Welcome to CBE’s Library

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Tara Beth Leach’s book, Emboldened, takes me to the same place, where there is room for women’s burdens and for an imagination of what could be possible if we really did this thing we are called to do. With unapologetically maternal warmth and authority, Tara Beth sits with readers like a big sister. She makes space for the frustrations and pain without condescension or bitterness. She acknowledges the baggage and cultural challenges without leading us into victimhood. Above all, she presses forward with courage, joy, and imagination.

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Theologian and author Alice Mathews recently said in a Christianity Today interview with Hannah Anderson, “Satan knows that if he can keep women out of service, in the church and in the world, he will have won an enormous victory.” Mathews’s most recent book, Gender Roles and the People of God, takes back some of the territory gained by the enemy.

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In his book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power, former President Jimmy Carter gives readers a look into his fight for women’s equality in his early life, presidency, and involvement in the Elders OrganizationThis book serves as an urgent message to both developed and developing nations regarding the inequality, oppression, and mistreatment women face which often goes unnoticed and unaddressed.

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A basketball team would never dream of winning their game with half its players benched. An army platoon would never fight its enemy if half the soldiers decided to stay back. Likewise, the church cannot and should not imagine God's kingdom will advance when half its members are “standing on the shore,” sidelined, benched, and dismissed from leadership (185).

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The challenges of being in ministry are difficult to navigate, but for women, the challenges are unique and often more difficult. Unfortunately, women who aspire to be in ministry have to face that they will be treated differently simply based on their gender. One area that is lacking for women is practical pastoral resources written in gender-neutral language. Most popular theology resources available today are written by men and it is difficult to find egalitarian resources written by women ministers for women ministers. One book in particular I recall reading in my undergrad pastoral program exclusively used male pronouns when referring to the title of “pastor” and discussed hot topics such as “The pastor and his wife,” “The pastor and his wardrobe,” and “The pastor as God’s man.” As I read these books I was assigned to take seriously and learn from, I would continually think to myself, (just as you hear in a cheesy infomercial), “There’s got to be a better way!” I am so thankful to have discovered the book SHE: Five Keys to Unlock the Power of Women in Ministry by Karoline M. Lewis. This book fills a huge need in the world of practical pastoral resources.

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Vintage Saints and Sinners is a thought provoking introduction to the lives of several saints, including some who have been often ignored in our modern day. Karen Wright Marsh compiled this book after years of discussions with college students at the ministry she and her husband co-founded and run. Marsh has no doubt conducted deep research into the saints’ lives resulting in an accessible narrative with a bird’s eye perspective. Though these Christian saints lived very different lives and are separated from us by time, space, technology, and culture, Marsh puts them in conversation with the challenges we face today.

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Yehudit: Chosen by God is a rare book, difficult to classify. It is a fictionalized reimagining of the apocryphal book of Judith, a historical Christian romance, a devotional message to women, an egalitarian manifesto, and an invitation to follow Jesus. The author, Lauren Jacobs (who also goes by Aliyah), is equally a rare combination—Christian Jewish (or Messianic Jewish), South African, a counselor, pastor, writer, and speaker. Friends of CBE have seen her frequent blogs and articles highlighting women of the Old Testament and bringing egalitarian theology to bear on the topics of abuse and her South African context.

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When Women Give addresses the isolated nature of our charitable giving decisions and provides generous souls some much-needed assistance and resources. The book is an easy read; peppered with humor and anchored by engaging stories and personal accounts.

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Becoming His Story: Inspiring Women to Lead, is a good resource for readers who may be new to the topic of women’s leadership within the church. Mary-Elsie Wolfe approaches the topic with conviction and in a manner which is readily grasped. She addresses the tension that can exist between Jesus’s example and the reality of today’s church, and she provides the reader with practical application and tools to help make this ideal a tangible reality.

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Alice Mathews' Gender Roles and the People of God is an accessible study of what the Bible says about women, how theologies of women have developed, and the history of patriarchy. If that sounds like a lot to cover in a single volume, it is—but Mathews has brought decades of classroom experience to her text, highlighting key texts and concepts in order to craft a compelling argument that the Bible stands firmly against patriarchy.

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