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Throughout history, movements have arisen to challenge the status quo of society and the institutional church. In the history of the United States and into the present, many have spoken out against the way women are perceived and treated. These voices have fought to open to women spaces and leadership positions in the church and society that have traditionally been exclusively for men. These movements, known collectively as feminism, have requested—sometimes demanded—a transformation in the ways evangelicals conceive of women’s roles. For evangelicals, the Bible is the ultimate, infallible and inerrant authority, which serves as the arbiter of acceptable views, and theological liberalism exists as a looming menace to biblical authority. Unfortunately, evangelicals are often confused over who is challenging their biblical and cultural perceptions. They generally do not understand the critiques of liberal feminists or of their own evangelical sisters and brothers, nor do they recognize that they are dealing with separate movements in important and foundational ways. For many, feminism is a recent phenomenon, a threatening force, liberal in origin, which in the end rejects the authority of Scripture in order to conform to modern culture. Evangelicals commonly known as biblical egalitarians are quickly tied to liberal forms of feminism because it is commonly supposed that “liberalism and the approval of women’s ordination go hand in hand,” and inevitably lead the church down the slippery slope into the abandonment of scriptural authority.2 This paper seeks to begin to correct the equation of biblical egalitarianism with liberal feminism by considering them on a foundational level—looking at where each locates its authority and how each understands the Bible’s authority. Read more
In York Minster, the cathedral in the English city where I used to live, there is a famous window called “The Pilgrimage Window.” Two panels within this window usually draw the most attention from onlookers. The first shows a knight upon a white horse, holding a triumphant banner. He appears to be venturing forth on a pilgrimage. However, whenever I came to contemplate this window, it was not the knight’s panel that drew me. Read more
I recently had the opportunity to interview three of CBE’s most devoted members: Alvera Mickelsen, Ginny Erickson, and Betty Clark They were crowded around a table in CBE’s office, having volunteered to organize our historical files. As a newcomer to CBE, I had expected a cordial but formal interview (perhaps even with a few awkward silences). Instead, I was surprised and delighted by their sincerity and warmth. They welcomed me into the friendly conversation of longtime companions, openly discussed their lives with me, and asked me about my own life. They displayed all the humility and grace of true disciples of Jesus Christ. Read more
Biblical battles tend to reveal the importance of Scripture in church life. We may not like to admit it, but sometimes it is the Bible (and therefore the church) that loses in our biblical battles. The Bible and the church lose when we fail to read the whole Bible on debatable topics, when we fail to read the Bible as connected to a historical and cultural context, or when are simply too lazy or worn down by debates to spend the time necessary to truly think through a subject. Many of us tire of old debates, finding it easier simply to give in to the first person who comes along with a sense of conviction in what they believe. We’ve been there, done that, and we often feel as if we have nothing new to offer. Read more
If denomination could be passed down genetically, you could say that I’m a Southern Baptist all the way down to my DNA. My family tree grows in Southern Baptist soil, my earliest memories take place in Southern Baptist churches, and even though I have learned from and spiritually matured in a wide variety of other denominations, my heart pumps Southern Baptist blood. I am also an egalitarian because I grew up Southern Baptist. Read more
Focus with me on the world where I work most of my days. It is the world of the Licensed Professional Counselor in Sugar Land, Texas. I am also licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I counsel at the Houston Center for Christian Counseling, a group of 30 Counselors committed to providing the best in both theology and mental health care. Read more
Anna and I met when we were students at Beeson Divinity School. From almost our first meeting I was drawn to her sharp mind, her sensitivity, her sense of humor, and, I might add, her striking beauty. Both of us were, at that time, considering careers in the academy. Anna had served two churches, one mainline and one evangelical, as a lay youth minister before seminary. She had altered her vocational path, however, largely owing to the influence of the conservative Presbyterian denomination of which we were a part. She now had set her sights on a doctorate and the academy—a place she rightly identified as more congenial to women. We were both evangelical, both soft patriarchs, and both interested in the life of the mind. It was a match made in heaven. Read more
A pastor recently told me, “There is no way women can ever be equal to men!” He went on to say that women were probably quicker to hear from God, but that gender-specific character flaws—emotional instability and a penchant for deception—basically negated any strength they had. “I only want men on the front-lines of battle with me!” he said.  Read more
Our names are Kathy & Karl. We are educated, committed evangelicals. We’re both happily married (to other people!). We believe in the local church, its power to have an impact in the community. We are co-pastoring a new church plant together People think we’re crazy--that it can’t be done, that it’s too complicated.  We think it’s fun. This is our story. Read more

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