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Mutuality

Boaz Johnson
So, what does the Bible have to say in response to the issues raised by the #MeToo movement? It seems to me that the central response to this question is the name of Jesus the Messiah’s mother—Mary. The name Mary means “one who has endured much pain and suffering.” It was a common name given to girls in the first century, especially in villages like Nazareth.     Read more
Favored is she who relies on God.  She trusts without full understanding.  She expects His will to triumph.  Confident is she who knows the Lord. Read more
Photo of Sarah Hardman
The story of Jesus’ birth might be the most misquoted and misunderstood story in the gospels. Luke’s gospel account of both the annunciation and the nativity are strikingly unique, because not only does Luke meticulously detail the events but he also puts a woman, Mary, in the spotlight of the narrative—something that no other gospel writer does Read more
Eliza Stiles
To talk about a woman in the church is to deal with the reality of her body, as if her body—her physical being—is some issue with which she must deal. For Mary, this looks like telling the story of Jesus’ birth as if Mary’s body played little to no role in the coming of Christ. One minute Mary didn’t have Jesus, and the next she did. Read more
Photo of Karley Hatter
Disruptions are inevitable in this life. We face circumstances and events in our day-to-day lives that feel like giant mountains, road blocks, and dead ends. Bad things happen to us, our families, and the people we love. Maybe it is a disappointing diagnosis, a rejection, or the end of a job. When bad things happen, we often feel like we have no agency or choice about the matter. Read more
Photo of Joyce del Rosario
God called Mary to something much greater than her social location. I find it comforting to note that she was called “highly favored” before she said yes to God. It wasn’t her obedience that made her highly favored. Her significance was in her insignificance. Because of who she was and where she was from, she was chosen to bear God’s son. Read more
Image of Katie McEachern
One Sunday, about a year ago, I was visiting a new church. It was December, and the pastor was preaching about Mary. I was surprised by how well he positioned Mary as an equal to the congregation—neither meek nor superhuman. He presented Mary to us as if she was someone whose experience was worth trying to empathize with, whether we were male or female. Read more
In churches where men are welcomed as priests and leaders simply because they share the male body of Jesus and the twelve male disciples, we too easily assume that women’s bodies represent, by contrast, an inferiority. Because of this, girls and women have for centuries been regarded as inferiors to boys and men and denied leadership in the church, home, and world. Read more
Photo of Keren Dibbens-Wyatt
We have put you on a pedestal, scattered petals at your marble feet. Entombed now in stone, once their warm flesh danced in Cana . . . Read more
Female students at my evangelical university experienced both misogyny and racism. We were asked to conform to impossible standards. And we are not the only ones to struggle against injustice in the classroom. Women and girls all over the world face bias in school. From primary school to undergraduate to seminary, the system is not built for us. Read more

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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.

Book Review: No Place for Abuse

“When abuse strikes, there is no home.”

So say Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark in their book, No Place for Abuse. This quote struck me, as I grew up in a fundamentalist church where mentioning some personal abuse brought blame to me and sympathy to my father. This book is refreshing in its directness as it addresses the ticklish issue of how churches have traditionally dealt with abuse.

Book Review: 10 Lies the Church Tells Women

In a conversational, no-nonsense approach to a controversial issue, 10 Lies the Church Tells Women discusses 10 traditional ideas many Christian churches have used to claim the Bible restrains women from leadership. J. Lee Grady, the editor of Charisma magazine, counters these unscriptural mind- sets with his message of freedom for women to be all that God is calling them to be.

The book looks carefully at biblical texts used to support traditional church teachings in ten major areas. Among the lies Grady challenges are:

Book Review: Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know

The only thing wrong with Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know is the title. This book contains information essential to every person, not just pastors.

Motivated by what he terms “the magnitude of pastoral neglect” of domestic violence, Rev. Miles has written a compelling and practical book, based on years of experience in hospitals and interviews with 158 clergy members, 52 survivors, 46 professionals working in the domestic violence field and 21 former batterers.

Book Review: Good News for Women

When I was asked to review Good News for Women, I groaned. Not another evangelical book going over the same few texts and putting forward the same old arguments. Having read most of the books written by evangelical egalitarians and hierarchalists in the last twenty years, I did not expect to be excited by this book.

Book Review: When Momma Speaks

“The purpose of the stories about biblical mothers falls on literary and socially deaf ears unless they mean something to twenty-first-century mothers,” Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder writes in chapter ten of her book, When Momma Speaks: The Bible and Motherhood from A Womanist Perspective. This is the essence of Crowder’s mission: to forge a story connection between biblical mothers of color and modern African American mothers.

Book Review: Grit and Grace: Heroic Women of the Bible

When I was a little girl, I loved acting out Bible stories with my mom, especially the one about Mary Magdalene meeting the Risen Lord. I would be Mary, kneeling in front of the old Franklin stove that passed for the garden tomb, my shoulders heaving with imagined sobs. My mother would be Jesus. We’d run through the dialogue, and when my mother said “Mary,” I’d gasp and throw my chubby arms around her legs. It was a fun way to pass a winter afternoon, but it also brought up questions I wouldn’t have thought of if I hadn’t immersed myself so fully in the story.

Book Review: Making Marriage Beautiful: Lifelong Love, Joy, and Intimacy Start with You

A few months ago, an acquaintance confided that her marriage is in trouble. She asked about egalitarian marriage resources, and I enthusiastically recommended Dorothy Greco’s new book, Making Marriage Beautiful.

The book’s eleven chapters survey a range of topics, from managing expectations to navigating in-laws, gender roles, communication, conflict, abuse, addiction, community (outside of marriage) and healthy response to external challenges and crises.

Book Reviews: Naked: Reclaiming Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

Naked is a marriage book thoroughly steeped in egalitarian theology and completely free from gender stereotypes and tired “male headship” language. Tim and Anne Evans bring decades of counseling and ministry experience to their work, and the result is an extremely helpful and approachable guide for married couples.

This book is presented in three parts, the first of which presents a healthy theology of sex and counsels the reader through deconstructing any unhealthy views of sex they may have learned throughout their life, whether from church, family, or culture.

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