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Link of the Day
Helping children understand and avoid racist attitudes, words, and actions
Annotated links on topics of interest to Christian feminists
What’s New on Christian Feminism Today
What Can Christians Learn from the “Mystery Dress” Phenomenon?
by Letha Dawson Scanzoni
What the social media sensation created over a dress color teaches us about different views in all areas of life.
ViewPoint – “Shades of Gray: Toward a Real-Life Christian Sexual Ethics” Peg Conway reacts to an Illinois sexual assault with ties to the book and movie, 50 Shades of Grey. She suggests using Margaret Farley’s seven norms for evaluating a sexual relationship as a guide for establishing an affirming sexual ethic.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “A Fish Story: Mother Jesus Serves Breakfast—John 21:1-14″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 46
Reta discusses another of Jesus’s post-resurrection appearances, this time in the role of a mother cooking breakfast for her children.
The Supreme Court and Same-Sex Marriage: Part 1 of a Three-Part Series
by Julia K. Stronks
In Part 1 of a 3-part series, political science professor Julia Stronks explains ways the Supreme Court might rule on same-sex marriage.
Ain’t I a Womanist Too?: Third World Womanist Religious Thought by Monica A. Coleman
The essays included in this volume illustrate the growing movement created to encourage African American women to “Lift Up Their Voices” in testimony— not to receive accolades but to light the way for those who are struggling to find the freedom to be who they are.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “A ‘Touching’ Group Appearance—John 20:19-31″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 45
Reta discusses the disciple Thomas’s doubt and his demand for firsthand evidence before he is willing to believe in Jesus’s resurrection.
Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe
by Erin S. Lane
Erin S. Lane’s lessons lead her, not to join her church, but to see the value in belonging to her faith community, and to being steadfast. She acknowledges that the presence of the Holy Spirit pulls her in, while what pushes her away is a continuing feeling of lost-ness.
ViewPoint – “Domestic Violence Allegations in the Faith-Based Community: How Shall We Respond?”
Dr. Christy Sim writes that when confronted with allegations of abuse, people of faith must listen with open hearts and resist the urge to rush in to protect those in power.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “A Pivotal Reunion in the Garden—John 20:1-18″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 44
In this lesson, Dr. Finger calls Mary Magdalene “the first apostle” because of what she knew and the task the Risen Jesus gave her to do.
ViewPoint – “Pontifical Council for Culture: Women’s Equality and Difference”
Ashley Cason (student presenter at the 2014 EEWC-Christian Feminism Today conference) reacts to the 2015 Pontifical Council for Culture: Women’s Equality and Difference with disappointment.
Joan Chittister: Light and Wisdom
by Mary Lou Kownacki and Mary Hembrow Snyder
Jean Rodenbaugh, former PC(USA) minister and Benedictine Oblate, writes this review essay about the book, Joan Chittister: Essentials Writings. Conclusion? This book is a must-have for your library.
Whispering the Word: Hearing Women’s Stories in the Old Testament
by Jacqueline E. Lapsley
Reviewer Corbin Lambeth offers a look at Dr. Jacqueline Lapsley’s “accessible, powerful, and brilliant” book.
Evolution and Creationism: A False Dichotomy
by Sierra Donahue
Rather than opposing sides in an eternal battle, belief in God’s creation of the universe is compatible with belief in evolution.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Jesus’s Burial and the Meaning of the Empty Tomb—John 19:38-20:10″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 43
Reta examines ancient Jewish burial customs as background for understanding Jesus’s burial and resurrection.
ViewPoint – “How Marcus Borg Taught Me to Read the Bible”
Kendra Weddle Irons remembers the great writer and scholar, Marcus Borg, who died early in 2015.
Helpmates, Harlots, and Heroes: Women’s Stories in the Hebrew Bible
By Alice Ogden Bellis
“These women are worth another look. And another. And another, and in the hands of a talented writer and researcher such as Bellis, that goes double.” Susan Cambell reviews the book.
The 2015 Gay Christian Network Conference and weconnect Women’s Retreat
Portland, Oregon was the site of the 2015 #GCNConf. Several CFT members attended and we’re publishing interviews and reflections on the Where She Is blog.
