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“Never let them see you cry.”  Many 21st century women embrace this mantra of secular feminism, particularly in the business world. Yet, some of us within the church have also accepted this tenet, and work hard to stay in control of our emotions to avoid appearing weak or overly feminine. 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
Did God make a mistake by using all these women to expand and build up the Kingdom?  Read more
The phenomenon of cultural relativity, with the adaptations it imposes, is repeatedly illustrated within the bible itself. We see the Israelite nomads moving from the wilderness into the settled agricultural life of Canaan; we see a peasant economy giving place under the monarchy to an urbanised mercantile economy, with the attendant abuses against which the great prophets of Israel inveighed; we see the post-exilic adjustment to life in a unit of a great, well-organised empire—first Persian, then Hellenistic, then Roman. Even within the limited confines of the New Testament we see the gospel transplanted from its Jewish and Palestinian matrix into the Gentile environment of the Mediterranean world. In this last respect we could pay special attention to the way in which John, while preserving the authentic gospel of Christ, brings out its abiding and universal validity in a new idiom for an audience very different from that to which it was first proclaimed. Read more
For centuries, a patriarchal system of control has kept women in spiritual captivity through distortion of the Scriptures. It’s time to debunk the myths. We live in the 21st century, but if we’re honest we have to admit that in some ways the church is still in the Dark Ages—especially when we look at the way we treat women. Even though the Scriptures never portray women as secondary to men, our male-dominated religious system still promotes biblical misinterpretations of female inferiority. Women are tired of this, and as a man, so am I—because such demeaning attitudes don’t reflect God’s heart. Jesus challenged gender prejudice at its core when He directed so much of His ministry toward women. In a Middle Eastern culture that considered women mere property, He healed women, discipled them and commissioned them to minister. Yet today we spend much of our energy denying them opportunities—and using the Bible to defend our prohibitions. I’ve identified 10 erroneous views about women that have been circulated in the church, preached from pulpits and written in the study notes of popular Bible translations for too long. I believe we must debunk these lies if we want to see the church released to fulfill the Great Commission. 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
Is the church consistent in its view and treatment of women? Consider the following. Jane is a missionary in a third world country. She translates scriptures, leads many to Christ, preaches to and teaches men and women of all ages. Yet, when she returns home on furlough, she is not allowed to preach in the very church that spends thousands of dollars so Jane can do just that overseas? Why? Read more
So what does a good marriage look like anyway? How are a husband and wife supposed to relate to each other? Is it a command and control relationship with the husband being like the general to the wife’s sergeant? Or does it have a softer look, more like a generous boss to a competent secretary? There’s always the model of the valiant knight to the damsel in perpetual distress, of course. And then there are variations on the idea of marriage as a team. But what kind of a team are we talking about? Is it more like a tug-of-war team with both husband and wife using their muscles to pull on the same end of the rope? Or like a baseball team with one partner polishing pitching skills while the other perfects catching? Read more
Does Jesus ask us to become fishers of “men” or of  “people”?  And does it even matter?  This question has become a heated one, as the International Bible Society and Zondervan recently announced the release of Today’s New International Version Bible (TNIV).  Based on the New International Version (NIV), this Bible offers clearer language, including gender-accurate language for people.  Read more
Throughout history, many women have been denied teaching and leadership positions based primarily on the teachings of the Apostle Paul. Some have rejected Christianity because they thought Paul viewed women as second-class citizens. That idea is based primarily on two passages -- I Timothy 2:11,12 and I Corinthians 14:34. Most people who believe in restricted roles for women do not realize that Paul named several women among his “co-workers in the gospel” along with such people as Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Apollos. Paul praised women like Priscilla and Lydia who were leaders in the early church. Paul's evangelistic ministry was one of partnership with women. Yet Paul said in I Cor. 14 that women were to keep silent in the church, and in I Timothy 2:12, “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man.” Was Paul a hypocrite -- not practicing what he preached, was he confused, or are there other explanations?   Read more