women, and Female Deities and Personifications), it is encyclopedic in its accessibility, yet textual in its readability.

Book Review: Two Views on Women in Ministry

“God is not an equal opportunity employer.” “God is an equal opportunity employer.”

These antithetical statements come from the two authors representing the complementarian view in Two Views on Women in Ministry, a new book in Stanley N. Gundry’s “Counterpoints” series.

Book Review: Why Not Women?

Authors Loren Cunningham and David J. Hamilton combine biblical truth and cultural awareness in their book, Why Not Women? A Biblical Study of Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership.

Loren Cunningham is the founder of Youth With A Mission, one of the world’s largest mission societies. Over 40 years, he has broken through generational, gender and ethnic barriers, releasing hundreds of thousands into ministry. He’s ministered in every country, giving him a unique perspective of the potential of the church to complete the great commission.

Book Review: Men are from Israel, Women are from Moab

Unlike any other book I’ve read, the authors of this book seek the common ground between men and women instead of proclaiming their differences. How are we alike? What guiding principles does the Bible suggest for relationships between men and women?

Men are from Israel, Women are from Moab: Insights about the Sexes from the Book of Ruth, written by Dr. Norm Wakefield and Jody Brolsma, takes a quick look at our gender stereotypes and discards them. Instead, they focus on how we can build one another up and nurture healthy relationships.

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: The TNIV Bible

The new TNIV Bibles for women and men promise to help Christians gain an identity and maturity in Christ: the women’s Bible, entitled True Identity: The Bible for Women, includes the cover description, “becoming who you are in Christ,” and the men’s Bible, entitled Strive: The Bible for Men, says, “becoming the man Christ wants you to be.”

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: 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.

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