Sunday, September 24, 2017
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Tag: Evangelical Issues

A Podcast, the PCA, and the Conservative Christian Battle Over Gender

August 21, 2017 "Many Christian conferences address 'race, racism, racial reconciliation, trying to do justice in those spheres,' said, 'but yet completely ignore...

Image, Incarnation, and Christian Expansivism: A Meta-Philosophy of Salvation

But irrespective of any given reader’s particular theological concerns, McLeod-Harrison’s theory of Christian Expansivism may, nevertheless, stimulate fruitful philosophical reflection on questions of ontology and epistemology.

A Letter to My Anxious Christian Friends: From Fear to Faith...

I was nervous at first reading, as I am among those anxious Christians not worried about how our country is going to go forward. And I admit I was worried that I would have trouble with the conservative-sounding opening (conservative-sounding to me, at least – proving his point about polarization). However, he mostly comes out rather progressive in his view of various issues in light of the Scriptures...

Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl’s Guide to the Good News

Crumpton writes from a strong, progressive Christian perspective. She has coined a new word to describe the archetype she promotes, “femmevangelical,” a mash-up of “feminist” and “evangelical.” She brings an honest voice, one borne out of the experience of attending a conservative church that presented the Divine only in a male voice and with a male perspective.

Confronting Religious Denial of Gay Marriage: Christian Humanism and the Moral...

"Wallace begins with a very important question: why is the Religious Right so upset by gay marriage rather than by child poverty, or handgun violence, or military spending? She then proceeds to build evidence for her thesis: while “Christianity slowly separated from its Jewish origins, sexual renunciation took the place of kosher dietary restrictions and purity rituals as a boundary maker for Christian community.”

The Changing Face of Evangelicalism: Rescuing Jesus

Ever since 2007, an award-winning journalist and radio producer named Deborah Jian Lee has been researching contemporary evangelicalism. She has been impressed by a change occurring among evangelicals—a movement that “ditches the Religious Right,” supports working toward social justice rather than political theorizing, and calls itself “progressive evangelicalism.”

American Jezebel: The Uncommon Life of Anne Hutchinson, the Woman who...

As an evangelical feminist, I found fascinating the details of the religious controversies in which [Hutchinson] participated. Are believers “elect” from the beginning of time? Can we know whether we are one of the elect—or whether someone else is? Does sanctification (the outward appearance of grace) prove we are saved, or are outward appearances simply “works,” not evidence of a heart that is right with God?

Christian Feminism and LGBT Advocacy: Let’s Move Away from Slippery Slope...

"The call for change is about acknowledging and honoring the dignity of whole categories of people who have been regarded as 'less than' or 'lower than' or 'unequal to' the privileged groups that determine who benefits from a society’s social arrangements and rewards. In other words, justice movements form in order to challenge the hierarchies that have been set up to keep whole groups of people 'in their place.'"

If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming...

Some Christian communities continued to follow the way of Jesus and Paul, a way of mutual relationships and gender equality. Here and throughout the book, a careful reading of the Bible provides an antidote to evangelical gender constraints.

Making Space for Intersexuals — Megan DeFranza’s “Sex Differences in Christian...

DeFranza builds her case for intersexual inclusion with a thorough description of various forms of intersexuality from a medical and sociological viewpoint. She provides an extensive and very helpful discussion of eunuchs in the Bible, especially Jesus’ remarks in Matthew 19:12.

A Christian Feminist Remembers Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015)

"During those years, I purchased every book Elisabeth Elliot wrote, and each time I looked forward to the next one. Like many women of my generation, I considered her a role model, an example of what a strong, intelligent, confident, courageous Christian woman could be. "

Progressive Evangelicals and the Pursuit of Social Justice

“Yet, humbling though parts of the story may be, this is a history that needs to be heard. It isn’t wholly a story of stumbles. It’s also a story of honorable words and courageous actions, often undertaken in the face of great hostility. For that, we can all be thankful. It’s also a non-static story of growth, evolution, and change. Again and again, you’ll find evidence of that Wind that blows where it wills.”

Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity

[Anderson] suggests a new sexual ethic could include the motto of doing no harm and seeking the good of others. It is an attitude that honors the other person or persons in our lives, and is honest with them about the pleasure and shared responsibility of sexual experience.

Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most

[Borg's] concise and ordered way of doing theology gives me words and concepts to better explain moves I’ve made in my own faith and theology. I was also pleased to read about his mystical experiences, which adds another dimension to his obvious critical abilities."

Is There Healing for the Church’s “Mother Wound”?

The patriarchal, task-based church cannot affirm anything outside its box, because – like all good patriarchs – it must banish anything it cannot fix. Unless the patriarchal church squarely faces its Mother Wound and allows the nurturance, tenderness, and compassionate caring that has all too long been associated with the feminine (and thus rejected) to come in, it will not only fail to heal but will grow increasingly irrelevant as it fades away.

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of...

According to Vines, the reason non-affirming Christians reject homosexuality is that male and female bodies are anatomically complementary (the “plumbing” fits together). But such an issue is never raised anywhere in the Bible. Instead, the Bible makes clear that every human being is made in God’s image...

Mom, I’m Gay: Loving Your LGBTQ Child without Sacrificing Your Faith

With books like Cottrell's, hopefully... hundreds of parents will be reassured that their children's sex or gender orientation is not about them, is certainly not their fault, and provides opportunity to show what unconditional love is all about.

World Vision: Treating Gay Christians with “Dignity and Respect”?

On the first day, a “Christian” organization whose goal is to help others said I was good enough to serve alongside their other employees. On the second day, millions of other Christians felt it necessary to forcefully proclaim, yet again, that they consider me "less than" and unworthy. On the third day, World Vision buckled under pressure...

Girl at the End of the World

This is clearly a story that needs to be told, to be shared and recognized, so things may begin to change. Esther makes it clear why so many people living under these conditions don’t leave: it’s all she knew. Her entire history was founded in this one way of life, a way that thrives on secrecy.

When We Were on Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled...

Overall, this is a challenging story that is told with vulnerability and a bit of humor in beautiful, lyrical language. For those who grew up in this subculture and experienced similar challenges in adulthood, this is likely to provide a great deal of comfort in knowing that you are not alone. For those who did not grow up in this subculture, it is a good introduction to the mindset and emotional drives of those who did experience it, which may provide a new level of understanding for those who struggle with the after effects.

Dave Ramsey’s Missed Opportunity

I know what it’s like for me to feel poor. It’s the feeling that led me to Dave Ramsey in the first place. But I would never presume to know what it feels like for any other person to be poor, and although I can share my experience and make suggestions,

More Than One Way to Do Money God’s Way?

I don’t disagree with Evans: I’m well aware that my picture of financial peace does indeed come straight out of middle class American privilege. Nor am I interrogating here the systemic injustices that condemn people living in at the bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum to generations of poverty.

Rachel Held Evans and The Nines

Strong female leaders of faith are making great, great strides. At this point, we need more male leaders to act in concert with our efforts. Perhaps after so few women accepted Rhoades’ invitation, he should have done as some have suggested—cancelled this year’s event and said, “we can’t go forward without a stronger, more representative line up.”

What does “evangelical” mean?

Learn about the meaning of the word "evangelical."

EEWC-CFT describes itself as evangelical. Does that mean it’s part of...

Learn why EEWC-CFT is not considered a part of the religious right, even though the word "evangelical" is in our name.

Wounded by God’s People

I wonder if the“more severe” unshared wounds Lotz mentions in the epilogue were originally the inspiration for the writing, but were later left out to avoid causing more pain to those involved. Or perhaps it was just my own personal wounds hoping she was going to give them voice.

Truth With a Capital T and Most Christians

When most Christians see their faith being portrayed as something so fragile that it is threatened by other spiritual practices and belief systems, when most Christians see their faith being used as a hammer to bash the souls of LGBTQ people, maybe it's time for most Christians to get off their butts and do something about it.

Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism

Reviewer Mark William Olson writes, "Nevertheless, in reading [David Swartz's] narrative, you may find yourself thinking that women and feminist concerns are getting short shrift. On one level, of course, that’s simply a truthful reflection of what happened at the 1973 'Thanksgiving Workshop' that created the 'Chicago Declaration of Evangelical Social Concern.' It reflects what happened at various follow-up meetings as well. Men ran things. The concerns of women were regularly pushed aside because they simply didn’t match the agenda of the dominant males. As David’s book honestly acknowledges, nervous, self-serving men sometimes rushed to bury feminist concerns, fearing that other leaders in 'the evangelical world' would write off the larger effort if they thought it was giving support to women’s ordination—or some other apparent 'outrage.'"

Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in...

"...this book is a voyeuristic look into the messy and gut-wrenching process of a person’s coming to terms with an LGBT identity after a lifetime of being indoctrinated into a theology that says gay people suffer from a shameful defect and will be punished by an angry God throughout an eternity of torment.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself...

"A Year of Biblical Womanhood" is not just for women. Dan Evans is characterized in the book as a partner who trusts, supports, and respects his wife. Dan’s example is a reminder that one does not enact “biblical womanhood” in a vacuum; it is always a performance in relationship and community.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey...

Until her late thirties, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield and I had a great deal in common... We both advised many students and groups, especially (but not exclusively) LGBT people on campus. The big difference? I was openly Christian, while Rosaria prided herself on her postmodern and materialist worldview.

Christians, Contraception, and the Affordable Care Act

"Among evangelical Protestants at least, it seemed to be taken for granted that every couple would somehow find their own way and could feel free to decide for themselves what to do about contraception, how many children to have and when to have them, and even whether or not to have any children at all.

When Women Are Companions—Not Objects To Be Consumed or Feared

"It took me several years to question these assumptions and even longer to believe it might be possible to have professional relationships with men, to trust that they might not see me as dangerous or even to think we might be able to work together in effective and respectful ways."

The War on Christmas: Or, Why Some Christians Really Bother Me...

I am wearied by this manufactured battle to make everyone recognize the reason for the season; by the attempt to make corporations, interested only in their bottom line, profess some kind of fidelity to Christ; by the idea that Christians are a persecuted population in our country; and, most significantly, by the belief that more than any other faiths, Christians should be free to display their religious symbols in government buildings."

Appreciating the Richness of Diverse Relationships

The goal of Mix It Up Day or any similar effort is to bring together people whose background is different from ours in some way--racially, ethnically, religiously, in sexual orientation, or any other way. Getting to know each other can be one of the richest experiences imaginable.

Higher Ground

The film Higher Ground is a story about a rational woman, Corinne Walker, trying to find some solid footing within the context of being literally immersed (baptism is the strong opening image in the film) within the subculture of evangelical fundamentalism.

Carolyn Briggs: Pressing on to Higher Ground

As we talked, I mentioned that so many women who have left fundamentalism are extremely bitter because they have been so hurt, and their anger comes across almost as a “fundamentalism” of its own—as though they want to “de-convert” people away from faith. “Exactly,” she responded. “And I have received many emails from people who want me to join them in that bitterness. I’m just not going to. I’m not going to go there. . . ."

When Evangelicals Were Open to Differing Views on Abortion

"There was a time in the not too distant past when the majority of Protestant Christians, including those who called themselves evangelical, did not consider the point at which a fertilized ovum or developing embryo or fetus becomes a human being to be clearly defined, indisputable, and settled for all time."

Is The Bible a Divine Revelation or Human Book—or Both?

. . . taking the humanity of the Bible seriously in no way undercuts it message, nor should it result in fear that the Bible will lose its power or meaning if we recognize that people wrote it in specific times and places with specific points of view. Of course. But, this has been and continues to be the dividing line among contemporary Christians.

Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth’s Chinese childhood springs vividly to life in Cornwell’s retelling, as does the family’s harrowing hardships during the political and military turmoil of Nationalist uprising and Japanese invasion.

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the...

I’d heard that Franky had been expelled from boarding school and never finished high school. He’d gotten one of the young and lovely L’Abri students pregnant and they were newly married. Yet it seemed clear that despite his history, and all the gifted, spiritually mature L’Abri members (including his sisters), Franky was L’Abri’s heir apparent.

A Woman of Salt

Three threads of this story [there are many] seem especially powerful to me: (1) the conflict with the mother that starts when Ruth enters puberty; (2) the attempt through much of Ruth's life to pretend that her body doesn't matter; (3) the struggle to discover the life of the spirit through the mind alone.