Posts related to the 2015 Gay Christian Network Conference:
weconnect— Featured Speaker Wendy Gritter
weconnect— Wendy Gritter Interview
An Opportunity to Practice Grace and Love by Criselda Marquez
Trauma and the LGBTQ Christian
Our Job Starts and Stops with Loving Each Other
Together At the Table: Inclusive Communion and Intimate Conversations by Erica Lea
The Words of the LGBTQ Christian Experience
Precious God, Forgive Them, Because They KNOW What They’re Doing
Dios Precioso, Perdónalos, Porque Ellos SABEN lo que Están Haciendo
The Gay Christian Network Conference: The Kingdom of God Unfolding (guest post by Marcy Bain)
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Crucified, Dead, and Buried—John 19:16b-42″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 42
Describing crucifixion under Roman rule, Reta shows why seeing Jesus’s death as fulfillment of scripture was so important to his followers.
The Gospel of Sophia, Volume I: The Biographies of the Divine Feminine Trinity
by Tyla Gabriel, N.D.
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott reviews Tyla Gabriel’s book which argues Sophia is a threefold Goddess existing with and complementing the threefold God.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Jesus, Pilate, and ‘The Jews': The Empire Strikes Back—John 18:28–19:16a”
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 41
Dr. Finger presents this lesson as a seven-scene drama, shedding light on the political shenanigans of the rival parties at Jesus’s trial.
New ViewPoint – “‘With his Stripes’— The Messiah Resonates in 2014″ by Anne Eggebroten
Part Two of Handel’s oratorio, “The Messiah” takes on a particularly poignant meaning after the release of details about state-sanctioned torture.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Jesus’s Trial before Pilate: Not What You Expect—John 18:29-19:16a”
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 40
Reta describes the intertwining of politics and religion in first century Palestine, as elite Jewish leaders collaborated with the Roman occupiers.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Arrest and Trial by Night—John 18:1-27″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 39
By drawing upon the politics, culture, and language of the ancient world, Reta furthers our understanding of the arrest and trial of Jesus.
ViewPoint – “Pray For Those Who Murder You” by Anne Eggebroten
“Extremists on both sides celebrate murdering the innocent. Leaders on both sides condone revenge killing. Hamas lauded the synagogue murders, and last summer most Israelis supported the bombing of civilians in Gaza.”
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott reviews the classic feminist novel and finds it reads differently than the way she remembers it.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Praying for Myself, Us, and Them—John 17:1-26″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 38
Dr. Finger compares Jesus’s prayer for his disciples in John 17 to the intermediary work of a broker in the ancient Roman patronage system.
Introducing the Divine Feminine Version (DFV) of the New Testament
by Mark Mattison
An editor of the DFV describes the work of creating this groundbreaking version of the New Testament.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Living in a Hostile World—John 16:1-33″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 37
Reta explains Jesus’s warning about the secular and religious animosity the disciples would face and his promise of the Spirit’s comfort.
ViewPoint – “El Dia de los Muertos” by Anne Eggebroten
Mexico’s drug war, 26,000 people missing since 2006, government officials complicit in illegal acts —The Day of the Dead takes on new meaning.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “A Vineyard of Friendship—John 15:1-17″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 36
Dr. Finger discusses the organic relationship between a vine and its branches as an illustration of the new family Jesus came to create.
ViewPoint – “In Search of Life-Giving Christian Symbols”
by Rev. Jann Aldredge-Clanton, PhD.
“The emphasis on the cross leads to the glorification of violence and death rather than the love and abundant life that Jesus taught.”
Marg shares a short poem and and a photo for National Poetry Day (October 2, 2014).
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Questions and Misunderstandings—John 14:1-31″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 35
Dr. Reta Finger shows us the tenderness in Jesus’s farewell address, as he describes his death as “going to prepare a place for you.”
