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True Freedom in Christ

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1 NIV). With Independence Day being celebrated across the United States, now is a good time to remind ourselves where our true freedom comes from: Jesus Christ. It does not […]

The Workaholic Mom?

“What pushes someone toward becoming a workaholic?” “What do we get out of spending too much time at work at the expense of our families?” These are the questions we pondered recently in a Sunday School class I attend. Answers ranged from the desire to provide for a family to employment insecurities to a desire […]

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, […]

One Woman’s Persistence on Thanksgiving

Was the first Thanksgiving really held by pilgrims shortly after the Mayflower anchored at Plymouth? Texans claim the first Thanksgiving in America was proclaimed in Palo Duro Canyon by Padre De Cadilla for Coronado’s troops in 1541, 79 years before the pilgrims. At any rate, Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday was slow in coming. […]

Self-Concept

Who are you? Before you read any further, stop and write down about 5 words or phrases that describe who you are. Finished?    Read on! Social psychologists tell us that (in the United States, anyway) when asked for self-descriptors, men tend to select words or phrases that show their independence from others, for instance […]

In Memory of Her

In Mark 14 and Matthew 26 we read of Jesus being anointed by a woman while visiting the home of a man called Simon the Leper. The story ends with Jesus’ words, “Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of […]

The ‘Male Mind’

Just following a link from another Christian website and came across the offer of a course for women which is written and taught by a man. Among other objectionable statements was one which says women can (and should) ‘get into and understand’ the male mind!  If I was a guy, I would be offended by […]

Radio Interview

I recently heard a radio interview which intrigued me. It was with Dr. Geoffrey Burnstock, an Australian Neuro Scientist. In the year 2000 he was awarded the Royal Medal (also known as the Queen’s Medal, which was commenced in 1826) for his research into neurotransmission pathways. To cite the actual wording of the award: “In […]

Seeking Help

I’ve heard that men won’t ask for directions. I don’t know if this is true or merely a stereotype of the male gender. On the one hand, asking for help in general is often seen as an indicator of weakness so might be avoided in a society that holds men to a higher “toughness” standard […]

My Story

Heresy was my response to the colleague who gently suggested that he and his wife believed I should consider becoming a pastor. I had been a Christian for 30 years, nurtured by conservative evangelicals thinking that I would always have to struggle against the prejudice of being a woman in ministry. Of course, at that […]

Courage: Masculine, Feminine or Neither?

Recently both egalitarians and complementarians have been having conversations centred around the ‘masculinity’ and/or the ‘femininity’ of God.  Remarks by respected theologian John Piper and the movie “Courageous” have helped fuel both sides of the discussion.  My purpose here is not to further comment on John Piper’s remarks (which I have read) or the movie […]

A Christmas Meditation

Just thinking about the way God chose to come to earth to begin the huge task of reconciling the world to himself. No wonder the religious leaders of the day had trouble recognising the Messiah as they expected a huge fanfare at his arrival. Not only did God not choose to announce his coming to […]

‘Wing to Wing and Oar to Oar’

If he had said so a few years ago, I would’ve smiled and nodded.  Today, however, I blinked, smiled sweetly and asked my friend to explain. Bart (not his real name) was telling me about his role as “family priest.”  I told him why I disagreed.  Now, I like Bart.  He’s a well-spoken, gregarious fifty-something […]

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 […]

It’s All About Who Should

I’m very much an Egalitarian, but for me the issue is really more about giftedness. We can tend to get caught up in who should be behind the pulpit or at the lectern and miss all the other giftedness around us. When I worked at a bank’s call center, helping bankers with computer problems, I […]

Can We Do Better?

A local Bible camp recently announced its schedule for the summer.  “Headlining” the programming for girls camp is a tea party.  You know, frilly hats, dainty gloves.  Extended pinky fingers grasping sweet little tea cups. I have nothing against tea parties per se, but as the centerpiece, the highlight of a girls camp? Is this the […]

‘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 […]

Civil War Balls

I’m trying to understand the appeal of Civil War Balls or Civil War Dances. They seem as out of place as Remember the Alamo Celebrations or World War II Festivities would be. Why celebrate a time of death and destruction? In my quest for understanding, I traveled to various destinations on the world wide web. […]

Wages According to Outlook on Gender Roles ?

Men with egalitarian attitudes about the role of women in society earn significantly less on average than men who hold more traditional views about women’s place in the world according to a recent study. The Labour Department’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth began tracking 12,000 people when they were 14-22 years old for 25 years […]

CBE “Down Under”

We arrived at the Jasper Hotel in downtown Melbourne at midday on Friday and found that already the organising committee were hard at work preparing to receive those who would come early to register for the first CBE conference in Australia. This was the culmination of a year’s hard work by a dedicated group who […]

Poor Christians

I have worked in Legal Aid offices for some 15 years. I can tell you that many poor are not the kind of people most of us associate with. They tend to be undereducated, unorganized, and often buried under their financial burdens. Many come from longer generations of poverty. Many are weak and do not […]

Should We Divide over Perspective on Gender and Service?

All Scripture is from TNIV, with my underlining. John 17:22-23  (Jesus speaking) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me […]

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 […]

Walking in faith

“… the righteous will live by their faith” (Habakkuk 2:4, NRSV) Even before South Africa began to dismantle apartheid, Desmond Tutu did something very profound. Though he had no official platform or office, though he was without institutional power, he invited his opponents to join him. He treated them as colleagues who one day would […]

New film portrays Jesus through eyes of woman disciple

Kudos to the people at The Jesus Film Project for their latest release, Magdalena: Released from Shame. I have not yet seen the film, but according to a Christianity Today reviewer, Magdalena “combines footage from the original Jesus film with new material emphasizing Christ’s compassion for women.” Apparently the purpose of the new film is […]