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Mutuality

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
Blood and water flowed mingled      from his side Labored breathing, painful writhing      his sacrifice The Son delivered      up to the Father Eat his flesh, drink his blood      and live Read more
The choice was simple: it was time to get a new stereo in my car. My classic rock ‘n’ roll eight track tapes—yes, this was a number of years ago—worked well except for one issue: the music was coming out of the speakers on only one side of the car. That would be like listening to Crosby and Stills, but tuning out Nash and Young. Of course it was time for a change; who would choose to live with an unbalanced speaker system? Read more
Do you remember what first attracted you to Christ? What was it about the gospel that turned your head? Was it the promise of wisdom or strength for difficult circumstances? Was it contact with loving and hopeful Christians? Did even a small step of faith lighten life’s burdens, giving you the sense that something truly new was possible? Read more
As a girl growing up in an evangelical church, I was taught to see Christ’s likeness in male heroes like Moses, David, and Paul. The imagery of redemption was male, too. There were farmers, owners of vineyards, a prodigal son, a Good Samaritan. All of them men. Read more
It is true, we become like what we see. Growing up, what I saw was my mother, Sallie. She worked hard and gave everything she could so my sister and I had opportunities to thrive. She served in the church and in the community. She loved family and was always hospitable to strangers. She was a humble woman who led—a woman of influence. Read more
Tim Krueger
I sat uncomfortably rehearsing how I’d ask the question that had to be asked. I knew it would initiate a painful conversation, but we couldn’t ignore it forever. I was not wrong. It became clear in that meeting that yes, our pastoral candidate was a staunch complementarian. Our church, with its egalitarian tradition, governing documents, and leadership structure, was poised to hire a pastor firmly opposed to the leadership of women. Read more
“Having a woman in church leadership is just not biblical.” To say I was shocked would be an understatement; my jaw may have actually dropped. These words were addressed to our church board (half of which are female) from a long-time member of our congregation. I could have understood if it was a newcomer, but this man and his family had been attending our church for over five years. How did he miss it? And maybe even more important, how did I, the lead pastor, miss it? Read more
I was twenty years old when God called me to pastoral ministry. At the time I was a theatre major hoping to build a career as a stage actress. My backup plan was stage management, not ministry. Though raised by supportive parents, I grew up in a denomination that had a very narrow view of women’s roles in the church and the world. I saw few women leading in any capacity at church and had never seen a female pastor in action. So when God called me, there were moments of panic and weeks of bafflement when I asked, “Who am I to do this work?” I had enough trust in God to say yes to ministry but it took several years, two theological degrees, successful ministry experience, and tons of affirmation before I could say yes to myself as a pastor and leader in the church. Read more
When two of Jesus’ disciples suggested they should be given places of honor with him,  Jesus presented a different model for living. It is one of servanthood and submission to God. Not of seeking after positions of power, not exercising authority, but of becoming a slave for the gospel. 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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