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Mutuality

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but white, American, evangelical spaces can be tough for women of color to navigate successfully. The very presence of women of color often lays bare how far these spaces (which are generally not created with us in mind) are from modeling the true—diverse—body of Christ. Much is asked of women of color in these spaces: we are asked to be patient and forgiving, gentle and gracious, long-suffering and kind, present and trusting. But we are all responsible for creating change, so I’d like to shift the conversation a bit and discuss how dominant culture might support the women of color in their midst. Read more
In the academic world, the female evangelical is often absent. This absence is not due merely to lack of numbers, but also to a system that makes “male” the default for promotions, raises, leadership, and work style. Though I write from the academy, many of the same patterns and structures exist in any work setting. Because the historical structure of the workforce is well-established, turning the tide must be conscious, deliberate, and systematic. Here I offer five practical suggestions to help elevate women to positions of influence and leadership. Read more
Unhappy that women have eclipsed men in some spheres, a man once lamented that he had been put in the “backseat” behind women. A quick-witted person responded, “Well, men have been telling women for years it’s a very good place to be!” Not surprisingly, this man was uncomfortable when he felt his God-given gifts and agency took a backseat to those of women. Ironically, his disappointment and humiliation have been the experience of women for centuries! Perhaps one day he will also express empathy and regret for this historic marginalization of women, which he himself abhors, but of which he too is complicit. Read more
The Genesis texts offer an exquisite challenge to the historic devaluation of women. In fact, both egalitarians and complementarians agree that the early chapters of Genesis establish the equal value and worth of females and males. Read more
First Timothy 2:11–15, and especially verse 12, has long been a focal point in modern discussions of the leadership of women in the church. Traditional reservations about women as pastors and elders have generally made two assumptions in the interpretation of this passage: (1) that the meaning of authentein in verse 12 is clearly known and should be translated simply as “have authority,” and (2) that the appeal to the creation narrative naming Adam and Eve in verses 13 and 14 implies a universal, blanket ban on women exercising authority over men in any (or some) church settings. Read more
Tim Krueger
The Christmas season is upon us, and this year I’m grateful that Mutuality has guided my thoughts to an unusual Christmas text: Genesis 1–3, the creation account. This is, after all, where everything begins—history, life, and even Christmas. Read more
In many Christian circles, women are taught that their supreme calling in life is to be a good wife, complying with a God-ordained order where women joyfully submit to the servant leadership of their husbands. Where does this idea come from? Read more
One of the trees in my backyard captures my attention. About two feet from the ground, the large trunk splits into five separate trunks. What I find particularly interesting is that when the sunlight shines directly on the tree, one of the trunks is a lighter shade of gray than the other four. The reason for this is that four of the trunks have rough bark, but one has bark that is mostly smooth. When I look up into the tree, all five of the trunks have branches and leaves that look alike; the only difference is the bark. All five trunks are part of the same tree, and all five are healthy and thriving. In the same manner, God created male and female. While there are physical differences, both are equally part of humanity and created in the image of God. Read more
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” (Gen. 2:22–23) Read more
Sitting through a captivating exposition of the opening chapters of Genesis as a university student in Sri Lanka, it struck me powerfully for the first time that the very language used in the creation account emphasizes that men and women were both equally made in the image of God and that stewarding the earth was a mandate given by God to both. 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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