“I Am in Recovery and I Am Blessed – #RecoveryMonth”
Casey O’Leary reflects on what it means to be in recovery in this guest post. September is National Recovery Month in the US.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Loyalty and Betrayal among Beloved Friends—John 13:18-38″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 34
Reta helps us ponder Judas’s motives in betraying Jesus and how this betrayal and shameful death ironically led to Jesus’s glorification.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “The Way Up Is Way Down—John 13:1-17″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 33
Reta explains why washing feet was so crucial in biblical times and what Jesus was teaching the disciples (and us) when he washed their feet.
Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God’s Delivering Presence in the Old Testament
by L. Juliana M. Claassens
Reviewed by Peg Conway
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Gethsemane in a New Setting—John 12:20-50″
Studies in John’s Gospel—Bible Study Lesson 32
Reta shows how John’s Gospel places Jesus’s mental anguish over his coming death in a context different from that of the Synoptic Gospels.
Feminist Faith-Based Social Justice:
How feminists of faith can collaborate to amplify our voices and deepen our collective impact by Mary E. Hunt
A plenary presentation delivered at the EEWC-Christian Feminism Today 2014 Gathering on June 27, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven
by Darlene O’Dell
The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me: The Writings of Suzanne Hiatt
edited by Carter Heyward and Janine Lehane
Looking Forward, Looking Backward: Forty Years of Women’s Ordination
edited by Frederica Harris Thompsett
ViewPoint – “Girl Scout Barbie? Are you KIDDING me?” by Rev. Deb Vaughn. Rev. Deb Vaughn can’t believe that the Girl Scouts sold out to Mattel and are letting them market a “Girl Scout Barbie.”
“Shame: Five Letters” Marg writes, “Shame tries to fill up all the space in my heart and mind. Shame finds God’s resting place and throws an obnoxious party. Shame looks for stillness and fills it with trembling and all the wrong words.”
ViewPoint – It’s Time for Transnational Feminism by Anne Eggebroten. Anne calls for feminists to adopt a transnational outlook in the face of violence targeting civilians in Gaza and across the globe.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Political Street Theater—John 12:9-19″
Dr. Finger discusses the meanings of the impromptu parade that formed as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey amidst shouts of “Hosanna.”
Hobby Lobby, Pluralism and Frustration
by Julia Stronks, J.D., Ph.D.
Professor Stronks explains the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and how it will open the door to more litigation for years to come.
The Christian Feminism Today 2014 Gathering was held in St. Louis the last weekend in June. Read a recap of the events by Anne Eggebroten and reflections from two first-time attendees, Ashley Cason and Abigail Pope. Click here.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “Mary the Anointer—John 12:1-8″
Dr, Finger discusses the story of Jesus’s anointing by Mary of Bethany in John 12 and compares it to similar stories in other Gospel accounts.
“In the Roar of the Storm” Marg describes the difficult emotional experience she finds herself having, and explains that God is not always present in the ways we have been taught, in the ways we expect.
The Stories Clergywomen Tell: How Women are Challenging Sexism in the Church, Kendra Weddle Irons reviews two books about women clergy: Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling: Equipping & Encouraging Female Pastors by Christine A. Smith; and Streams Run Uphill: Conversations with Young Clergywomen of Color by Mihee Kim-Kort.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “A Tomb with a View—John 11:38-57; 12:9-11″
Dr. Finger explains how the political drama surrounding Jesus’s raising of Lazarus pointed toward Jesus’s own death and resurrection.
Jennifer Newman, a student at George Fox University is the the 2014 Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship Recipient! Read more about Jennifer here. Read more about the Nancy A. Hardesty Memorial Scholarship here.
Reta’s Reflections blog post “A Household of Beloved Disciples—John 11:17-37″
Reta describes the closeness of Jesus’s friendship with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, and his human expression of grief over Lazarus’s death.
Is There Healing for the Church’s “Mother Wound”?
by Susan Cottrell
The evangelical church seems to suffers from a “Mother Wound,” in which task-focus completely dominates, and relationship-focus has no room to grow.
The Trans-Evangelist: The Life and Times of a Transgender Pentecostal Preacher
by Sister Paula Nielsen
Reviewed by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
Reta’s Reflections blog post “An (Un)Fortunate Illness? — John 11:1-16“
Reta generously shares her gifts as a biblical scholar and communicator, relating the Bible to today’s issues.
