Adam’s and Eve’s work, Orvieto cathedral façade, Orvieto, Italy

Blog Posts About Women, Gender, & Faith

Church History: What Do We Learn about Women in Public Ministry?

By Gender & Faith, WomenNo Comments

“It was the feminist teachings of the past few decades that first spurred Christians to try to argue for [women in public ministry]. Like it or not, the two schools of thought are intertwined.” – Christian blogger “The role of women in church ministry was simply not a burning question until it asserted itself in recent decades in conjunction with the modern women’s movement” – Men and Women in Ministry: A Complementary Perspective,p. 20 When I took some doctoral courses in history, I read numerous primary documents which revealed that the question about women in public ministry in the church has been burning since long before the U.S. Women’s Movement. So, I set out to determine when it actually started.   I thought maybe it began with the American and French Revolutions with the cry for individual rights. But then I read documents like the pamphlet that Margaret Fell Fox (think George Fox…

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On True Biblical Manhood and Womanhood

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

Beyond Ordinary Women Ministries featured a podcast/webinar in which I talked with host Sharifa Stevens about biblical manhood and womanhood. Lots of teachings floating around on the subject are rooted in stereotype rather than scripture. If something is scriptural, it must be timeless and not bound to a specific culture. Have a listen. Podcast link  

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Artemis of the Ephesians

By Gender & Faith, Women3 Comments

Our understanding of Artemis of the Ephesians at the time of the apostle Paul has, I believe, implications for how we read 1 and 2 Timothy. Recently I spoke with Wayne Stiles with Walking the Bible Lands about my research on this goddess and her influence, especially in the Province of Asia. You can watch our conversation in this video. Right now I’m working on two books right now relating to the Ephesian Artemis and the ramifications for women and our understanding of first-century backgrounds—one a work of fiction and the other, an academic book. My readers can get a free video series on Jesus’s life from Walking the Bible Lands courtesy of Wayne.

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Interview with Jenny McGill, author of Walk With Me

By Arts, Gender & Faith, WomenNo Comments

Meet my friend Jenny McGill (PhD, King’s College London), a pastor’s wife and university dean who loves to explore countries and cultures. She has a new book out that I endorsed—heartily! Tell us a bit about the book and its intended audience. Written as a series of letters in a conversational tone, Walk with Me: Learning to Love and Follow Jesus is an interactive tool designed to help those in a spiritual mentoring relationship. It summarizes four areas in following Christ: the beliefs of a Christian, living like a Christian, habits of a Christian, and exploring the Bible. As a ministry leader and pastor’s wife, I want to encourage and bolster women in their Christian faith, addressing some difficult subjects in a down-to-earth fashion. Walk with Me is a discipleship guide for all believers, no matter how long they have walked with Jesus. Why a book on discipleship? Sadly, because I see…

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Biblical Womanhood: What Is a Woman?

By Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

What a woman is. She is an image-bearer. It was the first day of a class I was teaching on the role of women in the home, church, and society. Driving in to the seminary where I teach, I thought through the material I planned to cover, and honestly I feared that some of what I’d prepared to say was too elementary for graduate-level students. Many of them were raised in church and have heard messages all their lives. Did they really need to hear again that Genesis 1:26–27 teaches that both male and female were made in the image of God? Nevertheless, I determined I’d better make sure. So I repeated what I assumed they all knew. And sure enough, a woman present was thrilled when she heard my words! She was made in the image of God? And not only that—she did not have to marry to fully image…

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Happy International Women’s Day!

By Gender & Faith, Women2 Comments

Forty-three years ago, the United Nations (UN) named 1975 as the International Women’s Year. Two years later, the UN General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the annual day for women’s rights and world peace. My friends in Belarus send me Women’s Day greetings annually, and when I visited Peru, I saw costumes, posters, and a parade to mark the event. While some in the US observe International Women’s Day, it is much more popular in the southern and eastern hemispheres. In many places, men give their moms, wives, girlfriends, daughters, and female friends flowers and small gifts. In about 30 countries, including China, Cuba, Russia, Vietnam, and Zambia, International Women’s Day is an official holiday. In Bulgaria and Romania, it is observed as an equivalent of Mother’s Day; children honor their mothers and grandmothers with presents. In places such as Bosnia, Brazil, and Russia, women receive…

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Abuse: Rise Up, Church!

By Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

Today I have a guest writer whose story you need to hear:  <<I’m not even sure if the Hebrew is correct. But it doesn’t matter. It means something to me. This is where girls would have scars from cutting themselves in attempts to escape the pain of abuse. But by the grace of God, and by His grace alone, my wrist doesn’t have cuts. It says “Daughter of the King.” There have been a few accounts and testimonies of abuse circling around social media lately, including the Larry Nassar case and sexual assault on campus in my hometown. And I want to help raise awareness for the sake of many victims and survivors of abuse who are being driven out of our churches. My mom worked in the sex industry. I have seen, heard, and experienced just about every type of abuse. That kind of life was my norm. People who know…

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How the Tamar Narrative Functions in the Judah and Joseph Narratives

By Blog Interviews With Writers, Books, Gender & Faith, Justice, WomenNo Comments

