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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
In 1851 a 40 year-old mother of seven submitted a few chapters of her first novel to a small-circulation, abolitionist newspaper, hoping her work might find a sympathetic audience. Eleven years later President Abraham Lincoln greeted her, not entirely in jest: “So you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War.”  The book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and its impact upon the American conscience was unprecedented and phenomenal. Read more
If the on-going discussion about the role of women in leadership too often seems to ring hollow and trite, it may be because there is more to the issue and its implications for the Church than mere slogans and simplifications. The proof is in the pages of the Bible where a look at women in leadership roles in the Old Testament – even before Christ lauded Mary of Bethany for her countercultural approach to God – reveals a remarkable variety of styles and approaches. What is revealed in the lives of judge and warrior Deborah or intercessor and infl uencer Esther? What can be learned about negotiation from Abigail or about the power of submission from Sarah? All add up to vivid role models of anointed women for whom leadership was simply never an issue. 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
First Corinthians 12-14 discusses the nine supernatural gifts of the Spirit: a message of wisdom, a message of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in different kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.  The Holy Spirit makes the choice of which gifts He gives to which individuals (1 Cor 12:11), and those spiritually-gifted persons comprise God’s gifts to the Church.  “God has placed the parts [in this context, spiritually-gifted people] in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be” (1 Cor 12:18).  Gender has no bearing on the choices He makes.  Read more
As believers in Christ, we all deeply desire to see the message of the gospel proclaimed and accepted around the world.  If we have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives to make us better and more useful persons, we want to let the whole world share that experience.  Read more
Today, many believers are finding themselves at odds with each other about the family, gender-defined roles, and how the two intertwine.  Women may find themselves gifted with the ability to teach or lead but find almost no context for those gifts within their churches.  Men may prefer teaching children in Sunday School to organizing a missions conference, but instead get stuck doing the very things for which they have no vision, just because it is expected of them as men.  As they marry and bear children and as their lives incarnate their Christian faith, both men and women may find themselves constricted by the traditional roles mapped out for them by their churches. Read more
Perhaps one of the most often-asked questions of a child concerns what he or she wants to do or be upon growing up.  While many of us probably did not fulfill our own childhood expectations to be president of the United States, a supermodel, a superhero, a professional athlete, or an astronaut, the topic of one’s calling – of which career is an aspect – still warrants consideration in adulthood.  In the realm of theology the doctrine of vocation comprises such reflections.  Defining this area of study, Nancy Duff states, “The doctrine of vocation affirms that every individual life with its unique combination of gifts and limitations has divinely appointed purpose and that we are called to glorify God in all that we do." Every individual has a divine calling and is to give God the glory in the pursuit of this life mission.  In considering the applications of this doctrine, Christian feminists have a twofold charge, both in understanding their own vocations as well as in service to others who are attempting to discern and fulfill their own life purpose given by their Creator.  Read more
Stripped of all the theological debates and boiled down to its raw essence, Christianity and Christians will be judged by two actions: how much we love God and how well we demonstrate that by loving our neighbor. This is Christianity in a nutshell. But pushing these two great commands to the back pages of our practical theology has allowed Christians to join in with the world in separating along racial lines. Read more

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