Faith Cure: Divine Healing in the Holiness and Pentecostal Movements

It's amazing to see how our own times' distrust of conventional allopathic medicine and the interest in alternative medicines mirrors a powerful movement of the previous century that looked for healing methods apart from drugs or doctors.

Evangelical Feminism: A History

The academic study of EEWC helps to make certain that the story of biblical feminism will be included in the larger narrative of multivocal feminism in the United States. Each book and each dissertation, however, offers only one version of how to tell the story of biblical feminism.

Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community

...with Marin; because of his genuine desire to help, his candid admissions of his own feelings, and his willingness to listen and learn (including unlearning homophobic attitudes), you have to take the bad with the good.

The Sacredness of Questioning Everything and Evolving in Monkey Town

God help us to become genuinely evangelical, somehow finding ways to share the good basics of life with the least among our human relatives. A good beginning might be to read and share these books with people of every religion and no religion, whether living in Omelas or walking the road out of there.

Feminism and Evangelicalism: An Interview with Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

What Christian evangelicals have in common is the conviction that meaningful living requires a direct personal relationship with God, and that the Bible should be taken seriously. But what that means can differ widely, and our social attitudes differ tremendously."

On Being Evangelical and Ecumenical

Some limit use of the word evangelical and call themselves "biblical feminists" or "Christian feminists," as did the women who published Daughters of Sarah.

My Journey to Feminism

"Ever since my feminist awakening, the proverbial “fire in my belly” has burned for those countless evangelical women who are faithfully practicing the spiritual tradition that has been handed down to them, unknowingly replicating a sexist, exclusivist hierarchy of privilege..."

Real Life Evangelism

“An old idea that everyone has bought into—I don’t care what part of the church—is the idea that if we believed certain things we’d be safe. In conservative congregations, it means we won’t go to hell. And in liberal ones, it means we’ll be part of a community that’s doing vibrant social action.”

Love Wins

As soon as I finished Love Wins I went out and bought a hard copy to give to my neighbor down the street. It's the kind of book you want to share. I'll give Love Wins to my friends who are dissatisfied with the Common Christian message, but who are not dissatisfied with Jesus.

Church Ladies vs Harriet Miers

It may seem like the safest thing to do—uphold patriarchal structures for the powerful rewards of economic security and male approval. Once a person starts down this path, any doubts may be silenced by others in the group or by one's own need to avoid cognitive dissonance.

Evangelical Identity and Gendered Family Life

What I probably liked best were her efforts to provide a sympathetic portrait of women whose religious views differ from my own. Gallagher adopts a very even-handed and respectful view towards both gender "progressives" and conservatives.

Jesus Girls

The book began as an exploration of the “un-testimony… an unruly story, a story that refuses to conform to a simple before-and-after pattern,” writes Hannah Faith Notess, the book’s editor.

“Paradigm Lost” and Slippery Slope Panic

Dear Kimberly, After reading your September 14 post, I purchased Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity. I didn’t want to discuss something that I hadn’t even read! As you...

More Thoughts on the Writings of Elisabeth Elliot

Hi Letha, As you know, I’ve just returned to school, after spending a summer working in the Pacific Northwest. It feels good to be back...

Experiments with Pedagogy: More Thoughts on Approaches to Learning

Collaborating well across the disciplines thus also requires a kind interpersonal agility, a skill which is connected to self-knowledge. If we don’t know ourselves well, we won’t have an awareness of our patterns of relating to the other. Knowledge of interpersonal styles of relating, though, does not seem to be a primary point of concern in many forms of higher education.

Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl

Campbell’s style romps happily from formal where needed to down-home whenever possible: “Dead people look like wax candles that have lost their wicks.” A “fundamentalist is an evangelical who is pissed off about something.” The attraction of fundamentalism is that it offers “a definite yes or no when you’re not comfortable with the maybes."

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An Interlude:  Revelation Meets Harvey and Irma

So many disagreements among Christians result from different assumptions about how to interpret the Bible. . . . When we read God’s Word as literal words straight from the mouth of God for all times and places, we get many things wrong. In the ancient Middle East, it was natural for Israelites to connect natural disasters with God’s judgment for sin.

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In Search of Life-Giving Christian Symbols

For many years I have also believed that a symbol other than the cross should be at the center of Christianity. The emphasis on the cross leads to the glorification of violence and death rather than the love and abundant life that Jesus taught.