Some Humans Are More Equal Than Others: Joshua Harris on Male Authority and Female Submission

I'm doing a short series on some examples of the way that complementarians claim to promote equality for women....but don't. You can read the introduction here. The first complementarian leader I'd like to discuss in this series is Joshua Harris. Like many ex-fundamentalists and evangelicals, I read one of his books in college (Boy Meets Girl) and still have some issues because of it.And now, for research purposes, I am reading another Joshua Harris book (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) and t … [Read more...]

Some humans are more equal than others: Introduction

Complementarian evangelical leaders like to pretend that their view of women is something other than exactly what it sounds like. They like to pretend that feminists (with our silly, womanly emotions) are just overreacting, misunderstanding, or twisting their words."Real" complementarians practice godly, Christ-like leadership. They don't dominate or abuse their wives. Feminists just don't understand what's really good for them--they don't understand that complementarianism isn't about a … [Read more...]

No, REALLY, I’m happy.

Yesterday, I wrote about how, for the first time in a long time, I really do feel happy.Funny, though, how the happier I get the more people insist that I'm not happy at all. I get that a lot. "You've become so miserable and bitter."..."Ever since you left church [read: the fundamentalist church] you've just been miserable."..."Remember when you loved Jesus and church and you were so happy?"..."You've just become an angry feminist! Can't you just enjoy your life?"Last year at this time I … [Read more...]

When I don’t want to be a Christian anymore, I just believe in love

I believe in love.I feel that I must take a moment to define my term as best as I can here. I'm not talking about romance or affection or coziness or anything else that we all sometimes call love.I mean the force that moves us to see others as fully human. The force that moves us to care, and to hope for (and more importantly work for) a world where everyone is seen as (and treated as) fully human.Love, the absence of abuse, oppression, discrimination, exploitation.Love, the absence of … [Read more...]

A church “building project” that made a difference

Many churches get super excited about building projects. These projects are supposed to represent big changes to the church, new ideas, progress, and relevance.Even the fundamentalist churches I've attended got excited about building projects, though these usually involved new gymnasiums where we could play the A.W.A.N.A "run around the circle and then go in for the beanbag" games rather than stadium seats or new stages for the worship band.Still, the idea is the same. If we build THIS, they … [Read more...]

On apologetics

Often I try to process my faith publicly, either through my blog or through facebook or twitter. Sometimes in personal conversations, although my introverted self has a rough time with that. Usually this is a good experience. I receive support and affirmation, "me too"s and "I believe something else but your way is cool too"s, or "have you considered ____"s. I have friends who know more theology than I do, who chip in. I have friends who are atheists who challenge me. There are times when I … [Read more...]

In Praise of the Doubting Thomas–A Book Review

My friend Travis Mamone has a new ebook out. It's called In Praise of the Doubting Thomas, and I recommend it.It's short, and I finished it in under two hours, but it's also thought-provoking and affirming. Travis, in his honest, conversational writing style, tells the story of his faith journey--how he made peace with his doubts without giving up on his faith.Travis's faith journey reminds me of my own (and, indeed, since we've been reading each other's blogs for a few years now, our j … [Read more...]

“Progressive” Christianity and Premarital Sex

Almost exactly one year ago, I read an article on Relevant Magazine that made me realize that I had absolutely no personal convictions to remain abstinent.I had grown up in the dead-center of the purity movement. I'd worn the silver rings, made the pledges, condescended to the teenage mothers, read the Joshua Harris books, and all the other lovely rituals that seem to be involved in that movement. However, after an abusive partner coerced me into sex and eventually raped me, I had to let go of … [Read more...]

Love and the mystery of men and women

I've been reading bell hook's book All About Love: New Visions. In it, she stresses the importance of defining love so that we can't be controlled by abusive people who claim to love us. She borrows her definition of love from M. Scott Peck: "the will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth...Love is as love does. Love is an act of will--namely, both an intention and an action." hooks later discusses our culture's reluctance to define love: It i … [Read more...]

A follow-up on complementarianism and rape culture

{trigger warning for rape} This is a follow up to my recent blog post, "Complimentarianism's ugly relationship with rape"I recently wrote a blog post in which I proposed that complementarianism benefits from rape culture. This post got me called a slanderer, a totalitarian communist propagandist, and even got me compared to a rapist lurking in the dark corners of the internet waiting to attack innocent men like Douglas Wilson and call them rape advocates against their will. This follow-up post … [Read more...]


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