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Mutuality

Even though my husband and I had exhausted (or so we thought) the topic of co-parenting our new son together, we kept finding the discussion needed some clarification. And we often found that the topic needed finessing during a diaper change or feeding session in the wee hours of the morning, when both the need for sleep and our emotions were running high.  Read more
Throughout Scripture we see numerous relationships which are as strong and loving as any biological bonds. In the Old Testament, Ruth's loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi and Jonathan's friendship with David are well-known. The prophet Elijah mentored his successor Elisha so well that when he was carried to heaven in a whirlwind, Elisha cried out, “My father! My father!” (Years later, King Jehoash of Israel spoke these words on his deathbed to Elisha, no doubt evoking strong memories for the prophet). In the New Testament, a young couple from Nazareth was entrusted to create a healthy, loving home environment for their first born, so that during his earthly life, he could speak with authority about a loving Father, praise women outside of their childbearing roles, and declare that anyone who obeyed God's words—regardless of their status—were his sisters and brothers. Read more
“God is a woman,” my son, Micah, announced one day last summer when he was still three. Then he added, “You can see Mama, but you can’t see God.” My husband had just explained that it was God who made the peas we were shelling in the shade of our tree. Intrigued by Micah’s response, I assumed he associated my love and closeness to the feelings of warmth and care he experiences from God. Read more
The Browns’ church held strongly to the view that “women should be silent” (1 Cor. 14:34), and that all leadership in the church should be male. The congregation was taught that God was male, as Jesus called him “Father” (John 10:30). And, for the first years of their marriage, Norma obediently adhered to the teachings of her church and to the lifestyle she had experienced in her patriarchal childhood home. She submitted to Charlie as he made all of the family decisions and controlled the finances, and she embraced her role as a stay-at-home mother.  Read more
In pondering humans’ relationship with God, the ancient monk St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) describes four “degrees” of love (which can apply to all other relationships as well): Level 1) I love me for my benefit. Here’s an infantile, self-involved person with a severe personality disorder—excessive self-love and the inability to recognize or acknowledge the distinct individuality of others. This is narcissism—pure ego—unaware of, or indifferent to, differing experiences, ideas, interests, concerns, etc. which are the reality of friends, neighbors, and family. This relationship proceeds from and results in the demoralization of all concerned—it is all about me; there is no you. Read more
Late February 2008: “Someday you will write,” Mother said, “and your tears will be the ink you use.” A static cell phone connection, and 190 miles could not mask her deep emotions as she spoke to me. After hours of grief, my eyes were swollen. I was silent. She did not understand I was trying to breathe. “Honey, are you there?” Read more
My roommate and I like to watch the TV show Friends. Correction—my roommate and I are addicted to the TV show Friends. All throughout college, our group of girlfriends had this show on loop. It was on in the background when we were doing homework, or studying for tests, or eating dinner, or getting ready for the day. It became a bonding experience, a shared moment. Read more
On July 6, 2003, Jane Randall Hess Clark, my wife of 46 years, died of a brain tumor, eleven months after diagnosis. She received the best medical treatment and home care therapies available. We had a Christ-honoring memorial service, planned by her in detail, that was attended by many of her large family, and conducted by her nephew. Read more
CBE: What kind of adoption have you chosen and why?  DesAnne & John: Adoption was our first choice for bringing children into our family. The decision to adopt our daughter Hannah from China was strongly influenced by John’s experience as a missionary in China as well as China’s reputation for having a stable adoption process. We also chose to adopt from China because so many little girls have been relinquished to orphanages and desperately need homes. Read more
David and Jeannette Scholer David and Jeannette Scholer adopted their daughter from Korea In 1972, my wife Jeannette and I began the process of adopting an international child (considered in those days “hard to place”). We worked through the Boston Children’s Society and Holt International. We had been married for 13 years by the time our baby girl arrived from Korea. Read more

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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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