A debate with two complementarians

I recently debated two complementarians on Justin Brierley's fantastic UK radio show, "Unbelievable?"  My conversation partners were Owen Strachan and Adrian Warnock. Owen is a theology professor at Boyce College, Kentucky, who recently made news for calling stay-at-home dads "man fails." Adrian is a UK church blogger, who has been posting about gender roles quite a bit in the past week

The dialog was civil and constructive…so I hope you will take a listen. 

Stream from Web


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For more on gender equality and scripture, check out my Mutuality Series, specifically: 

4 Common Misconceptions about Egalitarians

Let's Start at the Beginning, Shall We?  (Genesis 1-3)

Submission in Context: Christ and the Greco-Roman Household Codes

For the Sake of the Gospel, Let Women Speak

Women of Valor: It's About Character, Not Roles

Dan on Roles, Leadership, and Supporting Your Partner

Is Patriarchy Really God's Dream for the World?



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Rita Brdicka - Woman of Valor


By Lee Lueck

Even though I live 500 miles away from her, my mother is my constant companion in the kitchen. On the many nights I make spaetzle for my family, I measure flour with the scoop I scavenged years ago from her overflowing utensil drawers. I load the batter in the spaetzle maker Mom gave me because every self-respecting Czech-Slovak-American cook needs this essential kitchen tool. The batter falls like ribbons into the boiling water in the copper-bottomed Revereware passed down to me from her mother. I drain the tender dumplings in another of Mom’s castoffs, a colander I’ve used for the past 25 years, and serve them in the scalloped stoneware bowl that once belonged to her aunt.

My family is the fourth generation to eat at our golden oak table. How many times did Mom open it wide to serve a dozen people a holiday meal at which we eagerly stuffed ourselves fuller than she packed the turkey, debated our views of the day’s events and laughed as our seemingly meek grandma displayed her sassy side? Even after savoring the last bite of pumpkin pie, nobody wanted to leave.

The table’s solid presence in my cozy room represents the perfect image of Mom’s presence in my life. It’s as tangible as the pots and pitchers she has lavished on me over the years, but it also embodies her very identity as Wife, Mother, Daughter, Friend, Nurturer. Mom doesn’t need to read any of the now-popular books telling my fast-food and fad-food generation about The Shared Table or coming Back to the Table. Throughout the nearly 40 years she had her five children or ailing mom and uncle living with her and the following years as an empty nester, her life has written The Welcoming Table for family and friends fortunate to share in her simple seasonal meals and lively conversation.

She understands that food was meant for sharing, that meals should be eaten together – at the table, not in the car – and that she not only feeds bodies, but nourishes souls. She knows that tasty food does not need to be fussy or complicated or take an entire afternoon to prepare and that often the best dishes are the happy accidents discovered as you try to find yet another way in August to serve zucchini.

Mom is 82 now, walking on an artificial hip and knee, her right femur held together with a rod and screws. She spends the majority of her day visiting Dad at his nursing home. Yet she still feeds us.

I spent a week with her and Dad earlier this summer after Dad’s latest stroke. Six weeks earlier – during Mom’s recovery from knee surgery – he and I had cooked and cleaned together. We’d gone to Walgreens for Mom’s medication. Now the once animated storyteller was unable to speak; it took me 15 minutes during my first day with him to figure out he wanted the blinds lowered in his room. He could barely grasp his fork; “Look at your hand, Dad. You really have to concentrate on your grip,” I gently reminded him as I cleaned the gravy off the handle for the fourth time.

I returned to Mom’s house after settling Dad in his room. She stood at the stove sautéing zucchini and frying pork chops, her cane hooked on the countertop. She must have seen my exhaustion because she insisted I sit down. “How do you bear it?” I asked as she brought our plates to the table. “It’s so hard to see Dad like this.” Her eyes filled with tears. “He doesn’t deserve this,” she agreed, knowing she would be by his side through the lengthy recovery.

Just as she was by my side right then, as I cut into the chop and let myself savor the tender, peppery bite. “Thanks for supper, Mom,” I said as I sopped up all the juice. “I didn’t realize how hungry I was.”


Lee Lueck spends her daytime hours marketing medical software. Last week she told a group of friends she needed to start taking better care of herself. That meant getting a haircut, having her teeth cleaned, walking with a friend and writing about topics that truly mattered to her. The next day she saw the announcement for the Woman of Valor Contest. As soon as she finished this piece about her mom, she hurried to her son’s house, eating a cheeseburger in the car on her way over. Lee also has three daughters, a husband, two in-law children and a 9-month-old granddaughter, Hazel. She blogs at Sketches and Notes., and has written a special tribute to her mom today. 

