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As Protestants we rarely dive into the extra-biblical literature that our Orthodox and Catholic sisters and brothers read as Scripture. However, when we read these deuterocanonical books as literature we can gain more than just fascinating insight into Judaism. We enrich our own faith through the stories of Jewish women and men of faith, which help us to experience Jesus as the promised Messiah of the Jews.  Read more
The birth of Jesus was surrounded by many unique and miraculous events, accompanied by wondrous words from angels and humans, both male and female. Simeon’s statement to Mary at Jesus’ circumcision, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34), is a lens through which we can view Jesus’ encounters with people. Jesus humbled the proud, the rich, and the powerful.  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
It first came up in my theology class. My professor read aloud 1 Timothy 2:11–12 (for some reason he failed to read the verses above or below) and claimed that there was no solid evidence that this verse was intended only for a particular cultural context. Instead, it was applicable to all churches at all times. I then asked about women who feel that preaching is their spiritual gift, women who feel a deep desire to be pastors. He nodded his head at me and asserted, “Well, that is why it is important to understand spiritual gifts as really just roles in the church we participate in. With this understanding, we can see that women simply have different roles in the church.” Read more
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, I came to the tomb. I came alone in that time before dawn, when fear and doubt get the best of us, and when God seems farthest away. I came to make closure, like so many of us have had to do in our lives. I came to say goodbye and to let go.  Read more
Few people mentioned in the New Testament have been more misrepresented than Mary Magdalene. In a 6th century sermon, Pope Gregory the Great confused her with the unnamed sinful woman, presumably a prostitute, from Luke 7:36–50. She is also often associated with the woman caught in adultery described in John 7:53–8:11, even though the text never mentions her name. Because of misunderstandings like these, Mary Magdalene is usually remembered as a woman of questionable reputation rather than as the first witness of the resurrection. As such, she has inflamed sexual fantasies of numerous artists who portrayed her naked or half-naked.  Read more
At the heart and soul of our lives as followers of Christ is this: We are trying to walk the talk. In the Scriptures and in the healing witness of Jesus, we have encountered the powerful, life-changing invitation to an alternative way of living. We have been given a vision of the realm of God, and invited to live out that vision in the particular soil of our lives.  Read more
Let’s get a couple of things straight right away. First, I’m a man. I have a hairy chest. I used to be on the football team. I like Bruce Willis movies — at least, the ones in which something blows up, which is most of them. And barbecue is among my favorite cuisines. (Although, please don’t tell the guys on the football team that I used a word like “cuisines.”) 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

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Scot McKnight's Junia is Not Alone: A book review

"Let me be clear once more. The editors of Greek New Testaments killed Junia. They killed her by silencing her into non-existence" (p. 14).

Such strong words are echoed throughout this short e-book from Scot McKnight, illustrating how a historical person was systematically eliminated from Bible translations. The record of how this happened is detailed very clearly in Junia is Not Alone: Breaking Our Silence About Women in the Bible and the Church Today—Scot McKnight has definitely done his homework.

Book Review: Resources for Egalitarian Men's Ministries: Coming of Age

Coming of Age is a result of the Young Male Spirituality Project, a joint effort of Lutheran Men in Mission, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minn.) to find out why young men are staying away from the church in droves, a pattern that surveys are showing is increasingly alarming.

Book Review: Coming to Know Christ as Lord: A review of Anne Rice's novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

Anne Rice's writing is usually associated with vampires, witches, and devils. The twenty-six books she has written over the last 30 years included two cycles chronicling the lives of her characters. Paralleling her return to the faith of her youth, Rice's new novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, marks the beginning of a profoundly new cycle in her authorship.

Book Review: Rise Up: A Call to Leadership for African American Women

I applaud Sylvia Rose for writing an impassioned plea for African American women to step forward, rise up, and take leadership in the world. One challenge I had in reading this book was identifying the intended audience. It seems most likely to appeal to African American women who are well-educated or in the church already. But I believe Rose's message is valuable for readers with a broad range of education and church experiences.

Book Review: Tracing God's Women from Genesis to the New Testament: God's Women Then and Now

This book, written by two ordained women, deals in a winsome and loving way with the issue of women in leadership in the church and home. While solid in scholarship, the book is easy to read and full of personal and biblical illustrations.

Book Review: Mirror Mirror Reflects God's Love for Teens

When I heard about Mirror Mirror, I was immediately skeptical. Given the general genre, I was surprised and delighted by the thoughtful, creative egalitarian content of the book. I quickly realized I was wrong to judge this book by its cover.

Is There Any Good News About Injustice?: A Book Review of Good News About Injustice

Educating ourselves about the manifestation of injustice in the world can be painful, and as a result many of us try to avoid it. Like children who bury themselves under the covers with flashlights in fear of the dark, some of us are guilty of averting our eyes from the results of injustice by pretending the victims do not exist. However, for those who have been victims of injustice, the results are impossible to avoid.

Book Review: What Bible History Says About Women in Ministry: From Bondage to Blessing

If you want one book that clarifies controversial biblical passages about women in leadership, documents God's use of women in both the Old and New Testaments, and explains how and why the church grew away from equality after the time of Christ, this is it. In From Bondage to Blessing, Dee Alei traces the argument for biblical equality chronologically through the Bible and history. She also takes readers through the questions to a greater depth of understanding of biblical equality.

Book Review: Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage

Let me tell you about my car. It's your typical sedan. It doesn't have many special features, but I honestly appreciate what it offers (all-wheel drive). The trouble is, when the mercury drops below zero, which happens all too frequently in Minnesota, it probably won't start. But it will toy with me, turning over just enough to inspire hope. Sadly, it rarely comes through for me. It's the kind of car you don't drive if you have a better option. But if you have to drive it, you'll survive, as long as you can manage its many problems.

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."

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