I’m happy to have Carolyn Custis James as my guest today. In Vindicating the Vixens, she contributed the chapter on Tamar. In November she served on a panel of contributors who talked about narrative analysis at the national meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Providence, Rhode Island. Here are some quotes from her remarks:  [In the Genesis narrative] just as the Joseph story reaches a fever pitch and readers are on the edge of their seats, instead of following Joseph into Egypt, the narrator follows Judah away from his family into Canaanite territory and into a salacious R-rated story involving prostitution with his daughter-in-law Tamar. From a literary perspective, the narrator’s choice seems counterproductive. From a pastoral perspective, this sordid story is problematic, unsuitable for a G audience, and devoid of any spiritual value. Pastors often skip it…. Far from being a literary gaffe, the narrator’s decision to include…

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Fathom Magazine interview w/ me about Vixens

By Arts, Blog Interviews With Writers, Books, Gender & Faith, Life In The Body, Women, WritingNo Comments

This interview with me ran in the latest issue of Fathom Magazine.  Today we’re happy to have as our guest Dr. Sandra Glahn. Sandi earned her ThM at Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) and her PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) in Humanities–Aesthetic Studies. A professor in the Media Arts and Worship department at DTS, she teaches courses in writing, medieval art/spirituality, gender, and sexual ethics. She is the author of more than twenty books, including the Coffee Cup Bible Study series. But today we want to talk with her about her latest book Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting the Sexualized, Vilified, Marginalized Women of the Bible (Kregel Academic), which just came out. Tell us about Vindicating the Vixens. Vindicating the Vixens has been on my heart and mind for more than a decade. As I studied history and cultural backgrounds at the doctoral level, I ended up revisiting some…

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#MeToo: Just Another Trend?

By Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

My post for October 24 on the Engage blog at bible.org: A lot of people think it all started on October 5, 2017, when the New York Times first broke the story accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment. Actually, as far as I know, the real first “Me Too” movement started a decade ago by the African-American activist Tarana Burke. And ten years from now, we’ll probably still need one. But about the recent one… Ten days after the NYT story hit, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” Soon, the #MeToo hashtag took over social media. Twitter alone had more than 500,00 uses. But Facebook had 12 million. Twelve. Million. I almost didn’t put the following post on Facebook. But I mustered the courage to hit “return”:  “So many have been groped, objectified, threatened, stalked, or…

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My thoughts on history, Las Vegas, and Texas evangelical women

By WomenNo Comments

An organization for women called IF:Gathering, the brainchild of Jennie Allen, offers lots of resources, primarily for a Millennial audience. I’ve been filming some short commentary for their series on Church History with my colleague Glenn Kreider. And here’s one that ran this week: AD2 W3D1 – The Crusades Commence from IF : Equip on Vimeo. Also,  an article on how to minister in the wake of violence in Las Vegas and the string of natural disasters, ran on the Pastor Resources site as well as on KCBI radio’s blog. Then I got quoted in what I thought was going to be an article about Texas evangelical women, but it ended up really focused on Jenn Hatmaker for Texas Monthly magazine. And KCBI-Dallas radio station interviewed me for an on-air audio segment about suffering in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy. It aired October 3 and was edited for release…

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Rape Culture Series

By Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

Did you catch the series I ran on rape culture? If not, here are links to all the posts. Part 1: Rape Culture 101 Part 2: Victim-Blaming and “Slut-Shaming” Part 3: Saying “Yes” Isn’t Enough Part 4: Consent vs. Non-Consent Part 5: Rape Doesn’t Just Happen in Dark Alleys Part 6: Popular Culture and Rape Culture Part 7: Films and Rape Culture Part 8: Books and Rape Culture Part 9: Rape Culture and Language Part 10: Rape Culture and Government Part 11: Rape Culture and Our Schools Part 12: Rape Culture and the Media Part 13: Rape Culture: It’s Bigger Than We Think Part 14: Rape: It’s a Weapon Part 15: Rape Culture: A Sense of Entitlement Part 16: Rape Culture: Almost Every Woman Has a Story Part 17: Rape Culture: What Can We Do? Part 18 of 18: Resources on Rape Culture

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The True Beauty of Women

By Beauty, Life In The Body, WomenOne Comment

Whatever is true…think on these things. The Thai branch of a Japanese lingerie company, Wacoal, doesn’t feature scantily clad models in their ads. Instead, they tell true stories with life-affirming messages that everyone can watch and appreciate. The ads emphasize women’s true beauty. And the men in the stories are the kind of guys who appreciate goodness, and are not necessarily sexually involved with the women whom they admire and whose stories they tell. Check out the “My Beautiful Woman” ad campaign.

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On Feminism and Evangelicalism

By Gender & Faith, Justice, Life In The Body, WomenNo Comments

As part of my PhD research, I read Betty Friedan, heard Gloria Steinem in person, and spent a bunch of semesters exploring the history and teachings of feminism. And after I did so, I reached the conclusion that evangelicals in general need to pull back and regroup both in our representations of feminists and in our approach to reaching them. Just as there is not one “Christianity” but many Christianities (e.g., Orthodox, Catholic, Anglo-Catholic, Protestant, Lutheran, Armenian, Calvinist), there are many feminisms (liberal, radical, Marxist, socialist, lesbian, biblical, difference feminists [we are women—viva le difference! from men] and sameness feminists [we’re the same except for biology]), and more. Liberal feminists came out of the Equal Rights Movement. Betty Friedan was one of them. They are interested in equality, not to be confused with sameness. That is, they want the law to quit “seeing gender,” i.e., being biased against one sex…

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