This post is part of our Women of Valor seriesEshet chayil—woman of valor— has long been a blessing of praise in the Jewish community. Husbands often sing the line from Proverbs 31 to their wives at Sabbath meals. Women cheer one another on through accomplishments in homemaking, career, education, parenting, and justice by shouting a hearty “eshet chayil!” after each milestone.  Great women of the faith, like Sarah and Ruth and Deborah, are identified as women of valor.  One of my goals after completing my year of biblical womanhood was to “take back” Proverbs 31 as a blessing, not a to-do list, by identifying and celebrating women of valor. To help me in this, you submitted nearly 100 essays to our Women of Valor essay contest. There were so many essays that made me laugh, cry, and think I’ve decided that, in addition to the eight winners we featured in August, I will select several more to feature as guest posts throughout the fall. 

We have honored a single mom, a feisty professor, a midwife, a foster parent, an abuse survivor, a brave grandmother, a master seamstress, a young Ugandan woman who reached out to a sister in need, and many more. 

Read the rest of the Women of Valor series here.



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Ask a stay-at-home dad...


Today we pick up our popular "Ask a…" series again with "Ask a stay-at-home dad." 

In July of 2009, Sonny Lemmons chose to put his 13-year career in Higher Education Administration on hold to become a full-time stay-at-home dad - despite the fact that he had never changed a diaper before his son was born. Originally from Mississippi, Sonny has worked at both public and private universities in the areas of Leadership Development and Academic Advising. He has also volunteered and served vocationally in ministry positions at churches, ranging from youth and college groups to team teaching and creative teams. His wife Ashley currently serves as the Assistant Director of Residence Life at the University of South Carolina.

Sonny has spent most of his free time in the last three years (aka "Malakai's nap time") documenting life as a stay-at-home dad from a faith-based perspective. His essay "Committing Professional Suicide" was selected as the lead article in the anthology series The Myth of Mr. Mom, which peaked as the #1 eBook on Fatherhood at Amazon.com. Sonny will also be published in two books later this year from Civitas Press: Not Afraid and Finding Church. His essays on life and faith have been featured at Prodigal Magazine where he has recently been added as a Featured Writer, as well as at Church Leaders and Faith Village

Sonny blogs at Looking Through the Windshield, and he routinely posts the cutest photos of his kid or commentaries on coffee and craft beer on Twitter, so be sure to check him out there. 

You know the drill: If you have a question for Sonny, leave it in the comment section. At the end of the day, I’ll pick the top seven or eight questions and send them to him. We'll post Sonny's responses next week.  Be sure to take advantage of the “like” feature so that we can get a sense of what questions are of most interest to readers. 

Ask away! 

(You can check out every installment of our interview series—which includes “Ask an atheist,” “Ask a nun,” “Ask a pacifist,” “Ask a Calvinist,” “Ask a Muslim,” “Ask a gay Christian,” “Ask a Pentecostal” “Ask an environmentalist,” “Ask a funeral director,” and  many more--here.)



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Travel update - Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia

Ahhh....There’s nothing like travelling the South in the fall. Oh, how I love generating hateful stares from fellow airline passengers as I stroll down the aisle wearing my Bama-inspired houndstooth scarf. Roll Tide! 

If you are not an Auburn fan and you still want to catch me this fall, the following events are open to the public: 

Tennessee Tech. University - Cookeville, TN

"My Year of Biblical Womanhood,"  lecture 

Thursday, September 27, 2012, 7 p.m. 

Derryberry Hall Auditorium, Tennessee Tech University 
1 William L Jones Dr - Cookeville, Tennessee 38505

More info

Campbell University - Buies Creek, NC

Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 p.m. 
Wednesday, October 17, 10 a.m. - Turner Auditorium 

110 Main Street Buies Creek, NC 27506

2012 Kentucky Current Retreat for Young Leaders - Georgetown, KY

A retreat for young baptist ministers, leaders, and divinity students who seek to connect with other young Baptists through the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship/Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Open to the public.

Session 1: "Permission To Ask"  (Thursday, 3-5 p.m.)
Why so many people, particularly young adults, are leaving the North American Church.

Session 2: "My Year of Biblical Womanhood" (Thursday, 7-8 p.m.) 
How the Bible is meant to be a conversation-starter, not a conversation-ender

Session 3: "Living Better Stories" (Friday, 10-11:30 a.m.) 
How to connect our stories with God’s story by embracing conflict, engaging Scripture, connecting to rituals and seasons, and living for better material.

Thursday, October 18 - Friday, October 19, 2012

Georgetown Baptist Church, Georgetown, Kentucky

More Info:

Wesley Foundation at Virginia Tech - Blacksburg UMC - Blacksburg, VA

Sunday Service: 8:44, 11am, 12 p.m.
Afternoon Q&A TBA

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blacksburg United Methodist Church, 111 Church Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060


I’ll continue to update the schedule here. However, most of my travel in November is for private events or book publicity, so it’s not listed. (For example, I'm scheduled to travel to Phoenix for an interview with a Canadian TV station...which kinda makes me wonder if my publicity team at Thomas Nelson is just messsing with me.)

If you're interested in booking me  for your conference, church, or college next spring, contact Jim Chaffee



Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general ass, troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.