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For reasons ranging from the improper interpretation of Scripture to societal sterotypes and lack of opportunity for girls, there is no mutuality between men and women even among Christians in Kenya. In this session, Emily Onyango discusses the work of the African Church For Biblical Equality (ACFBE) towards achieving mutuality of men and women in the church and society as a mark of Christian identity. ACFBE does advocacy work through social and political awareness efforts and training. Read more
Havilah Dharamraj
Explorations of Genesis 2 intent on recovering God's ideal for the interrelationship between male and female often zoom in on the final episode—the creation of Eve. While this can be helpful, we are better able to appreciate how the entire narrative supports that ideal when we zoom out to engage the whole chapter. We can then trace this theme backward and forward across creation and the fall in Genesis 1-3. Read more
Many pastors have struggled to help their congregations respond wisely and compassionately in the era of #MeToo and #ChurchToo. A pastor-turned-activist for women's rights, Eugene Hung provides practical guidance and recommendations for church leaders seeking to help their faith communities address abuse. Read more
Light shines bright when the darkness is thick. Christians are meant to give off the fragrance of Jesus in the world, like air fresheners. And women throughout history have been at the forefront of the holy resistance to violence and hatred and death. This is a time for love to shine! Read more
In an era of #MeToo, #ChurchToo, and separation of black and brown mothers from their children by mass detention and mass incaraceration, what is the very good news for women? What transformative work might God have yet to do for and through our silenced voices and traded bodies? Lisa Sharon Harper takes us back to the beginning with deep exploration of Genesis 1-3 and considers its profound implications on the lives and calling of women right now. Read more
This passage is used as a key building block in theologies portraying gender hierarchy as God’s will. This is while the exegetes offer very contradictory interpretations of the text, typically concluding that Paul was not very logical in his argumentation or alternatively parts of the challenging text are simply ignored. In this workshop, an interpretation is presented that assumes that Paul is logical in his argumentation. The passage starts to make sense, when a) the conflict in Corinth is understood as one between social classes – also among different classes of women, b) we realize that the head-coverings and hairdos showed the social status of the person – and status conflicts were the big issue in Corinth overall, c) we notice that the punctuation marks have been added much later and can be ignored. The text is given a natural interpretation as Paul’s Christ-centered response simultaneously to all the conflicting parties, that consist of women in conflict amongst themselves, men in conflict amongst themselves, and conflicts between genders. The workshop offers the participants an opportunity to discuss themes according to their interests relating to the details of the passage, its meaning, the culture of Paul’s time and even Paul’s theology or challenges of exegetical research more widely, also regarding the women’s passages. Read more
What do Gen. 2:24-25 and Eph. 5: 21-33 have in common? When rightly understood, they both provide an almost formula-like description for a pleasurable, loving, faithful marriage of oneness. And both passages are built on equality and mutuality. Modern science teaches what the writers of Genesis and Ephesians could not have known. In these passages, the Holy Spirit inspired a poetic, yet biological picture of how God intends to create a literal chemical bond between husband and wife through invited touch and self-giving behaviors. When both spouses give each other the multifaceted pleasures of exclusively "clinging" and “submitting to one another,” the hormone oxytocin flows. Oxytocin in turn creates a chemical bond between them that supports becoming one flesh, and makes giving oneself up for the other almost inevitable! This biological/psychological knowledge is so powerful that it became the tipping point in helping the Sabiny tribe of Uganda abandon the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Since these biblical and biological messages have the power to bring an end to FGM, think what they can do for your marriage!   Read more
The attitude of Jesus of Nazareth towards women bearing sexual stigma was quite exceptional compared to that of his contemporaries. Behind this we can see, for instance, the radical idea of a woman being an individual capable of making independent decisions – the value of which exceeds the status of being considered the sex object and property of a man. Later church history has distorted this way of thinking, even though the notion of women in the Kingdom of God -entirety proclaimed by Jesus is challengingly equal.  Read more
Why in the country which is one of the best of the countries for girls to live, is the church still struggling with the issues of woman leadership in the church? What kind of challenges an European woman faces in a church ministry? How she can cope with? How the message of the Bible releases and not binds the women? How the Church can make use of woman ministers? The prospects for women ministers.  Read more
Kari Kukkanen is a long-time board member of RaTas - Christians for Equality. He has retired from the teacher position at a Christian College in Helsinki. He has two adult sons.   Read more

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