Christian, Where is your Hope?

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NASB)

Hope is the first of the four themes for advent. All too often we speak of hope in a wishful way. “I hope I make it to work on time.” “I hope you’re feeling better.” “Hopefully, my children will sleep tonight.” This kind of uncertain, wishful thinking is not what it means to have hope in Christ. In Christ, we have assurance. We have security. We have a Savior who has come, fulfilling the prophecies of old, and who will come again! Maranatha!

One advent season, I began thinking about where I often put my hope, and where it ought to be. To remind myself, I made a list of where my hope should not be:

  • My hope is not in my finances.
  • My hope is not in my health.
  • My hope is not in my children.
  • My hope is not in my husband and his love for me.
  • My hope is not in my career or my professional success.
  • My hope is not in my ability to control my life.
  • My hope is not in my appearance.
  • My hope is not in my self-reliance or independence.
  • My hope is not in those around me.
  • My hope is not in me.

All of these things are fleeting. All will ultimately disappoint. None will satisfy. None will save. None are secure. If I have everything the world offers, I could lose it tomorrow. My only hope is in Christ. He will not fail.

The Heidelberg Catechism teaches us where our comfort or hope comes from as believers:

What is your only comfort in life and death?

That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil. He also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, all things must work together for my salvation. Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.

Christ is our only sure hope. Our salvation is secure in Him. God has saved us, God is saving us, God will save us. Past, present, and future. All are certain in Him. We have great hope.

As the words of the hymn say, “He then is all my Hope and Stay.” Rejoice today in the hope of Christ!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne. — Edward Mote

Getting to the Root

With the recent discussions about the Genevan Commons Facebook group, there is something important that I think needs to be addressed. The reason Aimee Byrd and I (and many others) are under attack is that we are seen as a threat to certain beliefs that some hold dear. Despite claims to the contrary, we are Biblical, Reformed, orthodox, and confessional in our beliefs and in what we write and say.

As I’ve written elsewhere, I am not a feminist or an egalitarian by any actual definitions of the terms. The same goes for Aimee Byrd. We both affirm the following beliefs regarding men, women, and gender:

  • God made humans, male and female, in His own image (see Gen. 1:26–27)
  • in Christ, men and women are equal before God (see Gal. 3:28)
  • women and men are interdependent and should serve each other (see 1 Cor. 11:11–12)
  • marriage was designed to be between one man and one woman—ideally for life (see Gen. 2:24)
  • husbands are called to sacrificial, servant leadership of their wives and to love them as Christ loves the church (see Eph. 5:25–33)
  • wives are called to yield voluntarily to their husbands—to submit to them as the church submits to Christ (see Eph. 5:22–24)
  • only qualified men should be ordained leaders in the church (see 1 Tim. 3:1–13)
Rachel Green Miller, Beyond Authority and Submission, 15-16.

As Byrd wrote in Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:

God made man and woman: he instituted marriage to be a unity between one man and one woman; sex is a fruit of this unifying bond; and life is a gift from God. Men and women are not androgynous. Gender is not fluid … Men and women are very much alike. And yet they are also distinct.

Aimee Byrd, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 19.

Our beliefs are consistent with the Scriptures and with the confessional standards of our Reformed denomination. So what’s the problem? While the attacks are frequently framed in terms of our being unbiblical, anti-confessional, and part of a “reformed downgrade,” the underlying concern is the threat we pose to patriarchy.

These men see themselves engaged in a war for “patriarchy” and against “feminism.” Michael Spangler, in a series of posts that ran on the Daily Genevan blog, explained his concerns:

The enemy is feminism. By feminism I mean the ideology that disputes the following facts:

1. God made men stronger, and appointed them to public work, and to rule in family, church, and state. (1 Sam. 4:9; 1 Cor. 16:13; Gen. 3:19; Prov. 31:23; 1 Tim. 3:1; 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:23; 1 Tim. 3:4; 1 Tim. 2:8, 12; 3:2; Titus 1:6; Ex. 18:21; Prov. 31:23; Num. 1:2–3)

2. God made women weaker, and appointed them to domestic work, and to submit to the rule of men. (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Tim. 2:14; Prov. 31:27; 1 Tim. 2:15; 5:14; Titus 2:5; 1 Cor. 11:7–9; Eph. 5:22; 1 Cor. 14:35; Ps. 68:12; Isa. 3:12)

A good one-word summary of these facts of nature, and of Scripture, is patriarchy, “father-rule.” Feminism is its opposite. The desire that unites all feminists is, as they say, to “smash the patriarchy.”

