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Mutuality

Whether it’s a church with about 85 members, one with 850 members, or one with around 8,000 members, three gift-based churches, as described by their pastors, practice a model of church life that is not typical, regardless of size. These three pastors — Austin Stouffer, Jo Ann Kunz and John Ortberg — have steadily guided their members to use their spiritual gifts in an environment of gender equality. And each states that their giftbased church acquired its egalitarian stance from one fundamental: studying the Scriptures with other Christians. Read more
This was a normal occurrence in our homeschooling existence. Decades later, we recognize this as subtle extremity: a way of communicating rigid gender roles without directly addressing them. While we didn’t encounter many blatantly extreme patriarchal views, we were taught that our gender clearly defined the true nature of our personhood. Who we were as people was not to be discovered, only embraced. The Christians around us said that boys should embrace their true nature as leaders, protectors, and providers. Girls were taught to embrace their supportive role in life, championing their husbands, keeping their homes in order, and raising children. Read more
As I reflect on my call to ministry, my heart and mind take me back to the book of Exodus, when God calls Moses to deliver his people out of Egyptian slavery. I identify with the Exodus story because of the deep burden and calling that God has placed in my life to guide his people out of slavery and the trappings of this world’s philosophy into his guiding way of life that is grounded in God’s son, Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Read more
Often when I've heard James 2 addressed in a sermon or in a Bible study, the message was a simple admonishment to “not show favoritism” or perhaps “don't discriminate based on how well someone is dressed.” These lessons have their place in our image-conscious and outwardly-focused society. Read more
Apparently, some believe that I am a treacherous person. Some claim that I have undermined the authority of Scripture by giving in to the pressures of modern culture. Some fear I have taken a “dangerous first step” and started down the “slippery slope” of liberalism and am willing to take others along with me. I am an egalitarian. Read more
Crack the book that Re-rewrites history And grow new eyes to Legal injustice As a girl I watched Color decide The lines between human and not Hit me Like the whip he used on your back Your blood flowed and your screams Choked my sense Of humanity Like a millstone Around my neck Growing heavier With each black face Pushed to the dirt Read more
To Pastor Greg, From Lakedale Community Elder Board To Pastor Greg (Dad), From your daughter Shepherd, Instructor, Director. Father, lead in righteousness. Read, teach, command. We have gone astray. Father, take the hand of the people. 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
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
Do you find yourself reluctant to attend women’s retreats, Bible studies, or conferences because too often they focus on fashion, dieting, women’s emotions, and new forms of abdominal exercises? Are you confused by Christian blogs for women where, again, the discussions center on fashion and appearance? How many times have you perused Christian bookstores or event booths where resources for women fixate on beauty? A CBE staff member suggests that Jesus might turn these tables over, angry that the daughters of Abraham—destined as strong agents of gospel-service—are reduced to lesser pursuits. Read more

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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."

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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