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Mutuality

Hardly a day goes by in which the news neglects to mention the turmoil of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Advocating biblical equality at a time like this might sound to outsiders like an exercise in futility. However, contrary to many stereotypes held by Westerners, this part of the world is most assuredly not hopeless. Here in Lebanon and throughout the region, women face challenges, just like women around the world, but this is no reason for Westerners to adopt an attitude of superiority.  Read more
I will never forget that day in November 1999. I was serving as associate pastor in a church in the urban slum area of Lima, Peru. My wife, Loida, and I decided to visit Juliet (not her real name), one of the most faithful and endearing women from our congregation. She had been active in the church since childhood and had most recently served fervently as a deaconess. As she aged, she still delighted us with her voice. When she sang, it was as though a choir of angels had descended from heaven. Those of us who had the privilege of hearing her were always spellbound and captivated by the beauty of her singing.  Read more
Anna Snyder
The day after our engage­ment people began bombarding us with advice and suggestions for how to plan our wedding. As the bride-to-be, it was assumed I would be in charge of planning everything. Ryan’s role was simply to show up when I told him to show up, wearing what I told him to wear. Countless men (and women) clapped Ryan on the back and insisted that he “just let her do whatever she wants…your job is to stay out of the way.” Many of these people, ironically, are the same ones who expected Ryan to suddenly take the role as the leader as soon as we were married, despite having spent the months before our wedding in complete submission to my wishes.  Read more
Tomboy. This label still seems far too domesticated a term for my childhood as I loved tromping through creeks, making elaborate forts, crawling around in camouflage, and climbing up pine trees. My parents never discouraged my outlets of energy nor my desires to become a detective, a lawyer, or the president; they encouraged me to be all God made me to be. Interestingly, the message I received in Sunday school and gleaned from weekly sermons did not match my parents’ encouragement. Read more
He just wasn’t hungry. It was a magnificent triumph that night when I got him to eat some sautéed chicken and pasta along with his usual bowl of fruit cocktail, but that was a charade for my sake. The meals my aunt Kathy brought down every night were left untouched in the fridge. His previous diet of canned chop suey and ice cream bars was beginning to look healthy to us; after all, some calories are better than none at all. But he didn’t want to live anymore, which was why he didn’t want to eat anymore, either. The facts added up, but that doesn’t mean they made sense to me. Read more
It is no contradiction to my Christian beliefs to say that I believe in ghosts. I have seen many ghosts. In fact, I see them all the time. Read more
Last September, as our third child began her senior year of high school in the home, a bittersweet awareness came over me. On the “sweet” side, our children fared well with home-based learning. They took the Christian faith with them through the frenzied teen-age years. Also, by the prospering of God, we surpassed our own academic goals. Our oldest son graduated magna cum laude from university and is working in a business career; the middle daughter, a college senior, is on target for the same high-honors graduation; and the youngest daughter will attend an outstanding Christian college in the fall with academic and voice scholarships. The task and experience of home schooling have yielded a cherished cache of sweet memories. Read more
I was born into a Christian home, and my mother and father both believed in no smoking, no drinking, no card playing, no movies, no TV and no dancing. In high school I was always pulled out of gym class during the square dance unit, and I had never seen a movie until I was in college. My father ruled the home and listened to many radio preachers, while my mother worked many hard hours on the farm and in the home. Read more
“Zest for living” are three words that describe how Marion Haefele Longman has influenced my life. During her school years, Mom began bird watching expeditions early in the morning. She became a certified Water Safety Instructor, was an avid Girl Scout, and later saved lunch money to take flying lessons. After getting her pilot’s license and graduating from nursing school at the time of World War II, she and three friends purchased a car and headed out for a two-year, cross-country trip that included months of working in the Southwest, several weeks of travel in Mexico and a stint up the California coast. Read more
As a male, I recently had an experience that involved gender stereotyping, from which I learned a lot. For one thing, I learned a bit about how my sisters have so often felt. There was a meeting in a major Southern city to plan for a large women’s conference. I attended in my role as chair-elect of CBE’s volunteer board. Read more

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Scot McKnight's Junia is Not Alone: A book review

"Let me be clear once more. The editors of Greek New Testaments killed Junia. They killed her by silencing her into non-existence" (p. 14).

Such strong words are echoed throughout this short e-book from Scot McKnight, illustrating how a historical person was systematically eliminated from Bible translations. The record of how this happened is detailed very clearly in Junia is Not Alone: Breaking Our Silence About Women in the Bible and the Church Today—Scot McKnight has definitely done his homework.

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."

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