Michael Spangler, https://web.archive.org/web/20200516192941/http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/12/Feminism_In_The_Reformed_Churches_1_The_Leaders

Before we go on, it’s important to clarify how these terms are being used. When I say that these men are defending “patriarchy,” I don’t mean “patriarchy” as a nebulous boogieman comprised of any type of male leadership or masculinity. I’m using the term as they define it. For example, Blake Blount (The Daily Genevan) defines patriarchy as “a universally recognized (except by modern Westerners) feature of the world, and the resulting attempt to live with the grain of nature.” Spangler writes, “Patriarchy is not merely a matter of ‘thus saith nature,’ but all the more, ‘thus saith the Lord.’”

“Feminism,” as they define it, is anything that disputes that ideology. Any disagreement with their belief in the natural rule of men over women in all spheres of life or in “the natural inferiority of the female sex” is evidence of “feminism.” According to them, “feminism infiltrated our culture at large and is destroying our churches,” “feminism is a form of unbelief,” and “feminism ruins everything.”

It’s not enough that Aimee and I (and others similarly condemned as “feminists”) believe that men and women are distinct and complementary, that husbands are leaders of their families, that wives should submit to their husbands, that marriage should be between one man and one woman, that sex should be within the bonds of marriage, that abortion is wrong, that motherhood is a blessing, and that only qualified men should be ordained in our churches. Until we agree with their beliefs about the nature of men and women, we will be marked as enemies:

This is how feminism creeps in: by first questioning the scriptural command for women to be keepers of the home while slowly eroding created and natural distinctions between men and women. Feminists might give lip service to the notion that pastors are to be men but once they are done removing all the distinctions by teaching and preaching to many men, that notion will be a quaint relic easily discarded. …

Women like Aimee Byrd, Rachel Greene Miller {sic}, Beth Moore, and Valerie Hobbs have begun the process of asking “has God really said?” At first, they have tried to get beyond submission and authority. And then next, they play the victim card as recoverees from biblical masculinity and femininity.

Joseph Spurgeon, https://web.archive.org/web/20200524043557/https://crosspolitic.com/jim-im-a-pastor-not-a-doctor-feminism-aimee-byrd-and-mark-jones/

And what do they believe about the nature or ontology of men and women? Here are a few examples.

Shane Anderson:

Michael Spangler:

since the Greeks and Romans were at their best merely seasoned nature guides, pointing out truths that should be obvious to all who live on earth. Such truths as, that women’s bodies and souls show that they were made for bearing and nursing children, and for the quiet refuge of the home. That men’s bodies and souls testify to their place as public aggressors, powerfully pursuing a vocation, not the softer life of domesticity. That families ordered according to these realities are consistently happier. …

Why, we ask Paul, may women not preach (1 Tim. 2:12)? Because, as Satan knew, they are by nature more easily deceived (v. 14; cf. 1 Peter 3:7; 2 Tim. 3:6). The weaker vessel is not made for the rigors of the gospel ministry. They shouldn’t preach, because they can’t.

Michael Spangler https://web.archive.org/web/20200615131239/http://www.thedailygenevan.com/blog/2020/5/16/Feminism_In_The_Reformed_Churches_3_The_Book_Tactics

Steven Wedgeworth:

Of course, very few people in Western cultures today are willing to state that male leadership is a natural law and that it should be taken as a general truth for all of human social life …

Women are not permitted to lead in the church because they are not permitted to hold positions of leadership in general. This is not only a matter of individual gifts but also of a kind of sexual hierarchy. The teaching office is an office of “superiority.” Ecclesiastical ordination is a subset of the larger question of political authority. Hierarchy is front and center. …

God’s command is exegeted not only from the text of Scripture but also the book of nature. It exists within the very fabric of creation. Male-only ordination is not only right. It is fitting.

Steven Wedgeworth, https://web.archive.org/web/20200609101308/https://calvinistinternational.com/2019/01/16/male-only-ordination-is-natural-why-the-church-is-a-model-of-reality/

Similar concerns about ontology or natural theology/law appear in many critical reviews of our books:

It is evident that Mrs. Miller defines men and women as substantially equivalent and that the “co-laboring” she sees in Scripture is a partnership of ontological equals. The only differentiation she allows is found in the stubborn realities of biology in the home and ordination in the church. Biology plainly teaches that women are built to bear children, and one cannot contradict biology. Paul plainly teaches male only ordination, and one cannot contradict the apostle.

