Gender 

The masculine and feminine God

When it comes to discussing gender and faith where should you start? Well, the nature of God would seem to be a good place, although even here it is contended ground. On the egalitarian side is the statement: God is spirit. So Claire Jones in an article at Threads writes, God is not male. Everyone with me so far? Jesus affirms that ‘God is spirit’. Christian doctrine has always generally agreed that gender is a creaturely distinction, and one that requires a body – though that obviously throws up a few…

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Gender 

The state of men

Something is wrong with boys & men: this, of course, is not news to anyone. The causes and solutions are much debated but something is up. There are problems that seem to be getting worse. Take for example education. Girls are outclassing boys at school and university level. Statistically something has changed in the last 40 years, girls have not only caught up but overtaken boys and have they have done so – the rate widened. It’s complicated and it has confused policy makers because at one level it seems that…

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Woman pulling luggage in airport Gender 

Like luggage

“In our country the women are going on ahead and the men are being dragged along like luggage. The problem is not with the women, the problem is with the men.” So said my new friend while I was quizzing him and his wife about their spiritual journey and church planting adventures. I’m sure his diagnosis has people nodding heads from across both sides of the gender debate. There is nothing particularly new about that insight. He told me how he was introduced ten years or so ago to the preaching…

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Gender 

Celebrating difference

We had an interesting discussion at church on Sunday, seated round our kitchen table, sparked off by Colossians 3:18-4:1. One of the women related how, on the child minding course she is studying, she received lower marks for not agreeing to the idea that boys and girls are the same and by this they mean no different at all. In order, it is thought, to have true equality you cannot say there are differences. It’s a peculiarly Swedish approach. The instinctive reaction around the table, from men and women from…

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Gender 

The gender conversation 4: Faith & feminism

There’s no doubting that gender continues to occupy a lot of time, space & energy in the church. It regularly raises the emotions and generates a lot of heat and little light. It can also put Christians into camps where the ‘the other side’ can be seen, talked about & treated as a problem or worse ‘the enemy’. In the church this is nothing short of disastrous. So I’ve invited Hannah Mudge to a blog conversation with me about faith and gender. Click here for part 1, part 2, part…

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Gender 

The gender conversation 2: Lad culture, porn & modest women

There’s no doubting that gender continues to occupy a lot of time, space & energy in the church. It regularly raises the emotions and generates a lot of heat and little light. It can also put Christians into camps where the ‘the other side’ can be seen, talked about & treated as a problem or worse ‘the enemy’. In the church this is nothing short of disastrous. So I’ve invited Hannah Mudge to a blog conversation with me about faith and gender. Follow the links for previous posts: part 1:…

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Articles Featured Posts Gender 

Junia or Junias?

A while ago I read Steve Holmes review of Scot McKnight’s Junia is not Alone: Breaking our silence about women in the Bible and the church today. Holmes recounts that McKnight gives a history of how Junia became Junias and then Junia again. The highlighted quote is, “Let me be clear once more: the editors of the Greek New Testaments killed Junia. They killed her by silencing her into non-existence. They murdered that innocent woman by erasing her from the footnotes.” That’s strong stuff. Academic murder no less. McKnight’s argument is…

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Gender 

"There is no male or female"

So says Galatians 3:28, a verse that is often the battleground within evangelicalism about gender roles. However while evangelicals debate what scripture permits or forbids women to do within the church, outside the sacred walls a whole different debate is heating up. To get a feel for the terrain I suggest reading this article from the BBC that describes the legal disputes on behalf of those who see themselves as transgendered. In this case it is two men who live as women but who have not had any corrective surgery. Biologically…

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