Various Goodnesses

At Her•Menuetics, Laura Turner encourages her fellow evangelicals to embrace the F-Wordfeminism:

The church needs feminism because at its core, feminism affirms to us what our faith teaches us about male and female in God’s Kingdom and what Jesus himself preached throughout the New Testament.

The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology announces that John Franke will be giving the inaugural Stanley Grenz Lectures a month from now:

The Stanley Grenz Lecture Series is offered by The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence. Stan engaged the challenging theological questions of his generation with a profound sensitivity to the complexities of a Christian community embedded within a cultural context. In honor of him, this series is designed to invite scholarly theological discourse into the public forum, as an expression of Christian faith and service.

Third Way Magazine has a great interview with my theological muse, Jürgen Moltmann (HT: Scott Paeth):

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Rachel Held Evans: A Woman’s Voice

Rachel in a big pulpit.

It’s tough representing your entire gender.

I feel the pressure every time I climb those super-intimidating stairs to stand behind one of those super-intimidating old-school pulpits to give a sermon I spent extra hours preparing because a small part of me still believes I’m unworthy to give it. I feel it every time I post a blog or write an article or publish a book, every time I give an interview or am asked to speak.

“We wanted to feature a woman’s voice,” a well-meaning conference planner will inform me with excitement, as if mine is sufficient to capture the experiences of 3.5 billion human beings.

I’ll desperately scan the program for another woman’s face, trying to shove the old adage from Clare Boothe Luce from my mind: “Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail no one will say, ‘She doesn’t have what it takes.’ They will say, ‘Women don’t have what it takes.”

Luce’s insight, illustrated brilliantly by XKCD, is not a helpful one to share with a perfectionistic overachiever who takes herself way too seriously and who retreats to the company of complex carbohydrates when she’s nervous, which is to say, all of the time.

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Bec Cranford: Wonder Woman and Proverbs 31

Wonder Woman. Oh yes, images of Linda Carter and her spectacular blue eyes fill your head. And her twist (oh yeah, the twist.) Not to mention the Golden Lasso of Truth.

When Dc Comic books designed the character it was 1941. The “we can do it” women’s effort was full on, and so was World War II. Our heroine was drawn with this cool skirt and red shoes. She was a 2000 year old Amazon. Amazons were a mythical race of women warriors who trained for war. Yep, this Greek Warrior woman would help fight crime and spoil evil’s agendas.

We have all these ideas today from media of what the perfect woman should be. On one extreme we have those who think that all men are evil. And then we have this objectification of women for their vagina: mere sex kittens or property. And then the fundamentalists who feel that women are only baby makers and less than. So is a woman called to minister, lead, be a business mogul or teach?

Amazingly progressive for its time, we sing King Lemuel’s Mother giving us the example of a Valiant Woman; a woman worth more than rubies, diamonds, jade and gold. I realize I am writing to a cross section of sexual identity and some of you who hate the Bible: But let’s look and see how a woman can be a wonder woman according to the Hebrew text.

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Stephanie Drury: Covert Misogyny

For as inclusive and LGBTQ-friendly the progressive Church likes to imagine itself, there are still deep, linty pockets of gender bias and old habits that haven’t been broken. And how could they be, if no one has pointed them out? Actually, I take that back. How could the Church realize its biases if if the people in positions of power won’t entertain the possibility that they have them? The tragic truth is that the people in power do not need to realize their biases if they don’t elect to, and there’s the rub.

Gender bias in Christian culture is so ingrained that it’s difficult to access much of the time. Many women who didn’t take their husband’s last name or promise to obey him (see, progressive!) are just fine with male-pastor-only denominations. Many men who Mr. Mom while their wives work the day job (and to whom many will ascribe feminist tendencies when he’s just acting like a decent human being) can still operate under constraints they haven’t examined. We all do it. It’s getting to the point where you can dig it up and examine it that’s the hard bit.

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