Blog Posts About Women, Gender, & Faith
In this year, which marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation, many are focusing on the male reformers. But Germany is also focused on some of the females. Though quite influential, they are often forgotten. And we can learn much from their lives. I’m thinking of one in particular.
Come back in time with me to about 1499 in what we know today as eastern Germany—then called Saxony. And picture a girl born to a noble family. When she turns five, her mother dies and her father sends her to a cloister. There she receives a nun’s education.
When she is about 24, she and some of her friends—aware of the reform movement and dissatisfied with their lives in the monastery—seek to flee. Like so many others, they haven’t taken vows of celibacy due to calling, but due to a parent’s decision (sometimes for reasons of …
Today I’m happy to feature Kat Armstrong here as a guest post-er. Kat is a former student and savvy business woman (Baby Bow Tie) who co-founded Polished Ministries, an outreach to young business women. When I read this post she wrote on her own blog, I asked if I could run it again here:
My heart feels like it’s going to burst through my chest. I’ve tried working on other projects this weekend, projects I’m really excited about with looming deadlines, and yet I keep coming back to this keep-me-up-at-night message: We need all Christ-followers intentionally investing in younger generations now.
Maybe it’s the Irish/Latino mix I’ve got in my blood, but I tend to get fired up about lots of things. But make no mistake, this is not your average Kat-plea to see again afresh the gospel of Christ, in general. This is urgent and specific.…
Wes Hill has written two books I read and loved, Washed and Waiting and also Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian. On the Table podcast, Darrell Bock interviews him about the realities that led him to write both.…
I’m speaking at an event today at which I’m outlining seven different views on the role of women held by those who hold to the verbal plenary inspiration of scripture:
Believe women are more easily deceived than men, but also masters at deceiving. Women are ontologically inferior to men at created level. “Women are the devil’s gateway.” — Tertullian. Augustine, Aquinas, John Knox, etc.
COMPLEMENTARIANS (spectrum of about 4 views)
Women equal before God, but in some form of hierarchy w/ men/ husbands. Authority = the issue w/ several views on the public ministry of women:
2. Male “headship” – all men = “head” over all women. Speak of “male headship.” Innate. At creation. Head = synonym for leader.
3. Male “headship” in the church and home – husband head of wife + elders head over women in church and …
A few weeks ago, Dr. Glenn Kreider (we both teach at DTS) and I were in Austin talking with Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering, to film segments included in the new study they are offering—Anno Domini or “AD.” AD focuses on the Book of Acts and what followed—the 2,000-year history of the church, the bride of Christ. You can sign up for the free 8-week course.
Below I spend about 30 seconds talking about why I encourage people to study this topic:
The following video lasts about five minutes, and we talk more in depth about the value of understanding our history. This is the intro to lesson one.
I hope you’ll consider joining in. Click here and scroll down to get started and read the encouraging responses to this video.…
Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War tells the story of a US couple’s courageous private war against the Nazis in 1939.
The Sharps, a Unitarian minister and his wife, are two of only five Americans honored as Righteous Among the Nations in Israel’s Yad Vashem. You can watch their story online at PBS until October 5 by clicking on the above link.
This film is the latest from Ken Burns, known for his style of using archival footage and photographs in documentaries. Defying the Nazis is an incredible story of great personal sacrifice.
In this film you will see many similarities to the current social environment in America. How does an unlikely candidate rise quickly to power? How does racism thrive? Why don’t people care for refugees? Is national security more important that children’s lives? We’ve been here before.
When you finish, read Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939. We …
In light of the volumes written about recent changes in the ESV, I thought I’d offer a few reflections on the interpretation of this text (Gen. 3:16), especially because the verse is foundational to many people’s understanding of gender roles. First, the change:
Previous ESV translation of Genesis 3:16: Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.
New text of Genesis 3:16: Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.
First, an underlying reason for some of the mistrust: The ESV committee had pretty conservative complementarians on it. I’ve identified about five different kinds of complementarians, and many on this committee are at the traditionalist end. And here’s the rub: They included no women translators. And no egalitarians. In a world growing more aware of the blindness inherent in homogenous groups, this seems odd—especially coming from people who …
I received this question recently: If Jesus was so “for” women, why in Luke 14:25–27, when addressing the crowd (which obviously had women in it), did he basically exclude them or communicate they were not worth considering or addressing when he said “wife” and not “husband”?
Great question. First, let’s look at the text in question: Luke 14:25–27:
“Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus, and turning to them he said, ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple . . . .”
The person who wrote the question wonders why Jesus, when speaking of the cost of following him, exhorts husbands to hate wives, but does not tell wives to …
My Engage post this week:
I read recently that when boards of directors have both male and female representation, they make better decisions. Doesn’t that sound consistent with Genesis 1:28? Not to everybody. Especially not those at the conservative end of the complementarian camp (and it is a very wide camp with a lot of difference inside).
The word “complementarian” gets underlined in red in a Word doc, because it’s a word people made up. And they did so to emphasize that men and women are complementary.
Some say “egalitarians [hereafter E’s] believe men and women have no gender differences and that complementarians [hereafter C’s] believe in the beautiful design of God for gender differences.” But honestly? That’s baloney. In terms of their view of the existence of gender differences, both camps believe men and women are complementary.
The actual contrast between E’s and C’s and their view …
The city of Ephesus had great significance in the ancient world from its beginnings in the eighth century BC through the fall of Rome. Books of scripture were written to people in this city and from people residing there, as well. Cleopatra and Mark Antony killed off her sister here. And the temple of the Ephesian Artemis here was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The apostle Paul left after an uproar in Ephesus having to do with idols and money. And Shakespeare later made the city his setting for “A Comedy of Errors.” (Ironically, Ephesus’s history reads more like a tragedy than a comedy, considering that its inhabitants consistently sided with the losers.)
For all these reasons I chose “The city of Ephesus from 100 BCE to CE 100” as one of my PhD examination fields. And having done all that research, I wanted to make …
Want a summer read that’s part adventure story, part biography, part introduction to biblical manuscripts, part historical drama, and part faith journey? If yes, check out Janet Soskice’s The Sisters of Sinai.
The main characters are identical twins Agnes and Margaret Smith of Scotland. Their travels lead, among other places, to St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. There Agnes discovered one of the oldest manuscripts of the Gospels ever found.
The sisters’ staunch Presbyterian father, widowed shortly after their births in 1843, raised his girls as one might raise boys in the Victorian era—educated, physically active, and engaged in the life of the mind. And he kept a promise that whenever his daughters learned a language, he would take them to where that language was spoken. Because the twins loved to travel, early on they mastered French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Their deep interest in the Bible and its languages …
Today I’m delighted to feature a guest post from my friend Mary DeMuth, who has a new book out:
I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood lately. I saw a Netflix show where drug abuse was rampant, and I had to shield my eyes. I simply couldn’t see people snorting and drinking and shooting up. It brought back memories of my early life where my life was anything but safe.
I was five, then. And the adults around me had parties. They would get stoned and unsafe. I would try to hide in my room, but the only route to the bathroom was through my bedroom, so they would parade through on unsteady legs, eyes red, hands flailing to keep balance.
I turned my head to the wall, trying to escape into the well made between my twin bed and the wall. I fit like a snake into that …