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Mutuality

Tim Krueger
Soft patriarchy makes men kings who play at being one with their subjects, but requires them to keep their crowns. It retains the kind of power-over structure that Jesus gave up when he became human. The exchange of power for oneness is where the power of the gospel, and Christian marriage, resides. Read more
Whether married or single, Christian faith is a social faith. It knits everyone into communities for support and service. In as much as each believer is united to Christ, the head of the church, we are also united to the members of Christ’s body, the church. Our union with Christ and the church creates a network for human flourishing, because each member of Christ’s body is gifted with abilities necessary for the thriving of others regardless of gender. The giving and receiving of spiritual gifts within the family of God is essential in strengthening giver and receiver alike. For this reason, “alone” is not only the most terrifying word in any language, but was also the only “not good” in a perfect world (Gen. 2:18). Read more
If you long for a better world, then you’re in good historic company. In the 1800s, abolitionists promoted a world that had never existed—one without slavery. They faced unparalleled challenges: building industries without slave labor; uniting families, churches, and a country divided; and exposing flawed scholarship that supported slavery. Some of their greatest opponents were Christians who believed that the Bible condoned slavery. Many were convinced that abolitionists were driven not by the gospel but by secular Enlightenment ideals. Egalitarians face similar accusations. Read more
Tim Krueger
My dad showed me that a great father, like a good man, is defined not by strength, but by tenderness. A great father doesn’t run from his feelings, but knows and communicates them. He is fully invested in the nurturing of his children. He is not an unflappable pillar of strength; rather he channels his strength to come alongside the vulnerable. Read more
It has been said that one of the best things married parents can do for their children is to invest in a healthy relationship with each other. When it comes to a father, there are two fundamentals that cannot be ignored: the way a father lives in partnership with his wife, and his emotional investment in his children. Read more
Tim Krueger
Sometime around AD 112, Pliny, the governor of Bithynia (in present-day Turkey, a little east of Istanbul) wrote a letter to the Roman emperor, Trajan, asking for advice. His concern? What do with Christians. In his words, “I have never before participated in trials of Christians, so I do not know what offenses are to be punished or investigated, or to what extent.” Pliny’s letter reveals how Rome viewed Christians, but it also tells us a lot about the early church. Read more
Tim Krueger
Several months ago, I was invited to preach on Ephesians 5:21–6:9. I was thrilled—finally, there’d be a sermon on this passage that I actually approved of, even if I had to be the one to give it (public speaking is not my thing). Read more
Tim Krueger
Sometime before my wife and I started dating, we had our first argument. We’d attended an open mic event together at our Christian university, where students of color had shared their stories of pain and oppression. I left feeling annoyed. Read more
Tim Krueger
A professor of mine once remarked that the task of a history student was two-fold. First, unlearn the “history” you were taught as a child—the oversimplified, misleading, or plain false stories that paint history as simple and clear. Next, embark on the humbling but rewarding task of relearning a richer history—one of messy motives, nuanced accuracy, and unfiltered humanity. Read more
Tim Krueger
“Submission.” It’s not a four-letter word, but it may as well be. Depending on how it’s used, who says it, and what they mean, “submission” can be anything from dirty and disgusting to offensive and oppressive. Or, perhaps, even beautiful. 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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