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Mutuality

Dr. Emily Obwaka, a graduate of the University of Nairobi, has worked in a variety of humanitarian and health service settings including with John Hopkins University. Recently, Obwaka has been set free to more fully follow her heartbeat of service to God and to the women of Africa. Read more
This has been a painful issue of Mutuality. We have known that biblical equality isn’t just a crucial topic for the United States — but it’s also sorely needed around the world. We had a vision of exploring this concept, as well as honoring the dedication of those who work to communicate the message of equality internationally, often with additional cultural, political or religious challenges. Read more
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My work on the African continent over the past fourteen years has afforded me the privilege to walk with many women from over forty African countries, seeing their work and hearing their stories. Many stories were of struggle, oppression, war, poverty, and abuse, but many were also those of God’s grace, discovering God’s Word, deep faith, and prayers and miracles. The oral tradition and storytelling remains locked up in such communities and therefore very little has been written about these exploits, as popular written literature by Africans is less than 60 years old. These stories are usually used to educate, inspire, and communicate acts of bravery that have benefited the community or they are used to warn against unacceptable behavior. Read more
In 1899 Joseph Conrad wrote the classic novel Heart of Darkness, using the context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expose the malevolent darkness of the human heart. Now, over a century later, the Democratic Republic of Congo epitomizes the reality and potency of human depravity. In the past decade Congo has experienced a series of foreign invasions and civil wars that have led to the deaths of over five million people. One byproduct of these years of conflict, coupled with entrenched patriarchy, is epidemic levels of violence against women.  Read more
A black man taught me what it means to be civilized. He said that the meaning of civilization could be communicated in one word: Welcome. The world places conditions on who may be welcomed, and even citizens of the most “civilized” nations welcome some and struggle to tolerate others. But the church is called to welcome all, not because of any system of classification or merit, but “because God has welcomed them” (Rom. 14:1ff; 15:7).  Read more
He tends his flock like a shepherd: he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. (Isa. 40:11) In Bible times many women shepherded flocks. We first meet Rachel as a shepherd: “Rachel came with her father’s sheep for she was their shepherd” (Gen. 29:6, 9). We are also introduced to Zipporah as a shepherd: “Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock” (Exod. 2:16). Read more
The phone rings twice before she answers, after reaching for it in her purse, “Hello?” She was on the bench behind me in a moderately packed van used as public transportation in Moldova. Inevitably, I became witness to a conversation that made my heart go out to this woman. And I wanted to scream, “Ditch that man and never look back!” Read more
In many countries around the world, men and women are said to be equal in all sectors of society. The reality, however, is often very different — male dominance often persists in the church and home, with women devalued and expected to unilaterally submit to men. Yet there is hope for women, in part because people around the world are encouraging the message of biblical equality. Read more
“So, how do you handle dowries in the United States?” I blinked at the young Anglican priest in surprise. It was the second day of the Ekklesia Foundation for Gender Education’s (EFOGE) training event in Bondo, Kenya, where a group of schoolteachers, clergy, and church leaders had gathered to talk about biblical equality and discuss how to implement CBE’s curriculum, Called Out!, in Kenyan schools. But the conversation never stayed strictly within the confines of the curriculum, and that morning’s impassioned debate about dowries was the talk of the lunch line. Read more

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Book Review: Resources for Egalitarian Men's Ministries: Coming of Age

Coming of Age is a result of the Young Male Spirituality Project, a joint effort of Lutheran Men in Mission, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Luther Seminary (St. Paul, Minn.) to find out why young men are staying away from the church in droves, a pattern that surveys are showing is increasingly alarming.

Book Review: Coming to Know Christ as Lord: A review of Anne Rice's novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt

Anne Rice's writing is usually associated with vampires, witches, and devils. The twenty-six books she has written over the last 30 years included two cycles chronicling the lives of her characters. Paralleling her return to the faith of her youth, Rice's new novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, marks the beginning of a profoundly new cycle in her authorship.

Book Review: Rise Up: A Call to Leadership for African American Women

I applaud Sylvia Rose for writing an impassioned plea for African American women to step forward, rise up, and take leadership in the world. One challenge I had in reading this book was identifying the intended audience. It seems most likely to appeal to African American women who are well-educated or in the church already. But I believe Rose's message is valuable for readers with a broad range of education and church experiences.

Book Review: Tracing God's Women from Genesis to the New Testament: God's Women Then and Now

This book, written by two ordained women, deals in a winsome and loving way with the issue of women in leadership in the church and home. While solid in scholarship, the book is easy to read and full of personal and biblical illustrations.

Book Review: Mirror Mirror Reflects God's Love for Teens

When I heard about Mirror Mirror, I was immediately skeptical. Given the general genre, I was surprised and delighted by the thoughtful, creative egalitarian content of the book. I quickly realized I was wrong to judge this book by its cover.

Is There Any Good News About Injustice?: A Book Review of Good News About Injustice

Educating ourselves about the manifestation of injustice in the world can be painful, and as a result many of us try to avoid it. Like children who bury themselves under the covers with flashlights in fear of the dark, some of us are guilty of averting our eyes from the results of injustice by pretending the victims do not exist. However, for those who have been victims of injustice, the results are impossible to avoid.

Book Review: What Bible History Says About Women in Ministry: From Bondage to Blessing

If you want one book that clarifies controversial biblical passages about women in leadership, documents God's use of women in both the Old and New Testaments, and explains how and why the church grew away from equality after the time of Christ, this is it. In From Bondage to Blessing, Dee Alei traces the argument for biblical equality chronologically through the Bible and history. She also takes readers through the questions to a greater depth of understanding of biblical equality.

Book Review: Mark and Grace Driscoll's Real Marriage

Let me tell you about my car. It's your typical sedan. It doesn't have many special features, but I honestly appreciate what it offers (all-wheel drive). The trouble is, when the mercury drops below zero, which happens all too frequently in Minnesota, it probably won't start. But it will toy with me, turning over just enough to inspire hope. Sadly, it rarely comes through for me. It's the kind of car you don't drive if you have a better option. But if you have to drive it, you'll survive, as long as you can manage its many problems.

Love & War by John and Stasi Eldredge: A book review

While enjoying Valentine's Day dinner this year, my husband and I talked about the joys of being married. When he asked me what has been the most pleasant surprise of the past three years, I thought for a moment, slowly smiled, and said, "Marriage has been a lot easier than I thought it would be."

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.

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