Vision Forum: The Giant of the Christian Patriarchy Movement

While there are numerous organizations I would consider part of the Christian patriarchy movement one of the largest and most disturbing organization is Dough Phillip’s Vision Forum. Vision Forum’s influence is vast in evangelical and fundamentalist culture.  The organization has its own homeschooling curriculum, devotional materials for men and women, homeschooling conferences and the popular San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, which is Phillip’s brainchild. Perhaps, the name of the film festival doesn’t ring a bell, but if you follow Christian media at all you have probably heard of movies such as Facing the Giants and Fireproof – both of … Continue reading Vision Forum: The Giant of the Christian Patriarchy Movement

TLC and the Fundamentalist Family: A Look at the Quiverfull Movement

I have been waiting a few months for my study to appear in The Journal of Religion and Popular Culture about the TLC show 19 and Counting and the Quiverfull movement. The academic journal is open access, so everyone who reads my blog should be able to pull up this link. It provides a much more comprehensive overview of what the Quiverfull beliefs are and how the movement has been portrayed in popular culture. Click here to read the article. Continue reading TLC and the Fundamentalist Family: A Look at the Quiverfull Movement

The Threat of Christian Patriarchy

The Christian patriarchy movement is a fast growing fundamentalist/evangelical movement that is not easy to define.  While mainstream media has     drawn attention to the Quiverfull movement and pop cultural representations of this lifestyle, such as the famous or infamous (however you want to phrase it) Duggar family from 19 and Counting, there are other branches of the patriarchy movement which are not well known nor well researched. Therefore, for the next few blog posts I’m going to try to break down the various organizations associated with the Christian patriarchy movement to help us better understand why mainstream Christian society should … Continue reading The Threat of Christian Patriarchy

Benjamin’s “Messianic Moments” and Women’s Church History

If we examine how history has been constructed, specifically church history, the contributions of women are often overlooked.  Within the Free Methodist denomination we have several seminary theses and unpublis hed papers about the history of women in ministry, but nothing published (Synder’s Populist Saints is the only exception). So, the need to reveal these forgotten moments of women’s history in the church is a pressing concern of mine. Feminist rhetorical historians are beginning to draw attention to some of these forgotten moments of women’s history. It is important the rhetorical contribution, particularly the rhetorical contributions of women’s magazine articles, … Continue reading Benjamin’s “Messianic Moments” and Women’s Church History

History is More than Just Remembering Facts: It’s a Call to Action and Reform

The Free Methodist Denomination has a long history of supporting women in ministry. However, the battle for official ordination went on almost a 100 years. It began in 1860 when the denomination was founded. B.T. Roberts, one of the main founders, decided for the health of the fledgling denomination not to pursue ordaining women at the same time the denomination was forming. So, the debate raged on at general conferences and in the denominational magazine The Free Methodist (later to become Light and Life magazine) until 1974 when women were officially approved for ordination. The commitment of women in the … Continue reading History is More than Just Remembering Facts: It’s a Call to Action and Reform

Gender Norms in Christian Co-Cultures Part III

Cultural Influences Pearce and Cronen (1980) note that culture influences the individual actions of its members. There is a pronounced relationship between the writings of the Eldredges, Pride and Dobson and how members of various co-culture groups take those writings and apply them to their own relationships. The structure and influence of the Christian publishing market allows the writings of authors from various Christian co-cultures to exert great influence over Biblical interpretation, family life, and the self-worth of the Christian individual. The financial motivations of the Christian publishers mean that more progressive views, like Roberts, are not considered marketable and … Continue reading Gender Norms in Christian Co-Cultures Part III

Gender Norms in Christian Culture Part II

Middle of the Road Gender stereotyping is prevalent in both Christian and non-Christian pop psychology books, however when these stereotypes are viewed in relation to the dominant Christian discourse favoring the patriarchy, then the stereotypes can become tools to reinforce the dominant ideology. Perhaps one of the most influential Christian writers who bridges evangelical and fundamentalist cultures is Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family ministries, whose numerous books on parenting, marriage and family life have sold millions of copies (Focus on the Family, 2010). Dobson, like the Eldredge’s, uses subtle rhetorical devices to reinforce male-headship. In his … Continue reading Gender Norms in Christian Culture Part II

Gender Rhetoric: Understanding Gender Norms in Christian Co-Cultures Part I

Understanding Christian Gender Discourse Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a series based on a rhetorical research study I just completed. To understand how gender norms are formed in Christian society we have to examine the writings of popular Christian writers who influence these norms. In regards to religious rhetoric, it is important to understand how the manipulation of religious language is used to enforce strict gender roles and a male hierarchy. People tend to gravitate towards Christian writers who already align with their Christian worldview. However when some of those prominent voices, such as John and Staci … Continue reading Gender Rhetoric: Understanding Gender Norms in Christian Co-Cultures Part I