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Mutuality

The more leadership I took on in the secular world, the wider the gap became between who I was at work and who I was expected to be at church and home. Read more
The Blind Side is a powerful story of redemption that struck a resonant chord with me because the heroine is a Christian mom with grit. Spunk. Pluck. Call it whatever you want. Leigh Anne Tuohy can and does go toe-to-toe with obstinate high school teachers, coaches, skeptical friends, drug pushers, and gang bangers. Leigh Anne is smart, sensitive, compassionate, and generous. And she’s no cream puff. You don’t mess with Leigh Anne. You especially don’t mess with her family, which includes Michael when the Tuohys become “Big Mike’s” legal guardians. Read more
My friend confided in me because she was “tired — no, exhausted — of being single.” She had prayed for a spouse, but worried that because God had not answered her prayer yet, maybe she was not meant to be married — an idea that deeply saddened her. Or worse, she feared that because of sins she had committed in past relationships, maybe she was not worthy or capable of being in a strong Christian marriage. Read more
The landscape of the debate between egalitarians and hierarchists (self-styled “complementarians”) has changed drastically owing to decisive gains that have been achieved by egalitarians on scriptural grounds. Read more
I’m starting this article with the end. There is really only one thing I hope each of you — man or woman — gets out of this. Manhood is about the agonies and ecstasies of being human, and the hunger and hope of loving and being loved. But that is only part of it. Most of all, manhood is about the strangely active surrender of heart, body, and desires to Christ, a lifelong conforming of one’s own will to his will. Does that sound like a good definition of womanhood as well as manhood? Ah, you’re on to me. Read more
I believe strongly in biblical equality, but I’m tired of having to be an outspoken evangelical feminist. Instead of writing these words tonight, I want to burrow under the covers with the remote control and watch re-runs of Law and Order, my most recent escape. But I can’t. You see, I have been called. Deep within me is a passion for justice, a burning desire to see women freed and systems changed, to see the playing field leveled for all people, regardless of race, gender, economic status, ancestry, or ethnicity.   Read more
As a Christian who believes strongly in equality between women and men, I had often spoken up about gender issues with family and friends, in Sunday School classes, and among colleagues. However, when I was invited to teach a Gender Studies course at the Baptist university where I am a faculty member, I found this to be the most intense challenge I had faced yet. In some ways I would only be doing for students what I had already done with those who know me more personally. Yet, somehow teaching this course seemed much more daunting. Read more
Women in ministry leadership face unique challenges as they seek to follow their calling in a world that often discourages and discriminates because of their gender. Here ten women leaders share experiences, wisdom, and hope as they respond to these common obstacles. Read more
Is your church firmly committed to biblical equality? Hurray! If your congregation is looking to take the next step in affirming and valuing the gifts of both women and men, consider these tips: Read more
The process of change can be compared to a river. We are part of a flow of ongoing and changing conditions. If the river flows too slowly it can become sluggish and filled with silt. If the river flows too rapidly, it can tear away important structures along its way and be difficult to navigate. If the river has too much water it floods and loses its definite shape. If the river has too little water, it slows down and dries up. The ideal river is a work of art in nature. It has a steady source; it is fed by other streams. It flows cleanly and purposefully between well-defined banks. It contains organic life abundant in quality and quantity. It adds to the quality of life along its path. It adapts to the changing environment. And it contributes to a larger body of water at its end. Read more

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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.

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.

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