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Going to Jesus Outside the Camp

This post was originally published in March 2009. I'm not a big fan of taking Bible verses (or chapters or books for that matter) out of context, but every once in a while I come across a snippet of scripture that just steals my breath away. Today's was from Hebrews 13:13, in the New Century […]

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Winds of Change: Speaking Up for Women in Ministry

One of the things I love about my denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, is their strong support of women in ministry. Change can be slow, however, and women called to pastoral ministry often find themselves walking a long, difficult path, even in denominations that support them. That's why the ECC's Commission on Biblical Gender Equality […]

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Love Should Never Include Disclaimers: Why Christians Need to Stop Trying to “Fix” People

There was a time when I thought it was my Christian duty to point out anything I thought someone was doing wrong. I called out teachers for being too hard on other kids. If the pastor said something I disagreed with in a sermon, I informed him of it afterward. I made sure people on […]

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The Gospel is Never at Stake. A Few Words on Orthodoxy, Christian Unity, and Not Being a Big Jerk

I saw a quote from a Christian leader yesterday, one who I respect despite disagreeing with some of his doctrine. It contained the words “At stake is the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Whoa, hold up. I’m not a scholar or a theologian, but I can tell you one thing: The gospel of Jesus Christ is […]

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Reclaiming Eve: How the gospel restores women

Suzanne Burden is a heart sister, a gentle woman who wants to see women thrive, set free to work in God’s kingdom alongside their brothers. I’m thrilled to be posting this short description and Q&A about her new book, Reclaiming Eve. About Reclaiming Eve What started as a ladies’ Bible study in their church led […]

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Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles

What does the gospel make possible for women? Do we have to stay hidden away in the shadow of the curse, as if our silence and subservience could atone for the sin of the first woman’s fall, or are we called to live in the light of the resurrection? I am so excited about my […]

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What one book do you think every Christian should read? Share your One Book!

So, I’ve been thinking about how to pull off the Seminary Stories series, and I’ve decided to start this way. One of the things that I struggled with the most when I was started feeling the need to dig deeper into what I believed and why was just not knowing where to begin. What books […]

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Why Men Need to Mentor Women. I’m Looking at You, Pastors!

I spent most of my twenties in a state of mind-numbing, hair-pulling, pacing-tiger frustration. I was a smart, God-obsessed young woman who was passionate about ministry and theology, but had no idea what to do with myself. If the Christian blogosphere had existed in its current state, I probably would have taken up permanent residence […]

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Internet Outrage; Or, why we need to refuse to sit in the seat of the scornful.

I haven't been blogging much for the last several months, and there are a few reasons for that. Sure, I've been busy. Between school stuff, interning at my church, and being part of a family whose M.O. resembles pedaling a bicycle downhill fast (we take our share of tumbles, but we get places!), there's always […]

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Slavery, Colonialism, and Using the Bible to Keep Women Down.

For me, one of the most disturbing parts of the EFOGE training on gender equality in Bondo, Kenya, was hearing the stereotypes commonly used about women (not that they were using them, but they were discussing them). Women are like animals. Women simply aren't as intelligent or capable as men. Because women are lesser beings, […]

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Opposition to Gender Equality, East and West.

It's interesting, the questions people ask when you start talking about gender equality in a Christian context. Of course, there are the theological questions, important conversations that need to be had about biblical interpretation, ancient cultures, translation and projection, and God's heart for humankind. But then, you crash headlong into people's native culture, where belief […]

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On arguing with experience, grieving the Holy Spirit, and being 5/8ths right.

My pastor is fond of saying “You can't argue with experience.” But some people do. I've been hearing about it a lot lately in Christian circles. The cessationist pastor who accuses charismatics of being heretics who “grieve the Holy Spirit.” The pentecostal who thinks people who don't speak in tongues aren't saved. The academic types […]

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When We Are Impatient With God’s Work in Our Lives.

I read Isaiah 1 this morning. It's a powerful passage, one that is often quoted in justice-oriented circles because of it's condemnation of empty religious rituals and insistence that righteousness means helping the oppressed, defending the cause of orphans and fighting for the rights of widows. Good stuff. But, hoo boy. It's kinda dumb to […]

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Divorce in the Church: “I literally asked Jesus to end my life because, in my mind, I could not end my marriage.”

Divorce is one of those topics we don’t really like to talk about in church. We all know people who have been wounded by divorce, and we all know people who have been wounded by staying in an unhealthy marriage. We know that the Bible speaks against divorce, yet we also know that God allowed […]

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In Which a Woman Scandalizes Stingy Hearts, but Blesses Jesus Enormously.

In “She Did What She Could,” Elisa Morgan asked a question only a woman would think to ask. When Jesus was on the cross, could he still smell the costly perfume Mary of Bethany had anointed him with only days before? Did it comfort him, this reminder of his friend's love, as he was dying […]

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“Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable”: Lament as an Act of Worship

Here’s the last post from my friend Pam on dealing with the “waves of adversity” in our lives. I am becoming an avid cyclist, some would describe me as a obsessive cyclist, but I enjoy cycling and participating in road races. It’s a newer passion and I find myself being coached and encouraged by those […]

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Are you going to live a little more or die a little bit? Joan Chittister on the spirituality of struggle.

