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Mutuality

Recently, CBE lost a dear friend and a most gifted intellectual, John Kohlenberger III, after a thirteen-year battle with cancer. A humble but brilliant scholar, John published over sixty study Bibles and reference books. Serving CBE as a board member and advisor, John contributed to our scholarship, vision, and CBE’s “egalitarian speak” for more than fifteen years. A leader in Bible translation, John’s burning passion was to help people understand God’s word, especially as it addressed gender and power. Read more
Christians around the world agree that Jesus is fully God and fully human. Jesus’ humanity makes it possible for him to liberate us from the bonds of sin. At first glance, this central tenet of our faith might seem quite unrelated to many other important concerns, such as the role of gender in the Christian community. But is this the case? Read more
Perhaps you noticed the furor after Target removed gender signs on children’s toys and bedding. Some considered this to be caving to the culture’s “winding, zigzag gender line.”1 Others welcomed the effort as removing barriers that bar girls from toys, interests, and ultimately even careers once viewed as off limits to them. For these parents the question is not: Is my daughter confused about her gender? The issue is: Given male privilege, will my daughter’s aspirations and talents be welcomed? Will she have the same opportunities as males? Or will society shame her, accusing her of denying her femininity, as often happens? Read more
Eight boys and three girls played in the cul-de-sac where our family used to live in the Pacific Northwest. Add the numbers, weigh the ratios (8:3; 3:8), and imagine the drama. I’m not one to stereotype, but boys in baseball caps frequently ran around shooting homemade toy guns, and girls donning fairy wings often retaliated with glittery wands. Boys seemed prone to scuffles; girls tended to avoid them. Boys excluded girls from street hockey. Girls shut boys out of makeshift clubhouses. Read more
As a young violinist, I had to practice with recordings that helped me get the notes of the piece in my ear and fingers. Honestly, these practice recordings were uninspiring to hear. They were useful and accurately represented the notes, but they weren’t beautiful. My Suzuki practice CDs sounded nothing like a virtuoso violinist playing the same music, because the virtuoso is not simply trying to play each note accurately. She is putting herself into that concerto. In turn, an audience connects with her honesty and self-revelation and is moved by the beauty of the piece. For me, this serves as an analogy that can illuminate some aspects of the gender debate. Read more
I enter the delivery room, not knowing the sex of the one I have carried in my womb for nine months of hope and fear, joy and pain, preparation and trepidation. Upon the last push, “It’s a boy!” rings out in the room, but as he lies on my chest, his sex doesn’t matter; it matters that he is a healthy baby. Read more
Tim Krueger
I would settle into a comfortable slouch at my desk in the corner classroom that hosted my contextual theology class, unwrap my giant blueberry muffin, and begin to dig in when the professor would bound into the room and ask “Did Jesus have to be a man?” This happened at least a couple times a month. Each time, someone would begrudgingly offer up the same answer: “Well, because of the culture of the time, Jesus couldn’t have accomplished what he did without the freedoms he had as a male. So… I guess?” Read more
When we met with the committee for the first time, we were nervous. This meeting was the first step for my husband Jeff, who had sensed God calling him to go to seminary and become a pastor. After the meeting, the committee would either recommend him to come under their care as he went through seminary, or they would recommend that he pursue something else. Read more
Tim Krueger
I stood with a coworker, staffing a booth at a convention of evangelical scholars. A booth advocating the shared leadership of men and women is not the most popular at this event, so most people just smile politely as they pass by. When a middle-aged man with an impressive mustache meandered over to our table, a glance at his nametag revealed an unfamiliar name, but I recognized the name of his predominantly complementarian school. I prepared to graciously explain our mission and presence at the conference. Read more
When my friends Lis and Dwayne got married, they wanted to share a surname, but they didn’t want to follow the patriarchal norm of Lis taking Dwayne’s name. So they did some research into what happens in other cultures. They explored whether some combination of their birth surnames would work, but they ended up choosing a brand new name—Baraka, a word that means “blessing” in Arabic and Swahili—to symbolize their new life and identity together. Read more

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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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