But wisdom is found in knowing the causes of things. Why did Paul teach what he did? This is never addressed in Mrs. Miller’s book. The reason for this lacuna is a failure to wrestle with relevant ontology. There is some ontological discussion in chapters 1 and 7, but none of it is relevant to the question of men and women, masculinity and femininity. This is where Mrs. Miller’s book fails. This is also where most of today’s voices who speak to this question are failing as well.

Bennie Castle, https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3R6N9N21E499D/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1629956112

There’s also a non-existent Reformed ontology of males and females, which is the biggest weakness in the book.

Mark Jones, https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/RWRG5U7O417UJ/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07XFRQGJK

Does natural law or natural theology have anything to teach us about the inherent ontological differences between men and women as those differences relate to authority and submission? If so, how might that affect our understanding of male and female roles in the church and society (apart from the limited question of ordination)?

Jonathan Master, https://web.archive.org/web/20200623040228/https://www.reformation21.org/blog/questions-for-aimee

These beliefs about the nature of men and women play out in practical ways, as evidenced in the comments from the Genevan Commons group. I wrote Beyond Authority and Submission because of my concerns about what is being taught about the nature of men and women and because of how women are being treated:

The world is watching how the church treats women, how it responds
to abuse, and how it protects the vulnerable—or fails them. When women are belittled, when men in authority dismiss abuse charges and circle the wagons, when churches and institutions fail to protect the weak and vulnerable, the world sees this and judges. And it’s not only the individuals and particular churches that are judged. The gospel, Christianity, the universal church, and Christ Himself are judged by our response to abuse. As Paul warned, the gospel is in danger of being reviled because of our actions.

Rachel Green Miller, Beyond Authority and Submission, 241.

Because I want to be faithful to Scripture, and I want to uphold our Reformed confessions, I will continue to work to address areas such as these where extrabiblical and unbiblical ideas and beliefs are influencing what’s taught in our churches. What’s going on at the root of these discussions is too important to ignore.

Update: True Woman 101

A few years ago, I wrote a review of True Woman 101: Divine Design, a book by Mary Kassian and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. One of the concerns I mentioned was a quote from the book about the Trinity. Here’s the quote as it appears in my review:

The first relationship mirrored the image of God. In the Trinity, individual and distinct beings are joined in an inseparable unity. The individual members (Father, Son, and Spirit) are joined as part of the collective whole (God).

(93, all page numbers from the ebook version)

In my review, I wrote that “I realize that this is most likely an example of sloppy word choice, but it’s very, very important how we talk about the Trinity.”

Yesterday, a couple of women reached out to me to ask about my review. In our discussions, I discovered that the quoted section from True Woman 101 has been edited since I read the book and wrote my review. The quoted section now says:

The first relationship appears to reflect the image of God. In the Trinity, individual and distinct persons are joined in an inseparable unity. The individual persons (Father, Son, and Spirit) are joined as part of the ONE (God).

The new quote is a marked improvement over the original. The language describing the Trinity is better than what I quoted in my review, but still problematic. I’m glad the authors, editors, and/or publisher made this change. I continue to have concerns about the book, but that concern has been addressed.

In case you’d like to compare the quotes, I was able to find the following through Amazon “Look inside” and Google book preview by searching for “Trinity.” Amazon’s “Look inside” feature shows the original quote as I gave it in my review:

Google book preview shows the updated version:

Theology Gals Journals

Coleen and I are excited to announce the new Theology Gals journals. These sermon notebooks, memory workbooks, and Bible study journals are now available through Amazon.

Sermon Notebooks

We’ve put together three sermon notebooks to use during Sunday worship. The first is for younger children. The Younger Children’s Sermon Notebook for Kids has fun and engaging journal pages designed to help your children focus and remember key details. Also included are pages for coloring or drawing. Perfect for children as they learn to read and write.

For older kids, we have the Sermon Notebook for Kids: Older Children. The Older Children’s Sermon Notebook for Kids has fun and engaging journal pages designed to help your children focus and remember key details. Also included are pages for addtional note taking. Perfect for older children as they learn to take notes.

We also have a sermon notebook for teens and adults. This 52-week Sermon Notebook provides you with two pages for note taking each week: a weekly sermon outline page with sections to record the sermon passage, speaker, date, keywords, and prayer requests and lined notepaper for additional notes.