My friend Pam and I spoke at a women’s conference in Moose Lake, MN recently, about the “waves of adversity” we all face in our lives. I’ll be posting follow-ups for the next couple weeks, so the women who were there (and anyone who wasn’t!) can continue to chew on and discuss the topic. This […]

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Stillness in the Storm

My friend Pam and I spoke at a women’s conference in Moose Lake, MN recently, about the “waves of adversity” we all face in our lives. I’ll be posting follow-ups for the next couple weeks, so the women who were there (and anyone who wasn’t!) can continue to chew on and discuss the topic. This […]

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Mary Means “Rebellion”: Jesus and His Band of Rebellious Women

When I was little, my mom used to act out Bible stories with me. My favorite, always, was Mary Magdelene finding Jesus in the garden. I would be Mary, kneeling in front of the tomb (our wood stove) in the little flannel bathrobe my mom had sewn for me, pretending to cry. My mom would […]

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On Deserts and Dry Places: When You Hit A Dry Patch In Your Walk With Christ

Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert. I’ve been feeling rather dry myself lately, but I don’t think it has anything to do with Lent. Here are some of the things that seem to wring me out, spiritually-speaking. Maybe you can relate. Analyzing Everything I LOVE studying and learning more about […]

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“The missionaries brought the Bread of Life, but we choked on the packaging.”

“When the missionaries came, they brought the Bread of Life. But alas, we choked on the cellophane it was wrapped in.” Those were words I heard over and over as a child, my missionary father thoughtfully quoting a Liberian radio preacher. I could tell my father took them very seriously, so I did too, branding […]

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John Piper, Women in Combat, and How Gender Roles Fall Short of the Glory of Humankind

Co-Ed Combat and Cultural Cowardice, an article written by John Piper in 2007, has resurfaced in light of the U.S. military’s decision to let women serve in combat. I’m posting part of it here not because I want to pick a fight with Piper (please see my comments policy), or discuss women in combat (I […]

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50 Shades of Complementarian? Why We Should Lay Down the Labels, and Look at Our Common Purpose

Last week, a Twitter friend told me how shamed and berated many blogs made her feel for her complementarian theology. That made me so sad. I mean, I get it. Egalitarians are a minority in the evangelical world, and are often treated like theological scapegoats by their more traditional brothers and sisters. Women still lack […]

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Watch Your Mouth! My Commitment to Mercy, and New Comments Policy.

The internet can be a brutal place. Some days, the Christian blogosphere feels more like the Roman Colosseum than Athen’s Mars Hill, a gladiatorial circus where Christian Soldiers wield sharp words against their brothers and sisters in Christ, pitting the strength of their platforms to character assassination. I’m quite certain Satan (whose very name means […]

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Stopping Traffick in Buenos Aires: The Tireless Seeker of Our Souls

Today’s guest post is from Tim Fall. ​Maria de los Angeles “Marita” Veron disappeared ten years ago. Her mother hasn’t stopped looking for her since. Marita was 23 at the time, the mother of a 3 year old daughter. At first her disappearance was unexplained. Then a tip came in: she had been kidnapped and […]

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Limping Along: Why We Can’t Let Half of Christ’s Body Atrophy

Today’s guest post is from the wonderful Judy Douglass. Kamari limped along, putting all his weight on the good leg, dragging the atrophied right leg painfully up the rocky hill. Most often he hardly noticed the weak leg—he had learned to do most of his activities without it. But on days when he needed to […]

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Good Christian Fears: Is Fear Crippling Your Walk With Christ?

I’ve never considered myself a fearful person. But recently, I’ve been discovering just how much my deeply-buried fears and anxieties have influenced and continued to influence my life. These aren’t conscious thoughts, or even things that I initially recognized as fear. But as I reflected on the decisions I’ve made and the things I’ve written […]

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Women, Theology, and the Evangelical Gender Ghetto

James W. McCarty III has written a great post about the absence of female voices in the theological blogosphere. (His title is pretty awesome, too: Stop, Collaborate and Listen :-D) His conclusions are applicable to just about every area of life and ministry: Listen to women. And listen in a way in which you can […]

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Are Old Testament Laws Obsolete? Kathy Keller, Rachel Held Evans, and the Kerfuffle Over “Biblical” Rules For Women.

“A Year of Biblical Womanhood” by Rachel Held Evans has been the talk of the town lately, drawing the attention of everyone from Christian bloggers to shows like USA Today and The View. While I have yet to read and review the book (I’ll do so when I have more time), the reviews have been […]

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If You Don’t Love the Poor, CAN You Love Jesus?

How interesting that Jesus associates our response to “the least of these” with our response to him. In the past, I always thought it was a matter of obedience. People who really love Jesus take care of the down-and-outs, because it’s the right thing to do. The Christian thing to do. Because the Bible tells […]

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