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Mutuality

Every time I visit a Christian bookstore, the section on teenage dating has grown. Many of these books advocate for alternate dating methods like courtship, others promote sexual purity and some denounce the dating process altogether. Each book has its own angle, but it’s apparent that a substantial number of books are tackling the issues associated with adolescent relationships.  Read more
“I don’t understand what you’re saying. God created women as helpers. Our most important purpose is to affirm the guys in our lives — to let them know that we respect them, and that we trust them as our leaders.” So went another conversation with a young Christian woman on gender. While in general we are observing great forward leaps on behalf of biblical equality among college students, in this conversation I (Megan) hit a wall. Where had I heard that “women are created to help men” reaction before? I wondered, and then my eyes wandered to my shelf of books written to Christian teenagers. A rush of compassion for my young friend hit me: she might well have been quoting directly from one of those books. I thought back to my high school days, remembering similar books that I had eagerly devoured. Was it any surprise that I went to college opposed to full equality between women and men?  Read more
Late February 2008: “Someday you will write,” Mother said, “and your tears will be the ink you use.” A static cell phone connection, and 190 miles could not mask her deep emotions as she spoke to me. After hours of grief, my eyes were swollen. I was silent. She did not understand I was trying to breathe. “Honey, are you there?” Read more
My roommate and I like to watch the TV show Friends. Correction—my roommate and I are addicted to the TV show Friends. All throughout college, our group of girlfriends had this show on loop. It was on in the background when we were doing homework, or studying for tests, or eating dinner, or getting ready for the day. It became a bonding experience, a shared moment. Read more
It was all I could do to keep from applauding as I sat in church last week listening to the pastor speak about submission: a characteristic of Christian life. My many amens were mostly “heard” by those who lip-read, though a few were audible enough to reach those sitting nearby. I was visiting this church for the first time, and did not want to disrupt what I perceived to be their decorum during the sermon. When I mentioned this to the pastor afterwards, he smiled and said, “We could have handled the clapping and amens!” Read more
I was standing on the edge of a Hawaiian country road with the proverbial thumb stuck in the air signaling my need of a ride. Several months before, I had met the Lord. What I discovered was that not everything spiritual was of God. There is an evil element in the world that masquerades as good. I only wanted to know the truth. With my bold young faith in God’s goodness and ability, I told God I wanted to know what was of God and what was of Satan. So, I stuck my thumb out and told God to take me where I could learn this truth. I knew he could do it. After all, he is God. Read more
In our younger years, marriage held great promise; the skies were blue, the sunsets golden. We had worked together to meld our individual strengths and weaknesses into a loving union, strong and secure. We were team members who were in love, who attended church every Sunday and who had never heard about how God wanted us to relate to one another in marriage. Nor could we see clouds looming on the horizon. Read more
The gender “light bulb” clicked on for me the first time when I attended one of Leanne Payne’s Pastoral Care Schools and heard her specific teaching on “Misogyny in the Church.” I was disheartened to learn of different ways the church has supported this injustice and sin. It became more disturbing to me as I looked around at the church I was attending and saw that women in our church primarily served as Sunday school teachers, worship team members or event planners.  Read more
Biblical egalitarians rightly argue that the Bible does not support the perpetual and cross-cultural priority of men over women in the home, the church, or society. Biblical scholars, theologians, social scientists, philosophers, and others have given a solid defense, or apologetic, to this end. However, there is another apologetic mission that egalitarians are in a unique and opportune position to fulfill. This involves presenting the message of biblical equality to the unbelieving world in a persuasive manner, thus winning to Christ people who might never be touched by traditionalist approaches. Read more
Why aren’t all Christians egalitarian? After all, the teachings of the Bible have been with us for 2000 years, though they’ve been badly misinterpreted. For more than thirteen years, the CBE community has distributed scriptural materials on the equality of women and men through our book service, web site, conferences and chapter events. Still, many Christians do not accept the message of biblical equality. Why not? Read more

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Luke Reynold's A New Man: A book review

Kings of smut Larry Flynt and Joe Francis made a lot of Americans uncomfortable in January when they requested $5 billion of stimulus cash from Congress. It is unclear whether the request was earnest or a cynical joke, but most commentators in the media expressed disgust that Flynt and Francis wanted taxpayers' dollars to fund porn. What often went unsaid in these discussions was the awkward fact that taxpayers were pitching in plenty of their own cash for Flynt and Francis already. Government assistance wasn't needed to keep the porn industry afloat; we were taking care of that ourselves.

Book Review: Felicity Dale's The Black Swan Effect

The enduring sidelining of women exists in the contemporary church because so many are convinced that this is the way it is supposed to be—that it is a biblical mandate, a divine commitment to a patriarchal order. The notion of women leading, preaching, and planting churches is still unheard of in many corners of Christendom. The idea of Christian women fulfilling the mission of the gospel on their own without the permission or leadership of men seems about as likely as a flock of black swans flocking into a church yard.

Rachel Held Evans's "A Year of Biblical Womanhood": A Book Review

The topic of "biblical womanhood" is what we could deem a "hot button" topic in certain circles of Christian culture. While many books, conferences, speakers, and pastors have spent a great deal of time and energy encouraging Christian women to pursue "biblical womanhood," the concept itself has also generated a great debate and begs the question: What does the Bible really say about being a woman of faith?

Vulnerability Makes the Man: A Review of Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood by Nate Pyle

They say clothes make the man. Translation: appearance counts for a lot, even everything. When image is paramount, vulnerability becomes the enemy. It threatens to shatter that image, exposing the person underneath. Nobody says “vulnerability makes the man.” Until now.

Nate Pyle’s new book, Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood calls Christian men to disregard elusive cultural ideals of masculinity in favor of Jesus-like vulnerability, love, and relationship.

Book Review: Borderline by Stan Goff

Stan Goff’s Borderline: Reflections on War, Sex, and the Church offers a fresh, if controversial perspective on the relationship between the church, war, and patriarchy. Goff’s central argument is that war loving and women hating are ultimately two sides of the same coin, driven by the same fears that allow for the rationalization of conquest and colonization.

Book Review: Mentor for Life by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

In Mentor for Life, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson gives us a fresh challenge to develop committed followers of Jesus through mentoring. I found her model and exhortation fresh for its small group approach (in contrast to one-to-one) and for its balance between recommending structure or content and encouraging adaptability as mentors get to know their mentees. The book provides a solid framework rather than a prescriptive “ how-to” manual—or maybe it is inviting because the ample “ how-to” is situated among reminders that God’s gracious work is primary.

Jesus Feminist | Reviewed by Naomi Krueger

“Are you a feminist?” I ask him, purposely provoking a conversation.

“No.”

“Do you believe that women and men are equal in the sight of God and should be treated with mutual respect?”

“Of course! But I’m not a feminist.”

This is a conversation I’ve had many times with male friends and family members. Many times these people tend toward a complementarian perspective and the response is no surprise. Others really do subscribe to egalitarian theology and are simply opposed to using the term “feminist.”

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