Memory Work Journals

Do you want to teach your children the Reformed catechisms but aren’t sure where to start? Would you like a guide to help you plan and record Scripture verse memorization? Memorizing Scripture verses and catechism questions and answers helps us learn what we believe. The Memory Work Journal Volume 1 includes the Catechism for Young Children based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Lord’s Prayer, and a selection of Bible verses and passages. The memory work journals are available in print and Kindle.

The Memory Work Journal Volume 2 includes the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Apostles’ Creed, and a selection of Bible verses and passages. Ideal for middle school and older. Available in print and Kindle versions.

The Memory Work Journal Volume 3 includes the Heidelberg Catechism, the Nicene Creed, and a selection of Bible verses and passages. Perfect for older children and teens. Available in print and Kindle versions.

Bible Study and Prayer Journals

Would you like to read the Bible through in a year, but you aren’t sure where to start? This BIble reading plan alternates between Old Testament and New Testament books completing one book at a time. On the weekends, you’ll read from the Psalms on Saturdays and a chapter from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, or Song of Songs on Sundays. This plan allows you to get the feel for the flow of each book while also providing time to focus on smaller portions of the Wisdom Literature. The Bible in a Year journal alternates weekly Bible reading assignments with journal pages. The journal pages can be used to copy down verses or passages to refer back to or to take notes about what you’ve read.

Bible reading and prayer are two of the ordinary means of grace that God uses to build us up in Christ. A Bible Study and Prayer Journal gives you a place to record your weekly prayers and Bible reading. Journal pages are provided for you to take notes, to write out memory verses, or to keep track of questions for further study. Prayer list pages alternate with the journal pages.

A Marathon, Not a Sprint

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling with anxiety this week. Our lives are full of uncertainty, and everyone is trying to figure out how to live, work, parent, and school while stuck at home. Since we already homeschool, our day to day lives are pretty much the same, although I’m a little concerned about the dwindling t.p. supply.

So I was a little surprised by how anxious and emotional I was feeling towards the end of the week. And then it dawned on me, the social distancing and isolation is bringing back really unpleasant memories of my pregnancy with my youngest.

I was extremely sick with my last pregnancy. I had hyperemesis gravidarum which basically means I couldn’t stop throwing up, and I lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t even keep water down. From week 7 to week 24, I rarely left the house.

I missed family gatherings, birthdays, Easter, and week after week of church. It was awful, and the worst part (besides the relentless nausea) was not knowing when I’d feel better. The strain was as much emotional as it was physical.

I realized at some point that what I was going through was a marathon and not a sprint. It didn’t help to push myself or get mad when I couldn’t do everything I was used to doing. I needed to be patient, rest, and learn to live with my limitations. I also had to lower my expectations and adjust my priorities.

So here’s my encouragement for everyone stuck at home trying to balance work and life and parenting and school. First thing, go easy on yourself and your family. Everyone is stressed. No one is coping as well as we’d like to be.

Next, be realistic with your expectations. At the end of each day, if everyone is fed, clothed, relatively clean, and the house is still standing, you’ve done what you needed to today. That’s priority one.

You don’t need to live up to anyone else’s standards. It’s ok if you can’t do everything. Your kids will be ok even if they don’t learn anything while they’re home. We’re in survival mode. It won’t last forever. As hard as it seems right now, things will go back to normal eventually. So hug your family, get some rest, trust in the Lord, do what you can, and try not to worry about what you can’t.

P.S. if you’re feeling especially stressed, I strongly recommend limiting your time on social media and watching/reading the news. Get outside if you can and do something active. Coleen and I talked with Ashley Glassick in recent episode on Anxiety, Depression, and Self Care. I hope our discussion encourages you.

Theology Gals Series on Essential Doctrines

Coleen Sharp and I have just wrapped up our series on essential doctrines. I’m putting the links here in case you haven’t had a chance to listen to the full series. We had a great set of topics, and I hope you’ll find them helpful. Our next series will be on the church. I’m looking forward to sharing those with you too.

Creeds and Confessions: We started the series with an episode on the importance of the creeds and confessions.

The Trinity – Eternal Functional Subordination with Glenn Butner: In this episode, Coleen and I interviewed Glenn Butner on the doctrine of the Trinity and eternal subordination with Glenn Butner. Glenn’s book is extremely helpful: The Son Who Learned Obedience: A Theological Case Against the Eternal Submission of the Son

Federal Vision: A Gospel Issue: We did 2 episodes on federal vision and why it’s a threat to the gospel. Part 1 focuses on the history and doctrines of Federal Vision and explain how Federal Vision is a threat to the gospel. 

