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A Liberating Woman: A Reflection on the Founder of Christians for Biblical Equality
With the sudden death of Catherine Clark Kroeger on February 14, evangelicalism lost one of its most admired biblical scholars. At age 85, Kroeger was still lecturing and researching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Her love for the Scriptures, quick mind, and linguistic abilities made her an entertaining communicator and reliable exegete; she memorized entire biblical narratives and could recall them on demand. That she left manuscripts unfinished compounds our loss.
Yet Kroeger's most defining legacy is her wise leadership in the early evangelical women's movement of the 1970s. Without her stand on the centrality of Scripture in responding to contemporary questions of gender and justice, along with her compassion for the abused, much of evangelicalism would be theologically afield. As founder and president of Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) and of Peace and Safety in the Christian Home (PASCH)—as well as in 13 books and hundreds of scholarly articles and lectures—Kroeger demonstrated, while holding to scriptural authority and evangelism, that the gospel addressed many concerns of contemporary feminism.
Kroeger was born in 1925 in St. Paul, Minnesota, one of five children, to Homer and Elizabeth Clark, devoted Christians. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1947 and went to Yale University, where she met Richard Clark Kroeger Jr. Both helped found InterVarsity Fellowship chapters at their colleges, thus beginning a gospel partnership that was to last for 60 years. They married in 1950 and went on to minister together in 10 Presbyterian pastorates in five states. While serving in the Twin Cities, they raised five children and cared for numerous ...1