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Mutuality

Taylor grew up in the church and attended every youth group event that was offered. He attended a Christian school and spent hours after class discussing theology and ministry (and even Greek!) with a favorite Bible teacher. From the age of twelve, he knew he wanted to study and teach the Bible. Taylor traveled to youth conferences and mission trips, encouraging other students and growing closer to God with every passing year. When Taylor was in high school, his leadership gifts were evident and he was asked to plan and lead the youth worship every Sunday. Since Taylor had been at the same church since first grade, there were dozens of adults—former Sunday school teachers and youth sponsors—who encouraged him in his calling. He was well-loved, mature beyond his years, and confident in the knowledge that God had big plans for his life. Read more
The professor asked for two volunteers, one male and one female, to go to the front of the room where a small table was set up. Our course was about the church’s role as reconcilers, and that day we were discussing systemic gender inequality. Read more
It was the raspberry ices that broke me. It was the late nineties, and the women’s Bible study I was attending was going through A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George, one of those guides to “biblical womanhood” that offered a few good insights, but mostly just made me feel guilty and inadequate about my fledgling homemaking skills. Something about the theology seemed off, but as a young mom, I took the older, more experienced women’s words to heart. Or at least I did until George described how she served her daughters raspberry ices when they came home from school, and a case of spiritual brain freeze spurred me to righteous rebellion. Read more
Tim Krueger
“Your epidermis is showing!” my friends gasped, struggling to keep straight faces. Noticing the mischief in their eyes, I rolled my own with feigned confidence and hoped nothing embarrassing was actually happening. Still, I felt uneasy until I learned that “epidermis” was just a fancy word for skin. Their teasing capitalized on the distress we feel when we learn that something we thought was hidden (or didn’t know existed) is on public display. Read more
A couple of years ago, I preached on the topic of singleness at my church and during a post-sermon question-and-answer session, I was asked a rather unexpected (given the topic) and baiting question about the merits of egalitarian versus complementarian marital relationships.  Read more
Gricel Medina
Much has been made of America’s dwindling church attendance numbers, but that is only part of the story. In 2013, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson of the Religion News Service reported on the role of immigrants in the American church, observing that “immigration’s overwhelming religious impact has been to inject expanding diversity and fresh vitality into the country’s Christian community.” He notes that there are over 150 African immigrant congregations in New York City alone, and that the US is home to over seventeen million Asian Americans, forty-four percent of whom are Christians. Meanwhile, Hispanics account for seventy-one percent of the growth in American Catholicism since 1960, and Latino Protestants in the US outnumber Episcopalians three to one (Granberg-Michaelson, “Commentary: The hidden immigration impact on American Churches”). Read more
Egalitarians and complementarians share much in common. We adore Jesus and serve him passionately. We are committed to justice as a biblical ideal. And, we’re both devoted to Scripture as God-inspired. Though we both long to see the world embrace the gospel, we promote two distinct worldviews. What is our difference? Male-only authority. Is it God’s design or is it a result of sin? We are divided by worldviews that we believe reflect the moral teachings of God and our purposes in this world. And, our differing views have enormous consequences. Sadly, believers have encountered this problem before. Read more
South Africa was named the rainbow nation on February 3, 1990 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For our country, with its nine official languages, this name is indicative of diversity as well as acceptance. Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela brought us together in a spirit of unparalleled reconciliation and forgiveness. There is still work to do, but at least our journey has begun. Read more
Tim Krueger
Several months ago, my wife and I attended an event where a panel of experts spoke about sex trafficking prevention. When asked what we, as regular people, can do to prevent sex trafficking, a Minneapolis police officer who works with both victims and perpetrators on a daily basis had only one response: “We need to reinvent what it means to be a man in our society.” Read more
In a world in which real men didn’t cry, Jesus wept. In a world in which masculine men didn’t characterize themselves as women, Jesus compared himself to a hen, and his Father to a woman who lost a coin. In a weapon-wielding world, Jesus told Peter his sword was out of place. 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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