Mutuality | CBE International

You are here

Mutuality

At the beginning of 1981, I became invisible. The occasion for this strange phenomenon was my return to New Zealand, with four young daughters, after the death of my husband when we were missionaries in Nepal. Read more
Had somebody asked me in my early twenties whether I would like to go to a seminary and study theology, my answer would have certainly been “No.” Considering that this was when I was exceptionally active in my Baptist home church—I worked with Sunday school children, sang in choir, and served regularly as an organist in the church worship—such an answer may seem surprising. Read more
“Daddy, why does God only like boys?” My eight-year-old daughter surprised me with her theological question. We attended a conservative, evangelical church and she was in third grade in a Christian grade school—what were they teaching her? Read more
I find most CBE members are passionate about the Bible. We are clearly a group of Bible-readers, and we want everyone we know to love and enjoy the Scriptures as much as we do. Read more
I only look 16. I preface my column with that statement because I have often been mistaken for a high school student. While getting my hair cut, my 19-year-old stylist asked me what grade I was in. My financial planner thought I was my husband’s daughter. At a church I visited, people in my demographic put on their “talking to a teenager” voices and asked if I was having problems meeting people “my own age.” And I am intimately familiar with the patronizing looks people give teenagers — I’ve been the recipient of those looks for 14 years. Read more
“You need to find a husband,” my stylist announced, briskly clipping my curls. Ignoring my silence, Janet (not her real name) bubbled about an eligible male customer of hers who was “just right” for me. There was a time when such comments about my single state would rub me raw. To Janet and the others who meddled in my personal life, a woman my age should be in the happily-ever-after set — not still searching for Mr. Right. If a thirty-some-thing woman hadn’t tied the knot, folks thought something was wrong with her. For many years, I agreed with them. The word single sounded like a disease to be avoided at all costs. Sometimes the Bible’s support for the single life helped me feel less weird. But if being single was so great, as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7, then why did most of my friends constantly date in an effort to head toward the altar? And why did the few single women I knew seem like miserable misfits? I concluded marriage and motherhood equaled “success” for a female; singleness branded her a failure. Read more
Fly as you might, you have to land somewhere, sooner or later. Weeks became months as my wife, Trish, and I cruised the smorgasbord of Southern churches — the comfortable pews of conventional denominations; folk festivals spilling lots of latte-slurping Peter, Paul & Mary but rather less God; small, sad country independents whose land and members were dying in suburban sprawl; a church where we gritted our teeth as we passed the hyper-Christian greeters at the door, wondering what theology fuelled their hopped-up, wide-eyed grins. We moved on. Read more
My Lebanese uncle appeared in our home for the first time when I was 9 years old. Dressed in a long robe, he held prayer beads and spoke Arabic with great animation. He was an avid collector of icons that revered our ancient Christian heritage. I was ashamed of his oddity. My father explained that we needed to love him, regardless of his clothes and mannerisms. With pride my father recalled how his brother spoke many languages, was highly educated and ran a successful international business. To my young mind, however, my uncle’s otherness seemed insurmountable. Read more
Many people who believe in biblical equality find themselves in churches that don’t share their beliefs. How does one decide whether to stay and work for change, or leave to find a church with a similar interpretation of Scripture? Read more
This was a normal occurrence in our homeschooling existence. Decades later, we recognize this as subtle extremity: a way of communicating rigid gender roles without directly addressing them. While we didn’t encounter many blatantly extreme patriarchal views, we were taught that our gender clearly defined the true nature of our personhood. Who we were as people was not to be discovered, only embraced. The Christians around us said that boys should embrace their true nature as leaders, protectors, and providers. Girls were taught to embrace their supportive role in life, championing their husbands, keeping their homes in order, and raising children. Read more

Pages

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.”

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Mutuality