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Reforming the Church: Lessons from the Mystics

The following is adapted from the President’s Column from the Autumn 2009 issue of Mutuality, titled “Effective Change Agents.” If you like what you read, consider subscribing or purchasing a CBE membership. Mimi Haddad is the president of Christians for Biblical Equality. She holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Durham, England and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity […]

How to Keep Friends and Influence People

This post originally appeared on Margaret Mowczko’s blog “newlife” on June 21, 2014: newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/how-to-keep-friends-and-influence-people/. I’ve been asked several times for advice about how to maintain good relationships with Christian family and friends who hold to different and even opposing views on so-called “gender roles”.  This is a real concern for some.  Here are a few things […]

The Hunger Games and the Gender Debate

I am a big fan of The Hunger Games series, and devoured each book in a matter of days after release. Recently I saw Catching Fire(1), the movie based on the second book in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy. There are many powerful moments in the film, but I thought one scene in particular had implications for […]

Adjusting our Perspective

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11) I have a fairly large deadline looming just ahead of me.  In May, I graduate from a seminary with an MA in Biblical Studies, […]

On Becoming Great

Recently I was talking with a dear friend and brother in Christ when the topic of church leadership was mentioned. In our discussion I recalled this passage from Mark 10:35-45, which reads: Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we […]

Our Heritage – Part 5

Antoinette Brown was born in a log cabin in New York and was moved by the ministry of Charles Finney when she was six years old and joined the Congregational church at age nine. Excelling in school and graduating from college in 1847, she created a stir when she returned for graduate studies in theology. […]

A Cry for Hope for the Church

I’m feeling so discouraged and disheartened I want to give up. I want to go somewhere where I don’t have to fight. Where I’m not in the minority. Where my voice is valued, where my fears are heard. It didn’t take much for me to want to raise the white flag in surrender and give […]

When Labels Create Division

A summer issue of Time magazine caught my eye with the title: “The Childfree Life: When Having it All Means Not Having Children” by Lauren Sandler. The link will not provide you with the full article, so I encourage you to either purchase the issue online or run by your favorite local bookstore/library for some coffee […]

If the Spirit Calls

“If the Spirit ordained a woman and she was called to preach, she had to be a pastor,” the Rev. Dr. Dale T. Irvin, president of the New York Theological Seminary is quoted as saying in a recent New York Times article about the rise of women pastors. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately—the […]

I am a Jesus Feminist Because of the Resurrection

There was part of me that wanted to wipe the tears from my eyes, turn to the congregation and shout, “Daughters of Mary, your voices are still needed! There are still many waiting to hear what it is you have encountered in the living Jesus!”

Yes, Let’s Talk About Power

This post originally appeared on November 15, 2013 on the blog of House2House Magazine: house2housemagazine.com/2013/11/15/yes-lets-talk-about-power-by-christa-mckirland. Some Thoughts on Andy Crouch’s article in Christianity Today. I was directed to Andy Crouch’s article by a friend and ended up writing down my thoughts after reading through it a few times. I don’t know if his book will address […]

Allowed to Serve?

The acappella churches of Christ I attended in my 20s allowed me to work in children’s classrooms and cook for potluck suppers. When I was in my 30s, the church plant we joined allowed me to sing “special music” but not lead worship…when we merged with another church plant, women were allowed to sing on […]

One Illustration – Two Points

Though it’s been over 20 years, I remember with clarity a college professor’s powerful illustration about the nature of Christian ministry. This professor, also a long-time minister and volunteer hospital chaplain, had been called upon to be a pastoral presence in two contrasting yet related situations: first, as a new mother promptly parted with her […]

Is Egalitarianism on a Slippery Slope?

I don’t know about you, but I have evangelical friends with all kinds of different views on gender. Come to think of it, I have evangelical friends with all kinds of different views on a whole host of topics: child baptism or believers baptism, just war or pacifism, Arminianism or Calvinism, and, yes, even egalitarianism […]

“When We Need Women Behind the Pulpits”

CBE’s Northern Colorado chapter recently shared this blog post at their chapter meeting: http://seeprestonblog.com/2013/02/when-we-need-women-behind-the-pulpits/ “Shall we say to this one, keep silent and to this one, speak, when it is God who opens mouths and God who stirs hearts and God who gives winged words to those things we know not even to pray?” What do you […]

Just Like Dad

When I was a child, I wanted to be just like my dad.  He was a preacher, and I loved watching him preach.  Hearing his voice fill the sanctuary, hearing the people cry “Amen!” as the Spirit moved.  Something about it all thrilled me.  I couldn’t name this desire, I just knew that I wanted […]

Unity through Communion

Throughout much of my childhood, I possessed my home congregation’s three unofficial requirements to serve communion: a sport coat and tie, a family that arrived on time, and a Y chromosome. Therefore my brother (who not surprisingly met the same criteria) and I served communion almost every Sunday morning and evening from seventh grade well […]

Momentarily Persuaded

From the very beginning of our ministry life together my wife (Liz) and I have had an egalitarian approach to both marriage and ministry. Way back then we were unaware of the extensive body of literature available that supports such a stance and so it was more of a preferred and personal way of doing […]

Worship: Whose Heart?

I wasn’t trying to make a statement on gender or gender roles in the church.  Wasn’t, wasn’t wasn’t.  I just misheard the worship leader’s instructions. In the middle of corporate worship recently, a tune came along in which one group led and another followed.  You know, one of those echo deals.  About halfway through the […]

“Mom, Where Are the Women?”

“Mom, where are the women?” my twelve-year old son asked as he scanned the program for a 9/11 “10 Year Anniversary Remembrance Service” sponsored by the local ministers’ fellowship. Josiah saw it immediately.  I was a little slower.  I looked over the program which included a welcome, invocation, pledge of allegiance, six patriotic songs, nine […]

‘Why,’ Indeed?

Lean and lanky, the thirty-something teacher probed the congregation with a practiced eye as he wound down his presentation.  Ezekiel “Zeke” (pseudonym) teaches at a secondary school in another country.  Backed up by a carefully constructed PowerPoint presentation, Ezekiel shared his passion for sensitively pouring truth and grace into the lives of his students, particularly […]

The Meaning of Words

There are some philosophical words which can appear scary until we understand them – here’s a few….. ONTOLOGY: The study of the fundamental nature of being, what makes something what it is. (Ontology is also a word used in Information Science in another way not related to our issues, in case any of you are […]

Servant Leadership ?

Servant Leadership or Christian Service? “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be […]

Sticking Point

We have a situation where recently, at the church where one of our sons and his family attend, the senior minister felt called to resign and accept a teaching position at a Theological college. Some years previously this same Baptist Church had agreed to inviting persons to become a part of the Pastoral team on […]

The Blessing of the Parachurch

I was shocked. I remembered the old Bryan*, the Bryan that put on the brakes during a discussion of Large Group speakers at our Coordinating Team planning retreat. “Why is it suddenly illegal to bring in white men?” he asked, frustrated. As Multi-Ethnicity Team Leader on our exec, I was pushing hard for more female […]