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A couple of years ago I was invited to participate as a speaker at a Christian college’s body-awareness week. The weeklong program had been designed to address the rampant eating disorders and entrenched negative views of the body found particularly among the female students. The counseling office was overwhelmed by the need for a healthy and redeeming view of the body it saw desperately lacking among its students. Women, in unprecedented numbers, were starving themselves, engaging in bulimia, and confessing deep shame about their bodies. Some of the male students responded with the attitude that these women needed to get over their “personal sin” by repenting and straightening up. Other young men claimed that they also suffered from the “lookism” in our culture, which measures people’s worth by their appearance.  How does this happen at a Christian college and among young people who have attended church all their lives? How does this happen at places that promote themselves as nurturing a Christian worldview and a certain degree of protection from the culture? Read more
I was asked to write on teaching and preaching on gender issues, but I have to confess I rarely do it, at least not head on. On the other hand, the fact that I am a woman is rarely far from my thoughts as I teach or preach on any topic. Whatever the sermon is about, one wants both women and men to understand how to carry out the goal you are giving, which means that illustrating from both the lives of women and the lives of men is important. Read more
In exploring the cultural impact of gender on ministry, examples from Kenya, India, Venezuela, and the United States were selected as case studies, illustrating the impact of gender on Christian ministry.  Read more
I am one of the fortunate few who have had the privilege of seeing a country peacefully transform from one plagued by illegitimate authority, discrimination and neglected human rights to one that is solidly entrenched in democracy. People previously unable to relate to one another are finally finding joyful common ground. Read more
I have the privilege of serving in Bible translation with the Mountain Jews of the former Soviet Union. They believe they descended from the 10 tribes of Israel, who were taken into captivity by Assyria and resettled in Media (northwest Iran). From there they moved northward into the Caucasus Mountains region. Today they number about 100,000, with another 100,000 who converted to Islam, centuries ago. They are wonderful people to work with, full of pride for their traditions and enthusiasm for change as they leave their ancient homeland. Some have come to faith in Jesus the Messiah. Read more
Eva Burrows' conversation is liberally peppered with words like "marvelous", "thrilled" and "excited". At 72 years of age it is typical of her unflagging enthusiasm for God and the life she has been given - a fascinating life, by her own admission. Read more
Recently, I’ve been trying to picture Jesus. Really picture him. Not just slide into a lazy picture of the Jesus in countless religious storefronts on Mission Street. Moving beyond a plump, fed on mac-and-cheese Jesus, I ask him, “Do you know what it’s like to be me?  Do you know what it’s like to be Japanese American? And if you do, do you have any changes you’d like to make regarding your commands?” I ask because I find some of Jesus’ words hard and culturally insensitive. Did the command to leave family and fields for the sake of the gospel refer to Asian families, too? Does the suggestion to serve others and take the lowest spot apply when it seems that we often start with the lowest seat—or no seat—at the table? Read more