This has been a truly amazing week in the blogosphere. There have been so many excellent articles and, to be honest, it was hard to choose which ones to include. In my opinion, the articles below represent the cream of the crop.
A quick aside before I begin:
I want to recognize this has been a deeply frustrating week for me in terms of learning of even more corruption and abuse within the Evangelical church. I have provided links below, but want to take a moment to share a thought that has really been on my heart in the wake of the fall of another man who attempted to build a ministry on the bedrock of deceit. That is, I want to impress upon the reader the importance of remembering that those who are deceived by such men, though they may defend them, are also victims of their lies and manipulation. When the deception is fully exposed, it can be a devastating moment for these persons and we ought to extend our love and grace to them as we would any other victim.
Thanks for your patience in allowing me to get my mini-sermon out of the way. I commend to you the following articles.
1. Ellen Haroutunian has written an excellent article juxtaposing fear and antagonism with concepts of mercy rooted in the cross of Christ. This article from the online magazine Inviting Liberation is truly challenging and thought provoking.
2. Brian Zahnd has an awesome article on the crucifixion of Christ. He takes a moment to reflect on why Jesus died on the cross and whether this act was to satisfy God’s wrath. Please read this.
3. I literally came across this post as I was getting ready to post this and it was so good I had to include it. This is an older “new-to-me” post by Tim Fall on a court case he handled. Tim is truly a man of integrity and grace; I cannot recommend this article highly enough.
4. This week my friend Elizabeth Casey wrote an excellent article reflecting on the dangers of expectations the evangelical church puts on women/wives. Specifically, she looks at the message of the book Common Ways Wives Sin Against their Husbands. Elizabeth has used some deeply personal aspects of her own story to offer a critical commentary on several parts of this book. I would consider this a truly must read article.
5. This week, Sarah Bessey released a post in which she described various responses people have had to her work. She then discusses the gender bias of the church and why “for a girl” really has no place in the Christian vocabulary.
6. Tish Harrison Warren had an excellent guest post at Christianity Today regarding the complementarian/egalitarian debate. Among her many good points is the emphasis on praxis over and above theological commitment. She really hits home when she notes that many people/church leaders who claim to be egalitarian think this is enough, while still functionally operating in a sexist fashion.
7. This week, Warren Throckmorton reported that Tullian Tchividjian’s plans to rejoin Liberate would not occur. Despite claims by the Liberate board that Tchividjian had confessed and repented his sins, it was revealed that new allegations of impropriety have since come to light – further abuses of his pastoral power which he had not reported to the pastors and elders overseeing his healing process. As a result of this dishonesty and deception, Liberate’s board has quit, the organization dissolved, and their conference is cancelled. In the midst of this I am again reminded how a toxic leadership model heavily invested in powerful men and cheap grace always leaves broken and abused victims in its wake.
Warren has given an excellent rundown at these links:
8. Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra of Christianity Today has reported that The Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP), formerly led by disgraced pastor Bill Gothard, has had its ECFA accreditation pulled. Both Gothard and IBLP are at the center of a lawsuit alleging that Gothard sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women – so many that some consider him the church’s version of Bill Cosby. Notable supporters of Gothard and his include the Duggar family, reality television stars, and the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby.