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La ocasión para escribir este artículo es esta: en una reciente convención de verano [probablemente en 1893], se le había pedido a una joven mujer misionera que hablara sobre su trabajo en una de las sesiones públicas. Algunos de los delegados tenían tantas quejas sobre una mujer hablando a una asamblea de hombres y mujeres que sacaron a la dama del programa y después de esto solamente dejaron que los miembros varones participaran en la conferencia pública. 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 have always lived in other worlds. As soon as I learned to read, I began devouring books. If I could understand most of the words, I read it. I was always asking Mom what this word and that word meant, and as a result, Mom soon taught me how to use a dictionary. I was in glasses by the time I was ten. There is no proof, but I think that because I read so much, my eyes didn't think there was anything beyond the length of my arm (or the tip of my nose for that matter). By the time I finished sixth grade, I had read the Little House on the Prairie books, A Wrinkle in Time trilogy (back then it was a trilogy), The Chronicles of Narnia, every Judy Blume book, and too many Nancy Drew books to count. In fact, I would sit down after breakfast on Saturdays with a Nancy Drew mystery and have it finished by supper. And of course, writing stories did not lag far behind learning how to read them. 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
Positive evidence for the equality of male and female is nowhere more clearly apparent than in Genesis 1:26-28. If God creates in his image, and that image is defined in v. 27 as “male and female,” then the most important distinction between human beings and all other life on earth is a distinction that is shared by both male and female. Throughout the first chapter of Genesis, God creates groups of animals (birds, fish, etc.).  The creation of the human species is more specific; it is the species that is created with both sexes, not a single person or general group.   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
Sometimes it seems as if a Christian liberal arts college is the last place in the world to find evidence for equality. Women often seem focused on finding the perfect husband, and men on becoming the strong leader in the household. Captivating is the number one Bible study tool throughout the women’s dorms, and professors openly profess complementarian views without giving attention to egalitarian thought. Yet in this often overwhelming complementarian collegiate world, I find evidence—evidence for equality. 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
Dear Rev. John, I write about religion for The New York Times, and I am doing a story about women clergy…. Researchers and women clergy themselves talk about the 'stained glass ceiling', and I was wondering if that had been part of your recent experience at all? Read more
When a girl is sixteen years old, it seems like life is full—innocent and wonderful—opening up like a book waiting to be storied on fine, white linen pages. The confines of childhood are being left behind while the concerns of adulthood are yet far enough in the future so that the moments of teenage hood burst with joy and possibility. Yet at any time, we are vulnerable to forces both within and outside of ourselves that can both gradually and quite quickly shift the course of our lives in ways that will affect us as long as we live. I say these things as one speaking from my own experience of feeling the wonders of being sixteen, later complicated by life and marriage to an abuser.           Read more

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