Want to learn more about mutuality? A list of resources

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

The book trailer for "Unladylike" by Pam Hogeweide - video itself is a great conversation-starter!

To conclude our Week of Mutuality, I’ve assembled a list of resources with the help of my friends Pam Hogeweide, Frank Viola, Julie Clawson, and Sarah Bessey. 

I also asked Pam, Frank, Julie, and Sarah to respond to the question—What makes you most optimistic about the future for women in church leadership? Their responses are included below. 

Feel free to add your own suggestions to the list in the comment section! 


“The internet makes me optimistic. Technology makes the conversation about women and equality in the church inclusive  and accessible. Followers of Christ all over the globe are writing and blogging about  the issue of biblical equality within their faith tribes.  The digital world is accelerating change in the real world. I think this includes Christendom, as the ability to listen and learn from one another has never been greater in the history of the church.” – Pam Hogeweide, blogger and author of Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church


Online Resources...

Christians For Biblical Equality

CBE Scroll

Gifted for Leadership

God’s Word To Women


Quivering Daughters

NT Wright – “Women’s Service in the Church: The Biblical Basis”

Julie Clawson – Discovering Christian Feminism Series (sooo good!)

Scot McKnight – Women in Ministry posts

Ben Witherington – VIDEO: 7 Minutes on Women in Ministry, Part 1 & Part 2

Ed Cyzewski’s Women in Ministry Series (written by women in ministry)

Mike Mercer (Chaplain Mike at iMonk) -  “Why I am an Egalitarian

Frank Viola – “Rethinking Women in Ministry” and “God’s View of Women

Mike Morrell – “Biblical Proofs for the Feminine Face of God in Scripture

Daniel Kirk – “Unifying Spirit,” “Spirit of Pentecost,” “Imaging the Biblical God,” and “Power-Inverting Kingdom

Mimi Haddad – “Is God Male?” (Lots of other good articles here too)

Kurt Willems’ “Liberating Women for Ministry” Series

Sarah Bessey –  “In Love Looks Like Real Marriage” and  “In Which I Am Done Fighting for a Seat at the Table


“I am encouraged by the awakening of the church to the full implications of the Gospel. As more Christians understand that following Jesus involves not just going to church, but caring for the needs of the poor and oppressed in our world, the hierarchical boundaries in the church start to melt away. The old ways of doing church set up pastors in positions of power that mirrored the patriarchal systems of secular culture and made it very difficult for women to obtain such positions. As churches reject such structures and turn to patterns of servant leadership that serve the world, women have just as many opportunities as men to guide congregations along those paths. Where systems of power once excluded, servant leadership opens doors for women to flourish and finally use their God-given gifts to lead in the church.” – Julie Clawson, author ofEveryday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices and The Hunger Games and the Gospel


Rachel’s Top 10 Books on Mutuality

1. The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scot McKnight

2. A Woman Called: Piecing Together the Ministry Puzzle by Sara Gaston Barton

3. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy edited by Ronald W. Pierce and Rebecca Merrill Groothius

4. How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicalsedited by Alan F. Johnson

5. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

6. Half the Church: Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James

7. Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church by Pam Hogeweide (Full disclosure: I haven't actually finished Pam's book yet, but I love what I've read so far.) 

8. Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender by John Stackhouse

9. I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence - Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger

10. Paul for Everyone: The Pastoral Letters : 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus by N.T. Wright

I’m a bit partial, but I should also mention that my book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, releases in October. You can pre-order now.


“I am hopeful because a growing number of New Testament scholars have done excellent work on the biblical texts that some believe severely limit a woman's function in the church, showing that we have been misreading these texts. Among them are the late F.F. Bruce, Ben Witherington, Craig Keener, Scot McKnight, N.T. Wright, Jon Zens, and many others. Furthermore, the blogosphere has opened up a new and powerful avenue which has furnished many gifted Christian women with a voice to share what the Lord has given them."  - Frank Viola, author of Jesus Manifesto and Revise Us Again 


More Books...

(I’ve starred books that I have read) 

*Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmat

*Women's Bible Commentary: Expanded Edition by Carol A. Newsom and Sharon H. Ringe

*The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder

The Resignation of Eve: What If Adam's Rib Is No Longer Willing to Be the Church's Backbone? by Jim Henderson, George Barna and Lynne Hybels

* Junia is Not Alone by Scot McKnight

*The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine - Sue Monk Kidd

*Junia: The First Woman Apostle by Eldon Jay Epp

*Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul?: A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity by J.R. Daniel Kirk (Especially Chapter 6, “Women in the Story of God”)

God's Word to Women by  Katharine Bushnell

*Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis by William J Webb

*Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities by Bruce Winters

Women in the World of the Earliest Christians: Illuminating Ancient Ways of Life by Lynn H. Cohick

 Nice Girls Don't Change the World by Lynne Hybels

*Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

*The Gospel According to Ruth by Carolyn Custis James

 Partners in Marriage and Ministry by Ron Pierce

Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry by Stanley Grenz 

Why Not Women?: A Biblical Study of Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership by Loren Cunningham

Liberating Tradition: Women's Identity and Vocation in Christian Perspective - Kristina LaCelle-Peterson

Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling: Women Religious Leaders in Their Own Words - Maureen E. Fiedler and Kathleen Kennedy

Sexism and God Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology - Rosemary Radford Ruether

Struggle to Be the Sun Again: Introducing Asian Women's Theology - Chung Hyun Kyung

Making a Way Out of No Way: A Womanist Theology - Monica A. Coleman

Women in the Earliest Churches by Ben Witherington

Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A Study of Jesus' Attitudes to Women and their Roles as Reflected in His Earthly Life by Ben Witherington

What’s With Paul and Women? by Jon Zens

No Will of My Own: How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity & Personhood by Jon Zens

Quivering Daughters by Hillary McFarland

A Mind for What Matters: Collected Essays of F.F. Bruce (Chapter 17)

Paul for Everyone: 1 Corinthians by N.T. Wright 

Paul for Everyone: The Prison Letters by N.T. Wright 

Women in Ministry: Four Views by B. & R. Clouse, eds.

Two Views on Women in Ministry by James Beck and Craig Blomberg, eds.

No Time for Silence by Janette Hassey

Global Voices on Biblical Equality, edited by Aida Besancon Spencer, William David Spencer, Mimi Haddad


“I wrote a post recently about a group of women that I'm privileged to be a part of here in Canada. (In which I'm no angry feminist) It summed up a lot of why I feel so hopeful instead of angry. We're not angry feminists, bitter, with an axe to grind. These women, the ones here in my real life, and in the stories I hear from all around the world, are my people. They are a banquet, a feast of justice and goodness and guts and faith and differences. They love women, they love men, they love the Church, they love the world, and this holy love is pushing back the darkness in a million small and big ways. We're just a small group by comparison, I suppose, one little gathering, but we're representative of a multitude all over the world.” Sarah Bessey 

From the blog...

Mutuality Week (series)

Enough: Or why we should all be laughing hysterically in the magazine aisle

It’s not complementarianism; it’s patriarchy

Women of the Passion (series)

“God Is Not Ashamed” – Our Brothers Speak Out

Esther and Vashti: The Real Story

“Your Daughters Will Prophesy”

Complementarians Are Selective Too

We’re Civil as Heck (But We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore)

Eshet Chayil! Six Bolivian Women of Valor

Finding God’s Presence in the Kitchen and the Board Room

Better Conversations About Biblical Womanhood – Part 1Part 2

Thou Shalt Not Let Thyself Go?

If Marriage Is Not Eternal...

For more, see posts under the label, “womanhood.” 


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