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Mutuality

I recently participated in an adult education class led by a CBE intern. The class was promoted as an opportunity to explore the biblical basis for women’s Gospel service. We were delighted to have a diverse group attend.  Read more
“Can I write a paper on a woman interpreter?” asked a student in Marion’s class in the history of the interpretation of the Old Testament. This question opened the door to the world of women interpreters of the Bible from the past. We have discovered thousands of unremembered published works on the Bible written by women, from the period of the early church to the present.    Read more
In 1771, John Wesley received a remarkable letter from devout Methodist convert Mary Bosanquet (1739–1815). With her friends Sarah Crosby (1729–1804) and Sarah Ryan (1724–1768), Bosanquet had been running an orphanage and leading the small-group Methodist gatherings for spiritual growth that Wesley termed “class meetings.” Crosby had in fact been speaking to groups sometimes numbering in the hundreds — though Wesley would not let her call her spiritual testimony “preaching.” Bosanquet too had been leading class meetings, and been criticized for doing it. Read more
As women ministers, evangelists, and preachers began flooding urban, rural, and global mission fields in the 19th century, Christians started to question assumptions about the inferiority of both women and slaves. They did so from a thorough examination of Scripture. These early evangelicals — many of whom were founders of Bible institutes — insisted that gospel values must triumph over cultural values, especially regarding the gifts God has given all people for Kingdom work.  Read more
The Trail of Tears (1838–1839) culminated in the relocation of over 20,000 Cherokee Indians from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina to northeastern Oklahoma. Estimates are that 4,000 Cherokee men, women, and children died during this journey.  Read more
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) has come a long way in 15 years, according to Susan McCoubrie. As CBE’s first membership coordinator, she remembers when the organization’s membership information was organized in a recipe box on a TV tray. “We were very hopeful, but we knew we were on an uphill battle,” said McCoubrie. “We had to continually prove ourselves as possessing a high view of Scripture.” Since January 2, 1988, when CBE was incorporated as a nonprofit organization, the organization has grown by leaps and bounds, not only in the space required for record-keeping, but in influence as well. Read more
C.S. Lewis once wrote that “the unhistorical are usually, without knowing it, enslaved to a fairly recent past.” The same might be said for the conclusion that evangelical egalitarianism is merely the child of the radical feminism of the 1960s and ’70s.  Read more
Q: My church does not believe that women should be elders, based on the phrase in 1 Timothy 3 that says elders must have one wife. Does this phrase really exclude women and single people from being elders? How should I approach this subject at my church? Read more
How many times have you gone to a women’s Bible study on Proverbs 31? It seems that discussions on this passage usually turn to how to be a good wife, mother, and house cleaner. Yet isn’t a woman so much more than just that? Doesn’t God have other work for us to do, as well? Isn’t there room for women to be leaders in God’s economy? The Proverbs 31 woman is more complex than most of us imagine. She is intelligent, creative, and a complete, well-rounded woman that follows God’s leading. So, why do we rarely talk about those qualities in our Bible studies?  Read more
“To promote a woman to bear rule, superiority, dominion, or empire above any realm, nation, or city is repugnant to nature, contumely to God, and the subversion of good order, of all equity and justice.” So wrote the Scottish theologian John Knox in the year 1558 in his book titled The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. Although he made his points more strongly than many others, Knox was only repeating the widely held notions of his day. He quoted Aristotle and Aquinas, as well as a host of secular authorities, to demonstrate female inadequacies: “Nature, I say, doth paint them forth to be weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish.” He quoted Saint Paul, along with the ancient Fathers of the Church, to demonstrate the “proper” place of women, and was in full agreement with his contemporary Martin Luther that Kinder, Kirche und Kuche—Children, church and the kitchen, are where women rightly belong, according to the divine plan. 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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