Why Rigid Gender Roles Don’t Work

When I was growing up, I remember that my dad always tacked a three-by-five note card to a corkboard in his home office. Neatly, he had printed words with a black felt tip marker: “He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.” (Ps. 147:10 NASB) The card meant the world to him; it moved wherever our family moved, and we relocated a lot. Dad looked to it…

How Mentoring Will Transform Your Future

We first met, one January morning, during her office hours. Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger’s eyes sparkled when our discussion turned to women in the Bible. She spoke of them fondly as if they were close friends—Miriam, Deborah, Abigail and a host of others from the Old and New Testaments. She spoke warmly though she didn’t waste time getting down to business: “They provide us with role models of personal piety, courage, commitment, and ingenuity.” Snowflakes blew outside the wide windows…

The Infernal Subordination of the Black Woman (By Rev. Tega Swann)

Having realized that women are generally considered less than men, I was doubly shocked to find that women perpetuate this inequality by ‘color!’ Even those who do not consider themselves racists, some, nevertheless, perpetuate this gender inequality among women! In my experience, and with the exception of very few, most white women assume the worst of colored women. A Black woman is almost always under suspicion or on a shaky pedestal. The middle grounds required for overall acceptance and belonging…

God as Woman: Why The Shack Might Not Be the Great Heresy (By Scott Lencke)

It feels like we all found a DeLorean time machine and traveled back in time ten years ago. In 2007, gas cost $3.38 per gallon, the first iPhone was released, and Nancy Pelosi was elected as the first female Speaker of the US Congress. But it doesn’t feel like 2007 because of any of those items. Rather, one other earth-shattering event that took place that year – at least earth-shattering for evangelical Christians – was the release of The Shack. I’ve come…

25 Essential Quotes of Women- Celebrating Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, I have gathered some favorite quotes. This list far from represents the influences of women throughout history. What quotes have most influenced you and why? “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” -CATHERINE OF SIENA “When you look at the inner workings of electrical things, you see wires. Until the current passes through them, there will be no light. That wire is you and me. The…

Let’s Do This, Together (By Neil Schori)

Christian communities are not immune to intimate partner abuse and violence. May more churches step up to the plate to become safe havens for the one in three women who suffer. Education and practical training can make a life and death difference. In 2007, I worked for a large church in the Chicago suburbs. I’d been a pastor for about five years and I served in the capacities of counseling and care. I felt certain of the calling God had…

Prophetic Revolution in an Age of Political Hostility (By Henry Boima Johnson)

I believe with the entirety of my being that we as American Christians need a full embrace of Anabaptism if we are to discover and maintain our prophetic witness today. These saints of old were 16th Century reformers who were persecuted by Roman Catholics and other Protestants because they valued believer’s baptism over infant baptism. They were jailed, beaten, and killed because their separation of church and state was founded on choosing Christ’s kingdom over the earthly empires that housed…

How To Get Along With People Who Voted Differently

“Who’s your candidate?” A Facebook friend asked me last week. “Only God and the angels know,” I responded. Truly, only God and celestial beings saw the boxes I colored in, with a black marker, inside a cardboard voting booth. Not even my husband knows. And I’m keeping it that way though anyone who follows me on social media might figure it out. In our polarized world that rarely practices the discipline of listening—for the sake of mutual understanding—I’m keeping the…

The Dumbest Thing I Ever Did Say (By Tara Beth Leach)

“I don’t know, Tiffiney, I just don’t see it,” I said after Tiffiney, my African American classmate, brought up the subject of racism in America.  I went on, “I just feel like racism is a thing of the past, I mean, we elected an African American president, after all.  I just feel like we’re beating a dead horse and keep bringing something up that doesn’t exist anymore.” Tiffany’s demeanor changed as she noticeably shutdown and slumped down in her chair….

Theologically Blonde: A Woman In Seminary

“So why are you in seminary?” A male colleague asked me. He pronounced you similar to eeuw, as if an insect had crawled through a broken screen window into the house. I debated how to respond to the annoying question that came up regularly at the evangelical seminary where I pursued a Master of Divinity. It made no sense—Isn’t the Bible crystal clear that Jesus is the Living Word? Before ascending to heaven, didn’t he instruct men and women to…

We Will Not Be Silent (By Tina Osterhouse)

Raising A Standard and Sounding an Alarm To End Violence Against Women Editor’s Note: I love to joke around. Mostly it keeps me sane. I turn to humor because, much of the time, life is too painful. I’d rather joke than fall apart. But lately, my humor has dwindled. I can’t joke when everywhere I turn, I see reminders of abuses and devastation that so many women and girls have suffered. And so many of our society—including evangelicals—turn deaf ears…

Free To Heal- Interview with Ally Kern

October is domestic violence awareness month. Recently I learned of outstanding research that Ally Kern is conducting in the field of neuroscience, women’s studies, and theology to create resources for women to heal from domestic violence. Ally Kern is an Adjunct Professor in Theology and Global Studies and Ph.D. student at Claremont. She has started a  movement to #EndDomesticViolence and Empower Women to be #FreeToHeal. Ally and I sat down recently to discuss what she believes it will take to…

The Calling of Women in Ministry and the Ugly Cry (By Toni Imsen)

As soon as he introduced the speaker, I began to tremble on the inside. I could feel it coming: the dreaded ugly cry. You know the one: Your lips begin to quiver, your face gets hot, the tears are coming quick. Your nose begins to run. You’re drooling and leaning forward. Your whole body begins to shake. I was in a conference sitting between my husband and my direct leader, a man I had a good relationship with, whom I…

Are You Man Enough? (Satirical- By Nate Sparks)

My last two posts offer a humorous look at questions and inconsistencies that women and men face when practicing strict gender roles. This week it honors me to post a satirical piece by Nate Sparks. He digs into common theological arguments for men to “man up.” When pushed to logical ends, we see painful limits many men face while working out what it means to live in Christ. Sadly, the outcome is less than ideal in marriage and family relationships….

How To Avoid Learning From Women- Confusion Rocks the World of Evangelical Men (Satirical, Part 2)

Part 2 of this satirical series explores the questions and confusions of evangelical men who are figuring out how to navigate gender-based roles. To read Part 1, go here . . .  A tidal wave of confusion is rocking the world of young evangelical men. Evidently, increasing numbers of men are questioning if gender-based roles aren’t as clear as some proclaim. Recent studies suggest that an onset of doubting occurs in males between the ages of 12 and 18. Social…