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Mutuality

The word “submission” elicits a strong and often negative reaction in our culture. For many, it provokes images of oppression, slavery, or abuse. Submitting sounds like giving in, or giving up. But submission has always been an important part of Christian theology. After all, salvation flows through Christ’s submission to God on the cross. Read more
Hardly a day goes by in which the news neglects to mention the turmoil of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Advocating biblical equality at a time like this might sound to outsiders like an exercise in futility. However, contrary to many stereotypes held by Westerners, this part of the world is most assuredly not hopeless. Here in Lebanon and throughout the region, women face challenges, just like women around the world, but this is no reason for Westerners to adopt an attitude of superiority.  Read more
Most people do not think of the Bible as a love manual, but, unsurprisingly, the Scriptures support the idea of egalitarian sex—both wife and husband exist for each other spiritually and physically when they make love. From Genesis where God creates one-flesh union and the couple is naked and unashamed; to Song of Songs where both the beloved and the lover speak to each other in rousing and tender words; to the letter of Paul to the Corinthians where he declares that the husband and the wife have a conjugal duty to each other, the Bible provides a model of what a healthy, biblical sexuality looks like. Taking a closer look at the Scriptures provides a framework for romantic love that is not based on one-sided control and power, but on the freedom of sexual love within Christian marriage.  Read more
In 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, Paul calls the men and women who were praying and prophesying in the assembly at Corinth to respect culturally relevant gender markers like head coverings, hair lengths, and hairstyles as a way of honoring God and each other. In doing so, he uses the metaphor of “head” and emphasizes interdependence between men and women. He shapes this passage in such a way that the key points are set in parallel groups with the strongest emphasis appearing at the center.  Read more
Things are getting bananas, people.  Toddlers are wearing tiaras. Parents are giving teenage girls breast enhancement procedures for their Sweet Sixteens. Dark-skinned girls are lightening their skin with bleaching products. Chinese women are getting their legs broken—on purpose!—in leg-lengthening surgeries. It’s nutty, right? Read more
“If Jesus were really counter-cultural, why didn’t he choose any Gentiles to be his apostles?” or “Why didn’t he choose any slaves as apostles?” Jews thanked God that they were not born a Gentile, an untrained person (or a slave), or a woman, so wouldn’t Jesus have been really counter-cultural if he had Gentiles and Jews, untrained and trained (or slave and free), and women and men among his twelve disciples?  Read more
My faith in Jesus Christ was nurtured in a conservative evangelical tradition, which partly defined itself in reaction to cultural liberalism and Pentecostal enthusiasm. As a result, we did not recognize women prophets. Looking back, however, I believe they were among us. Scripture explains their enduring presence as clearly as church history explains their marginalization. Here is some of the biblical evidence.   Read more
A: Paul’s childbearing comment, infamously found in 1 Timothy 2:15, has long confounded interpreters. First, I will share my own view of this perplexing verse, but humility and honesty require me to give others’ opinions as well, for the most certain thing that can be said is that interpreters disagree on its meaning. Though Paul knew what he meant when he said, “she will be saved through childbearing,” his meaning has long eluded his readers. Read more
Have you had a hard time bringing the principles of egalitarianism into your church? If so, you’re not alone. Getting biblical egalitarian principles accepted in a local congregation can be a daunting task, but there are a few things anyone can do to help this vision become a reality. Read more
Havilah Dharamraj
Q: An ever-present “woman” in the Old Testament is Israel, God’s metaphorical wife. How are Christians to understand the imagery of Israel as God’s unfaithful wife, and what is the relevance of the divine-human marriage metaphor in our lives today? 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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