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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
Mary Magdalene appears in all four gospels as a witness of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Luke 8:2 explains that this particular Mary was called Magdalene, and all four evangelists consistently identify her by the name “Mary Magdalene” (Matt 27:56, 61; 28:1; Mark 15:40, 47; 16:1; Luke 24:10; John 19:25; 20:1, 18). The only exceptions are John 20:11, 16, which contain a simple term “Mary,” but the context makes clear that this Mary is no one else but Mary Magdalene. It should also be noted that, similar to the designation given to some men, such as Jesus of Nazareth (Mark 16:6) and Joseph of Arimathaea (Mark 15:43, John 19:38), the second part of her name, Magdalene, points to her place of origin, the city of Magdala, located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee north of Tiberias. This designation uniquely distinguishes this Mary from all other Marys mentioned in the New Testament. An identification of a woman by her place of origin was quite rare in Judaism at the time. More common was a relational designation with regard to another family member, such as a parent (Mark 6:22; Luke 2:36) or a husband (Matt 1:6; Luke 8:3; John 19:25). The absence of such a relational term for this Mary suggests that she was neither a young girl under a direct guardianship of her father nor a married woman accountable to her husband. Most interpreters therefore assume that she was a widow. 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
Someone once said, “Life is what happens after someone makes plans for their life.” Proverbs says it more succinctly, “In their hearts, human beings plan their course, but the Lord determines their steps.” (Prov. 16:9, TNIV) Interestingly, what individual Christians plan and how the Lord directs them are not necessarily the same.   Read more
It is the “virtual” equivalent of a pleasant post-dinner conversation. Not as satisfying by e-mail as in real life over coffee and dessert, but my question has intrigued them: how has your belief in biblical equality affected your parenting? Read more
The article describes the benefits and challenges we have experienced as a dual-career family along with the ways we have addressed those challenges in building a Christian home and family. This article presents the dual-career family as a viable option for those who are committed to gender equality within the home as well as to nurturance of the family. 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
I could not have realized in 1972 that my ecclesiastical and professional commitment to women in ministry, already established, would lead to one of the most important and consuming professional and personal aspects of my life as a New Testament professor, churchman, and advocate for a position I came to see as part of my commitment to the gospel. Read more
Despite the gospel’s message that all are one in Christ, racial, social, and gender equality in the church has not been a realized reality. Wherever the apostle Paul saw that the truth of the gospel was not being lived out in the communities he had helped to give birth to in Christ, Paul re-preached the gospel of Christ crucified, trusting the Holy Spirit to be the active voice in faithful proclamation and faithful living out of the equality that gospel message creates.  Read more