“A Tiny Little Girl and a Smiling Man (#Yes All Women)” Marg Herder describes an incident that happened to her when she was very young and how she knew, even at five years old, some men were dangerous.
Embodying the Sacred: A Spiritual Preparation for Birth
by Peg Conway
Reviewed by Greta Leinbach Kreider
Removing My Inner Blockages to Love:
How A Course in Miracles Transformed My Life
by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
Dr. Mollenkott describes the impact “A Course in Miracles” has had on her life, and asks readers to submit their questions.
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
by Matthew Vines
Reviewed by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
ViewPoint – Becoming Feminist: Conceiving and Creating by Karissa Knox Sorrell. After a miscarriage, writer Karissa Knox Sorrell finds a new understanding of herself as a woman and creator.
Gaia, Sallie McFague, and You Walk into a Bar. . . Christian Ecofeminist Theology Today
by Erica Lea
Celebrate Earth Day by learning more about Christian Ecofeminist Theology. “It is not enough to talk about creation care and preservation—or even enough to make meaningful changes, big and small, for positive creation stewardship. “
Blind Spots and New Vision: Virginia Mollenkott’s The Divine Feminine
Reviewed by JoMae Spoelhof
“Mom, I’m Gay”: Loving Your LGBTQ Child without Sacrificing Your Faith
by Susan Cottrell
Reviewed by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
The Oriented to Love Dialog Marg shares a week-long series of posts inspired by her participation in the Oriented to Love dialog, a program sponsored by Evangelicals for Social Action. Over the course of three days thirteen people with different opinions explored the issue of “sexual diversity and the church.”
Posts inspired by the Oriented to Love dialog:
Introduction to the Series
Of the Mystery and Miracles
Questions and Consequences
All these Words
What Am I Really Afraid Of?
The Huge Knot of Misunderstanding
The Unbelievable Bottom Line (on the Evangelicals for Social Action website)
ViewPoint – “Why Doesn’t Church Work Anymore?” Esther Emery does have an answer. “I wonder, sometimes, if our disenchantment with flesh-and-blood church is simply a matter of having access to a profoundly effective and spiritually satisfying alternative.” She’s talking about the Internet.
Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
By Nadia Bolz-Weber
Reviewed by Susan Campbell
Contraception, Religious Freedom, and the Supreme Court
Political science professor Julia Stronks explains the history, legal arguments, and principles behind the Hobby Lobby religious freedom case before the Supreme Court.
ViewPoint – “Sex-Positive Marital Fidelity and the Feminine Face of God” Ester Emery writes, “Where the problem is objectification of the female, restoration comes in knowing the divinity of the female. Where the problem is profanity and commodification of our sexual selves, restoration comes in knowing sex as a sacred union: a mystical union between two expressions of God’s presence in the world.”
Ordered Order—Conservative Christians’ Love Affair with Hierarchy
by Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha discusses conservative Christians’ view of social order based on hierarchy, with assigned roles for husbands and wives.
When Christians Contemplate Suicide
by Cliff Williams
Philosophy professor Cliff Williams explains why some Christians have attempted suicide and how others could have helped them feel cared about.
There Is More than One Christian View on Homosexuality
by Letha Dawson Scanzoni
After the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA and Prop 8 it seemed there was only one Christian view presented in the media, one of intolerance. Letha Dawson Scanzoni makes it clear that is certainly not the only Christian view.
Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism
by David R. Swartz
Reviewed by Mark William Olson
ViewPoint “God is Not a Guy, and Neither Am I!” by Jann-Aldredge Clanton ViewPoint is a blog in which different writers express their personal perspectives on various topics of current interest. It’s a blog of many voices.
Old Treasures Article – “The ‘She’ in My Pocket” An Old Treasure is one of our favorite articles from the print version of Christian Feminism Today which has been republished on the website. Our latest Old Treasure feature is a 2009 article written by Marg Herder, “The ‘She’ in My Pocket.”
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