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Book Review

Healing Spiritual Wounds

It is a tragic story that is repeated thousands of times: believers leaving Christianity completely when they leave a church or faith tradition that has wounded or abused them. This dynamic is what makes Carol Howard Merritt’s Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting With a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church such a welcome book. Merritt writes from the very core of her being as she recounts her journey from being submerged in a toxic, abusive church culture to redeeming her faith by traveling a difficult path to healing. She speaks with the wisdom of a lifetime of

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Very Married

Marriage is one of the most-written about topics among Christians. Rarely is it written about well. Katherine Willis Pershey is one of the few writers up to the task. Her new book, Very Married: Field Notes on Love and Fidelity, stands out among Christian marriage books for its depth, style, and vulnerability. She wrestles with the difficulties of marriage with honesty and humor, and her love of marriage itself shines through.

Naked

Naked is a marriage book thoroughly steeped in egalitarian theology and completely free from gender stereotypes and tired “male headship” language. Tim and Anne Evans bring decades of counseling and ministry experience to their work, and the result is an extremely helpful and approachable guide for married couples. 

Making Marriage Beautiful

A few months ago, an acquaintance confided that her marriage is in trouble. She asked about egalitarian marriage resources, and I enthusiastically recommended Dorothy Greco’s new book, Making Marriage Beautiful. The book’s eleven chapters survey a range of topics, from managing expectations to navigating in-laws, gender roles, communication, conflict, abuse, addiction, community (outside of marriage) and healthy response to external challenges and crises.

Grit and Grace is an empowering, thought-provoking, and eminently readable book that will help late elementary to middle school children get a grander sense of how God worked through women and girls in biblical times, and how he wants to work through all his people today. It would make a great gift for girls graduating out of their church’s children’s ministry, or for any child who enjoys reading middle grade books about real-life circumstances. My only complaint is that this book hasn’t been around longer! It has been sorely needed.   

When Momma Speaks

“The purpose of the stories about biblical mothers falls on literary and socially deaf ears unless they mean something to twenty-first-century mothers,” Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder writes in chapter ten of her book, When Momma Speaks: The Bible and Motherhood from A Womanist Perspective. This is the essence of Crowder’s mission: to forge a story connection between biblical mothers of color and modern African American mothers.

Partners in Christ

John Stackhouse should be a natural ally of Christians for Biblical Equality. He is a committed follower of Jesus, a careful thinker, and an unabashed egalitarian, gladly identifying himself as a Christian feminist who “champions the dignity, rights, responsibilities, and glories of women as equal in importance to those of men” (p. 14). In his book Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism, he makes a nuanced case for the full equality of women. However, Stackhouse’s approach will make some egalitarians uneasy, and his strong emphasis on accommodating to the

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Partners in Christ

The book is thought-provoking. I would not consider it a foundational book on the topic. It could be used well with a skeptic with whom one has a close relationship and can interact with on the chapters. Simply handing the book to a complementarian and recommending they read it would probably not be effective. One needs to be on the journey toward egalitarianism to appreciate this book most.

Message of Women

The Message of Women is a very thorough and complete book about women in the Bible. It starts with detailed commentary of women under the old covenant, works through all the women Jesus encountered, and finishes with women in the early church communities.

Good News for Women

This is the best semi-popular book on this topic so far. No other evangelical book takes up the debate on a broad front and at a theological level as well as Groothuis' work. Her analysis of the issues is brilliant, and her critique of the contemporary arguments for the permanent functional subordination of women in the church and the home is devastating. 

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