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Book Review

“Are you a feminist?” I ask him, purposely provoking a conversation.

“No.”

“Do you believe that women and men are equal in the sight of God and should be treated with mutual respect?”

“Of course! But I’m not a feminist.”

A New Gospel for Women

At last we have a historical analysis worthy of its subject— Katharine Bushnell, who began her career as a missionary doctor in China and went on to become a theologian, missionary and perhaps the most significant gender reformer of her day. Through eight page-turning chapters, Kobes Du Mez introduces Bushnell within the context of American Protestantism where she rises to a “household word” (1).

Scars Across Humanity

I have read nothing quite like Elaine Storkey’s book, Scars Across Humanity. It tells the story of violence against women in today’s world. The book is very well researched and accessible; moreover, it is spine-chilling. As I sat with the book in hand after reading it I felt both pleased that someone had so powerfully told this awful story and depressed by what I had read.

It seems a discussion of masculinity can scarcely commence at Gordon College without mention of John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, a book enthusiastically endorsed by Christians nationwide. Many would agree with writer Charles Swindoll, who calls Wild at Heart “the best, most insightful book I have read in at least the last five years” (Eldredge, i). Eldredge’s immense popularity, however, must not be allowed to disguise the fact that his suggestions are often incongruent with the teachings of Jesus.

Finding Their Voices

D'Esta Love’s compendium is not only a historic record of change in the Churches of Christ, it also preserves the words of the women themselves . . . Because opportunities for women to preach in conservative churches remain infrequent, Love has collected these sermons as a way to “document that history as well as preserve their words” (25) . . .  Love’s legacy is empowering women to tell their stories in a way that connects them to God’s greater story.

Man Enough

Nate Pyle is a pastor in Fishers, Indiana. His recent book, Man Enough, tackles the question of biblical gender roles from a fresh perspective . . . Pyle focuses on the often-ignored role of men and asks the question, “What makes a man?” Pyle’s study answers this question by demonstrating that Christ’s teaching and example set men (and women) free from the traditional stereotypes.

One God in Three Persons

Wayne Grudem says that for twenty-five years he has believed that how the Trinity is understood “may well turn out to be the most decisive factor in finally deciding” the bitter debate between evangelicals about the status and ministry of women. This is encouraging to hear, because Grudem and many of his fellow complementarians have got the doctrine of the Trinity completely wrong . . . The creeds, the confessions, and virtually all the great theologians of the past and present reject completely any hierarchical ordering in divine life.

The Cross and Gendercide

The media has in recent years given increasing attention to global violence toward women and girls . . . In light of these occurrences, Gerhardt’s The Cross and Gendercide is a timely work. Gerhardt confronts domestic violence, rape, gender-selective abortions, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking, early marriage, disfigurement, and other acts of violence toward women and girls around the globe. 

Malestrom

I am in a unique position. I am a woman who leads a men’s group. After years of leading an identity formation group for women, I was asked to create a similar process for men. While developing the curriculum, I was hard-pressed to find material that was not complementarian, or that did not rely heavily on archetypal models to frame a man’s identity. Because I wanted the curriculum to be rooted in the biblical story and the imago Dei, I searched for resources that provided a biblical framework for a male identity. I never quite found what I was looking for—until Malestrom.

Mentor for Life

In Mentor for Life, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson gives us a fresh challenge to develop committed followers of Jesus through mentoring. I found her model and exhortation fresh for its small group approach (in contrast to one-to-one) and for its balance between recommending structure or content and encouraging adaptability as mentors get to know their mentees. The book provides a solid framework rather than a prescriptive “ how-to” manual—or maybe it is inviting because the ample “ how-to” is situated among reminders that God’s gracious work is primary.

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