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Mutuality

Many, particularly women, have felt that the patriarchal overtones of Scripture exclude them from participating in God’s divine work: only men are to be the leaders, preachers, and teachers. They find the masculinity of Jesus limiting instead of liberating because they cannot relate to His male identity. If Jesus as a man was the perfect human, how can women ever hope to measure up? Read more
One of the ways Jesus demonstrated the Kingdom of God was by calling unusual disciples. He called twelve Jewish men in order to show that God was reconciling himself to the sons of Jacob (Israel) by a New Covenant. Though these disciples may be the most familiar to us, they weren’t the only people Jesus called to be his disciples. Read more
Abigail, whom we read about in 1 Samuel 25, is one of my favorite women honored in the Old Testament. Often, the church peddles a romanticized and chivalrous ideal (which has no foundation in Scripture) to encourage women to be submissive, quiet, dependent, and careful not to make waves. Particularly within a marriage, many churches teach that women should submit to the decisions of their husbands, even if the husband is making very wrong decisions. Women are encouraged that if they will submit and pray, God will honor this and intervene on their behalf. God may intervene, of course, but often this type of response leads to more problems, including domestic violence and abuse. Read more
Tim Krueger
In 1976, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich set out to uncover the history of ordinary, virtuous women in the colonial United States. In her article “Vertuous [sic] Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668–1735,” she lamented the fact that history has deemed well-behaved women uninteresting or unimportant, and has largely ignored them: “Hoping for an eternal crown, they never asked to be remembered on earth. And they haven’t been. Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Read more
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find even one woman in the whole of Scripture who did what was right but did not also exercise leadership alongside or over males? From God’s introduction of Eve in Genesis, we see that women were created to serve as rescuers and leaders. After God creates Adam, God declares that it is not good for Adam to be alone. God’s remedy is Eve, whom he celebrates with the Hebrew word ezer, meaning a strong help or rescuer. The use of the word ezer in Psalm 121:1–2, which portrays God’s rescue of Israel, helps us understand Eve’s—and woman’s—created purpose. Throughout the Old Testament, leadership appears inseparable from woman’s creational destiny as God’s strong rescue. As Old Testament women live out this destiny in obedience to God, they consistently defy the patriarchy of their culture as ezers.  Read more
I was sixteen years old, confused, and tired. I had a thousand little journals with themes like “becoming a woman of God,” “finding your calling,” and “biblical femininity.” But I still hadn’t found the answers I needed. I was weary. Who had God made me to be? What was I to do with my life? What did the words of the Bible mean for me as a young woman? Read more
A womb,the currency of the day.Trade.Hagar’s womb: tilled soil.Gentile, slave,used and thrown away. Read more
Along a desert road, beside a remote, unnamed well, the angel of the Lord approaches a pregnant, abused, runaway slave named Hagar. The young woman has reached a breaking point. Wrapped in doubts and their own agenda, her masters, Abram and Sarai, had given her no choice but to become a surrogate mother to their child. Once she conceived, conflict arose between Hagar and Sarai. With Abram’s blessing, Sarai attacked Hagar with disproportionate cruelty, reasserting her position of power over her. Hagar was abused and mistreated so severely that she fled into the wilderness. Hagar’s life has now been irreversibly altered, and her future looks bleak. No doubt it surprises her that anyone—especially the angel of the Lord—would notice her. Read more
Margaret Mowczko
Jephthah’s daughter, Manoah’s wife, King Lemuel’s mother—the Old Testament is full of women whose names are withheld. They are typically identified only by their relationship to a man. I’ve often found myself irritated when reading an Old Testament narrative that features an unnamed woman. Why did the Old Testament authors leave out the names of these women? Weren’t these women important enough to be named? Is the Bible minimizing the significance of its female characters? Does the Old Testament promote a society in which the service of women is diminished or ignored? To answer these questions, I needed to step out of my world and into the world of the Old Testament’s unnamed women. Read more
Watch a few documentaries about wild animals, and you will see footage of a mother protecting her young. Do you know what happens when another animal bothers a lion cub? The lioness springs into action. Her claws come out, her fangs protrude, and she lets out a roar that can be heard miles away. God created female lions with an instinct to fiercely protect and fight when needed. When a lioness is provoked, watch out! 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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