In a faith centered on love and inclusion, are single people and their God-given gifts truly being welcomed in our churches?
According to theologian Christina Hitchcock, definitely not. Instead, she argues, American evangelical churches suffer from a fear of single people. They mistakenly view independence and autonomy as the markers of maturity and assume that sex is a necessary component of achieving full humanity. Consequently, the church often sees singleness as a neutral, immature, or even negative state, while marriage is touted as theologically significant. Hitchcock works to push back against these mistaken beliefs by crafting a theological framework for the role single people play in the kingdom of God and in our churches today.
In Hermanas, the authors share their lives and the lives of characters in the Bible who were beautifully marked by a divine encounter with God. Their stories inspire readers to strongly pushback against a patriarchal focus and unapologetically teach the benefits of a healthy missional collaboration between males and females. The book explores the ramifications of colorism within our own communities and the emotional anguish of being among the few who are making it in the academic world. Readers may find their hearts pierced by the conviction that we rob others of their identities when we use stereotypes to label those struggling to know where they fit. This a book for anyone seeking to break from those monochromatic thinking patterns.
Nancy Lammers Gross effectively uses the story of Miriam to establish a Biblical point of reference to encourage women preachers to use their full body instrument to its greatest capacity for the proclamation of the gospel. Additionally, to help readers more fully understand the complexities many women face in connecting to their own voice, Gross chronicles the stories of women with whom she worked. She then utilizes the final chapters of the book to walk the reader through exercises to use the full body instrument that God has given each one.
Women in God’s Mission, from cover to cover, is a descriptive narrative which very closely follows Lederleitner’s own life-long experience in missionary leadership. Lederleitner also shares the thoughts and stories of women born and reared in approximately thirty countries from around the world. They are presently “serving and leading in many types of ministry,” which Lederleitner describes as “influencing others towards God’s purpose in the world.”
Ron Clark offers a passionate and personally informed response to the issue of male-to-female violence. Drawing on his pastoral care efforts and experience of working with a variety of couples coming out of violent relationships, a reader can tell that he deeply cares about the issue at hand and that his personal reflections are well thought out. Overall, this book is easily accessible to a lay audience but may not be for those expecting rigorous theological exegesis or expansive social science research.
In Breaking the Marriage Idol, Kutter Calloway describes how the modern church has become distracted by pagan norms for sexual expression and marriage, and why this contributes to our idealization of marriage and the marginalization of unmarried persons. Arguing that the church has bought in to the Hollywood notion that marriage is the antidote to sexual promiscuity, Callaway calls the church to provide new stories to refute this superficial formula. He offers vision for how the church can become a place where love for the other is the pinnacle, and both unmarried and married persons lead and follow side by side, representing the best expression of God's intent for his people.
Pure examines the harmful effects of evangelical Christianity's purity culture with particular emphasis on the long-lasting and outward-rippling effects of shame. Of particular interest to CBE's audience, the book details the ways in which purity culture cooperates with patriarchy and harms women.
She Preached the Word explores data around who supports women’s ordination in the United States, why, and the effects of women in ministry on those in the pew. The book serves as a tool to understand congregants' views on women's ordination and offers some discussion on how those views are formed, including the influence of politics on theological convictions. It is a starting point for advocates who want to find the most effective strategies to change opinions around women ministers.
In his book Gender Rolitis: Redeem Unhealthy Gender Roles, Kirk E. Farnsworth uses scripture to examine the dangers of gender-based hierarchy and explores the merits of gifts-based partnership. Included are resources for identifiying spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, traits, and life experiences which might be used to identify and pursue one's calling.