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Mutuality

If you’re looking for a beautiful model of an egalitarian relationship in the midst of a decidedly non-egalitarian culture, the love story of Angelina Emily Grimké (1805–1879) and Theodore Dwight Weld (1803–1895) is especially inspiring. A fearless pioneer for women’s rights and the abolition of slavery, Angelina Grimké had some initial misgivings about relationships and marriage—she wondered if it would be possible to find a partner who would view her as a spiritual and moral equal, rather than just a fulfillment of a culturally perpetuated stereotype of womanhood.  Read more
I believe that I have found the perfect “formula” for a successful dating relationship and marriage. Skeptical? You should be. Authors and speakers have been providing Christian readers with a plethora of relationship tips and advice, yet statistics indicate that romantic relationships among Christians are characterized by high rates of fornication, unfaithfulness, divorce, and even abuse. Why is this?  Read more
One of the joys I have living in Minnesota is observing the service and sacrifice individuals make for one another, particularly in the fall. Almost every autumn, I hear friends describe how their family or neighbors worked throughout the night, or over the weekend, to help them get the apples picked and the wheat harvested.  Read more
Luke had just returned from a conference in California. Our only contact over the past week had been a brief fifteen-minute phone conversation. The conference was going well, and he couldn’t wait to return and share the details. He was eager to see me again. The feeling was mutual. Even though at that time we were traveling through a difficult period in our relationship, I missed our daily conversations and his presence, his embrace. Read more
God, the Holy Trinity, created humanity in his image—in the context of mutual, loving, intimate relationships. In creation, God declared everything as good, except one thing— being alone (Gen. 2:18), so God created the woman. The man and woman were equal and complementary (Gen. 2:23), completely vulnerable to one another and interdependent (Gen. 2:25). In the garden, then, marriage is characterized by cooperation, intimacy, mutual dependence, and mutual support.  Read more
Picture this: A young American couple arrives in York, England with their two-year-old son to start their new life—the mother to return to school and earn a PhD at the University of York, the father to become a stay-at-home-dad. Amidst a light drizzle, they walk the streets of York on their first day in the country, obtain library cards, relax at a café, and then saunter back to a quaint bed and breakfast. They fall peacefully into a deep and restful sleep, and visions of their delightful prospects dance through their dreams. They, indeed, are ready to live out England’s World War II motto: Keep calm and carry on.   Read more
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
Is your church firmly committed to biblical equality? Hurray! If your congregation is looking to take the next step in affirming and valuing the gifts of both women and men, consider these tips: 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

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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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