Male Feminist Theology & Sinning Against Women

This is an incredibly hard post to write, but an important one, I think.

A couple of years ago, I started (and never really finished–but I will!) a blog series which outlined a systematic way that as a male, I can incorporate feminist perspectives on theology into the way I think about God and life.

I call it “Male Feminist Theology” because there’s something about truly being a “feminist” that requires having embodied the experience of being a woman–which I have not. (Similarly, I could not call myself a “Black Activist” with any kind of integrity.)

I started this series with a bunch of posts about using feminine language for God. There was a lot of blowback from that, most of it entirely unexpected. I still hold to that belief that God is gender–ful (not gender-less) and so the full range of human language, both masculine and feminine, ought to be applied to God.

And yet, in my actual-lived out spiritual life, this hasn’t seeped into my engagement with God as much as one would expect, considering how strongly I intellectually believe these things. Maybe an occasional substitute of “Mother” for “Father” in the Lord’s prayer or a Creed recitation, but I do it quietly under my breath. Only occasionally do I find myself remembering to pray to God in such terms. My unconscious reflexive depiction of God in my imagination is still fundamentally male. I have to actually exert energy and thought to try and conceive of something different.
Continue reading


I Am a Victimizer

Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.
~ 1 John 2.9-11

I Am A Cheater & Philanderer

I passed by you again and looked on you; you were at the age for love. I spread the edge of my cloak over you, and covered your nakedness: I pledged myself to you and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off the blood from you, and anointed you with oil. I bound you in fine linen and covered you with rich fabric. I adorned you with ornaments: I put a beautiful crown upon your head. You were adorned with gold and silver. You grew exceedingly beautiful, fit to be a queen. Your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of my splendor that I had bestowed on you, says the Lord God.
~ Ezekiel 16.8-14

I Am a Hypocrite

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
~ Matthew 23.27-28

I Am Terrified & Doubtful of What Happens When I Die

Since the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death…. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
~ Hebrews 2.14-18

Advent Prayers [Mon 12/11/17]

Opening Prayer

Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
O LORD, make haste to help me!
-from Psalm 70:1


The Gloria

Glory be to God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, so it is now,
and so it ever shall be, world without end.
Alleluia- Amen!
-the “Gloria Patri”

Scripture Reading

Isaiah 11:1-5
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch shall grow out of his roots.

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and might,
the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide by what his ears hear;
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

-silence for reflection, meditation-


-pray for yourself, your loved ones, friends, enemies, the church, and the world-

Prayer for the Week

God for whom we watch and wait,
you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way of your Son:
give us courage to speak the truth, to hunger for justice,
and to suffer for the cause of right,
with Jesus Christ our Lord-

[From the Liberti Church 2017 Advent + Christmas Prayerbook. Photo by Monica Ayers.]

Advent Reflection by Alyssa Mallgrave [Sun 12/10/17]

A couple of months ago, I went camping alone, totally isolated somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania. Dirt roads, no signal, completely in the dark. I thought it would be a cool spiritual experience – it was not. Instead of the perfect night’s sleep I had hoped for, I laid awake for hours. The sound of every falling leaf reminded me that I was alone, causing my imagination to devise ridiculous scenarios of what I assumed was an inevitable demise at the hands of a bear, a murderer, or some other unlikely adversary. I was terrified, and as soon as morning came, I scrambled back to civilization.

Scripture talks about the wilderness a lot, and this is how I picture it: alienated from society, totally vulnerable, and constantly on edge. But you don’t necessarily need to travel very far for this kind of experience. For some of us, the wilderness is right here in our city, our homes, and our everyday lives. And regardless of where we find it, we all know that this is a world that’s deeply broken and in need of redemption.

Long before Christ was born, God spoke words of comfort to the Israelites through the ancient prophet Isaiah, assuring them that a messiah would one day come to rule and to serve them in a glorified world, where valleys rise high and mountains bow low. But they’d need to get ready – in the wilderness, they’d need to prepare the way for this coming Lord. Continue reading

Advent Reading [Sat 12/9/17]

The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment. The Salvation Army Santa Claus clangs his bell. The sidewalks are so crowded you can hardly move. Exhaust fumes are the chief fragrance in the air, and everybody is as bundled up against all the fuss is really about as they are bundled up against the windchill factor. But if you concentrate just for an instant, far off in the deeps of you somewhere you can feel the beating of your heart. For all its madness and lostness, not to mention your own, you can hear the world itself holding its breath.

-Frederick Buechner, “Salvation Army Santa Claus Clangs His Bell”, from Goodness and Light: Readings for Advent & Christmas

[From the Liberti Church 2017 Advent + Christmas Prayerbook. Photo by Monica Ayers.]