Federal Vision: A Gospel Issue: In part 2, we continue our discussion Federal Vision and respond to typical statements about the topic. 

The Humanity of Christ: Coleen and I talk about the nature of Christ. In particular we address a couple of questions about empathy and servant leadership.

The Importance of Understanding the Law and Gospel: We talk about the importance of law and gospel and show the emphasis on law and gospel in the Reformed Faith.

Understanding the Law: This week Coleen and I discussed the three divisions and uses of the law. 

What is the Gospel? with Pastor John Fonville: This week is part one of a two part series with John Fonville. In part one we focus on the gospel and law and gospel.

Antinomianism and Legalism with John Fonville: This week is part two of a two part series with John Fonville. In part two we discuss antinomianism and legalism. 

Assurance: Coleen and I discussed the topic of assurance. One of the dangers of false teaching like we’ve been addressing in this series is the undermining of assurance.

The Work of the Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is often overlooked or misunderstood. Coleen and I discussed who the Spirit is and what He does in the life of believers.

Good Works: Despite claims to the contrary, Coleen and I are not antinomians. We strongly believe Christians should do good works. As R. Scott Clark writes, the question isn’t whether but why.

Essential Doctrines: Series Wrap Up: In this episode, we wrap up and summarize our series on essential doctrines. We also briefly discuss what’s up next.

Podcast Series on Counseling

My pastor, Todd Bordow, and his co-host, Chris Caughey, have a weekly podcast. Recently they’ve been doing a series on counseling, and I highly recommend it. Here are the links for the series episodes so far:

Critique of Nouthetic Counseling: “Staying with our Meredith Kline Applied series, we start a new section on counseling. This week we critique nouthetic counseling. The main reason for this is it was the counseling model that we were taught in seminary. It is also a popular model in Reformed churches. However, we also critique other counseling models as well.”

Counseling Continued: “Though we are not talking specifically about nouthetic counseling this week, we are talking about what Meredith Kline’s biblical theology might have to say to us about how we should counsel people in our churches. First we talk about verbal and non verbal ways of helping each other. Then we talk about some general principles of love, grace, and care.”

The Elephant in the Room: “In this episode, we talk about a very difficult topic. If you have children younger than teenagers who listen to the podcast, this episode is probably not for them. First, we spend some time talking about a general approach to ministering to a local church on the part of pastors and elders. Next, we turn to the topic of pornography. As it turns out, what Kline taught us about the nature of the New Covenant has profound implications for helping those who struggle with pornography.”

Narcissists and Manipulators: “This week we talk about a particular kind of person who is attracted to Christian churches. This episode may be the least related to Meredith Kline’s theology. But Kline’s understanding of the fall certainly helps us to see how there can be narcissists and manipulators.”

Men & Women: “This week we talk about what Meredith Kline’s theology has to say about men, women, and gender roles.  We will focus on Kline’s eschatology.  Hopefully this is helpful for both men and women.”

Links and Notes

I realize it’s been a while since I posted anything here. It’s hard to find the time to blog like I used to. Honestly, since the launch of Beyond Authority and Submission, I’ve found it difficult to write. It’s especially daunting to know that everything I say can and will be used against me. For today, I’d like to share a couple of articles.

First is an article I wrote recently for Modern Reformation, Is There a Place for Priscilla in Our Churches?

Within the conservative, Reformed world, the opinions on whether or not women can teach theology to men cover a wide spectrum. Some believe that women can do anything in the church that a non-ordained man can do. Others believe that women can teach theology to other women and children but not to men in any setting. A few believe that women shouldn’t ever teach theology.

When it comes to writing and speaking about theology outside the church, opinions vary even more. Should a woman speak at a theological conference? Answers include “Yes, but only if the audience is all women,” and “Depends on if she’s teaching theology or speaking from her own experience.” Should a woman write a book or blog or have a podcast? Answers include “Yes, as long as the book/blog/podcast is intended for women, it’s OK if a man comes across it and learns from it,” and “Books provide a separation between author and reader so a man isn’t learning directly from a woman.”

In all these discussions, I wonder what the modern Reformed Christian community would make of Priscilla if she lived today.

You can read the full article here. Predictably there have been some critical reactions to my post. All I’ll say in response is: Women serving like Martha in the church is not the same thing as having room for Priscilla in your church.

Along the same lines, I highly recommend Aimee Byrd’s recent piece, Not a Daughter of Sarah?

Not all teaching is behind a pulpit. And I don’t know what all this “usurping authority” is about. When Scripture calls us to teach and admonish one another (Col. 3:16), or that by this time we ought to be teachers (Heb. 5:12), to use our gifts of teaching or exhortation (Rom. 12:6-8), to pursue love and spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1), when Scripture calls brothers and sisters to build one another up with a teaching if they have it (1 Cor. 14:26), are we to pretend that this is all directed only towards the men? Is exercising our gifts as disciples in the general office of layperson usurping authority, or obeying the authority of Scripture?  

I am struggling to understand what it is about me that needs putting a stop to. To where there is now an organized effort, with officers in my own denomination—men with spiritual authority—that are organizing offensive and defensive strategies against me. Me? Who the heck am I? I read about my “agenda” and my motivations, and I don’t know this person they are talking about. Talking is a kind word. Plotting, scheming against…slandering. Yes, that is appropriate. Normally, we would just be wise to ignore such people. Unless, they are in positions of spiritual authority. In your own denomination. 

Whenever you write or speak publicly, especially on topics like women anad men in the church, there will be critique and constructive debate. That’s to be expected. However, what Aimee and I (and others) have experienced goes way beyond legitimate debate and discussion. What we see are histrionics, personal attacks, name calling, gossip, and slander.

If you’re on social media, you’ve likely witnessed these kinds of behaviors. I haven’t spoken much about these attacks. In general, I would rather not give any attention to these guys. But sometimes it’s necessary to shine the light in dark places and reveal what’s going on. It’s time to stand up to the bullies who are sinning against us.

I encourage you to read the two articles I’ve linked here. I’ll close with a link for a podcast interview I did with Marcos Ortega and Lisa Spencer of Reformed Margins. We talk about what happens when women write and speak about theology. You can listen here.

Share Your Story

One of the reasons I wrote Beyond Authority and Submission was because of my concerns over what’s being taught about women and men in some facets of conservative Christianity. It’s not an esoteric, academic discussion. There are real world consequences. What we believe about the nature of women and men and how we should interact has wide-reaching effects on us as individuals and in our various relationships.

I’m working on a new project, and I need your help. My plan is to write more about the practical outworkings of prevalent beliefs about women and men. I’d like to use personal stories to illustrate the effects these teachings have had on real women, men, families, and churches. That’s where you come in.

I’d like to hear your stories, and I want to give you the opportunity to be heard. I’m curious what effect these teachings about women and men have had on you as an individual, on your marriage, on your family, on your church, or on your relationships. Whatever you’d like to share.

At the bottom of this post is a contact form. Messages sent through the form are emailed directly to me and do not post to the website. I want to protect your privacy. My plan is to change names and identifying information in the stories I use.

If you’d like more information, feel free to use the contact form to ask me any questions you may have.

Social Media Sabbatical

I wasn’t exactly an early adopter of social media. When I graduated from college in ’97, the internet was still very young. We had email, and there were some websites. But no one was doing much with them yet. Then there was instant messaging and forums and blogs. Those were fun.

In 2009, I reluctantly joined Facebook to keep up with my extended family and friends. I was virtually house bound. Pregnant with my youngest, I had severe nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis). I barely left the house. During that time, I started reading more, and I started blogging.

The social media world was different then. The platforms have changed a lot over the last decade, and sadly I think they’ve changed us a lot too. I’m still thankful for the connections to family and friends that social media facilitates. But I’ve decided to take an extended break from social media.

Why now? Well, I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. I quit Twitter four months ago. With the 2020 election cycle starting, now is a great time to take a social media sabbatical. I’ll still be blogging and updating my Facebook page for this site. I’ll also continue to co-host the Theology Gals podcast with Coleen.

What will I do with my time this year? I’m looking forward to reading more. I’m planning to spend time studying the Word. A friend invited me to join her in a mystery book reading challenge. I’m excited about that.

Lord willing, I want to spend time writing. I have a handful of book ideas. I also have several areas of research to delve into. But what I’m really looking forward to is having time with my own thoughts and ideas, a chance to breathe and to focus on the things that really matter in life.

If you need to reach me, you can contact me through my “About” page or message me on Facebook. I’ll check my inbox regularly. God bless, and I’ll catch y’all on the flip side.