The subject of cross-gender friendship, my book, Sacred Unions, Sacred Passions, this blog, and the upcoming conference were the focus of Sharon Hodde Miller's blog post, "Cross-Gender Friendships: What's Appropriate for Married People."
In it, she recognized, that a new model among evangelicals is "quietly gaining momentum."
Be sure if you want a deeper conversation about this beyond 800 word blogs, to come to the conference beginning next Friday. I am so pumped about the conference! This historic, first ever gathering of men and women to talk about friendship between men and women! Evangelicals such as John Armstrong, Jim Henderson, Kathy Escobar, Deb Hirsch, will be there. I've heard from others who would love to come but have scheduling conflicts.
In the 21st century, more and more evangelicals are opened to close cross-gender friendships. This should not be surprising even with the challenges. In the last 15 years, evangelical theologians, scholars, and authors like James Olthuis, James and Judith Balswick, Ruth Haley Barton, Stanley Grenz, Edith Humphrey, Dennis Hiebert, Caroline Simon, Marva Dawn, Sue Edwards, and others have, to varying degrees, advocated intimate transmaritial friendships.
So, yes, I can see why a new model for cross-gender friendships is gaining momentum. After publishing my book, I have come across a not so surprising number of younger evangelicals who are far more open to cross-gender friendships existing among married people.
Next Monday, I will have the opportunity to respond to Sharon's post and write a guest post for Her.menuetics. So looking forward to deepening the conversation.
It's not going to go away for evangelicals.