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Mutuality

I was a junior in college when I first discovered biblical equality. Mimi Haddad had come to lecture in one of my classes. Almost a decade later, I still remember it vividly—my perspective from the fourth row of tables where I was situated, the blue and green background colors of Mimi’s PowerPoint slides, the Bible I was using as she directed us to look up particular passages. Most of all, I remember the rush of emotions—shock, which quickly turned to relief, and then to excitement, and finally to determination to do something about all I had learned. I had spent the previous few years wrestling with the idea that the God I loved preferred men over all the gifted women I saw around me. It was like a terrible itch that just wouldn’t go away. But now Mimi was guiding me through biblical passages that affirm the dignity and worth of women, showing me Phoebe the deacon, Priscilla the teacher, even Junia the apostle. The message was, as a CBE member described once to me, a healing balm for my soul. And how grateful I am to Jesus that it came when it did—as I was young and sorting out my gifts and calling and dreams.  Read more
Twenty-three years ago an economist from India, Amartya Sen, reported the largest human holocaust in all of history. His research showed that over 100 million females were missing! Though Sen was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, few were mobilized by the horror he had uncovered. Even the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists Kristoff and WuDunn said that “when a prominent dissident was arrested in China, we would write a front-page article; when 100,000 girls were routinely kidnapped and trafficked into brothels, we didn’t even consider it news” (Kristoff and WuDunn, Half the Sky, xiv). How could the world be so disinterested in the sufferings of females? Read more
Susan was a sophomore at a small Christian college. Working on campus during summer break, she was walking to her dorm alone one evening when a man suddenly appeared on the path. “It’s not safe to be out here by yourself,” he told her in a kind voice. He said he was going her way and would accompany her back home to ensure she would be protected. When she reached her door, he pushed it and her inside. Read more
Tim Krueger
In the rare event that we at CBE find ourselves unable to use our computers due to a power outage or network problem, we put ourselves to work giving the office a good, thorough cleaning. I always enjoy the change of pace and welcome the chance to locate those buried papers I gave up searching for weeks earlier. It also seems that every time we embark on a major cleaning endeavor, we uncover some treasured object from the early years of CBE. Whether it’s a priceless photo from a conference, a stuffed animal from a beloved member, or an old cookbook we find in the recesses of the office, everything has a story. And each of these stories helps to tell the story of CBE. Read more
Tim Krueger
In 1976, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich set out to uncover the history of ordinary, virtuous women in the colonial United States. In her article “Vertuous [sic] Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668–1735,” she lamented the fact that history has deemed well-behaved women uninteresting or unimportant, and has largely ignored them: “Hoping for an eternal crown, they never asked to be remembered on earth. And they haven’t been. Well-behaved women seldom make history.” Read more
Surprises are usually associated with the future—with something unexpected just around the corner. But surprises can also sneak up on us from the past. Sometimes the biggest surprises are discovered in the history we know the best—our own.  Read more
A few years back, I spent a week assisting third graders as they traveled through “The Great Adventure,” the theme of my local church’s Vacation Bible School. After beginning each morning singing the books of the Bible to the tune of “La Bamba,” we settled down for Bible story time. Read more
American historians have noted how the vastness of our country — our immense physical space — contributes to our culture as Americans. One historian suggests that “space and race” are the two most prominent features that characterize America. We are a diverse people with lots of room to move. And, we possess the freedom to move through our vastness largely as we choose.   Read more
Religion is the most deadly tool of oppression, according to Eugene Peterson. “More people are exploited and abused in the cause of religion than in any other way.” What is the first line of defense to exploitation driven by religious zeal? God’s prophets! Read more

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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.

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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