Answering his title question in the affirmative, Giles forcefully argues that “headship teaching can encourage and legitimate domestic abuse and it must be abandoned if domestic abuse is to be effectively countered in our churches.”
Mending the Soul is a valuable resource not only for abuse survivors and those ministering to them, but also for church leaders who have to explore the uncharted territory of abuse because of love for their congregations.
The title says it all! A person experiencing abuse needs to have courage and needs someone to coach and encourage them through the process. A coach helps them be prepared to admit the possibility that they are in an abusive situation and shows them the steps to take toward freedom.
There are many excellent books on the topic of domestic abuse, but this is one of the more practical ones that I have read. Included in its helpful resources is a detailed plan or “exit strategy” for the abuse “victim” who has decided she must leave the situation for the well-being of herself and any children involved. It also offers a section explaining how abuse in the home affects children, providing another point of reasoning as to why the best option might be to plan to leave. Throughout the book, the authors emphasize that abusive situations are not magically resolved, but offer biblical and wise practical counsel on how to proceed and why. Any person who reads this book will be greatly helped to sort through their emotions and be strengthened for path that lies ahead.
An extremely well-written account of the author’s experience of living with an abusive husband who appeared to others as the epitome of a fine Christian gentleman . . . This heartfelt account is practical yet not clinical and without a trace of bitterness. How Marjorie recovered from this ordeal of many years will be of great encouragement to those who need courage while recognizing what is happening to them and taking steps towards full spiritual and emotional health.
In her book Push Back the Dark: Companioning Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, Dr. Elizabeth Altmaier combines her professional career as a psychologist and professor with her personal experience as a survivor of child sexual abuse to offer this approachable guide for churches supporting adults who experienced child sexual abuse.
In The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Beth Allison Barr shares her personal story of rejecting complementarian views on male headship and female submission.
Wayne Grudem’s commitment to Scripture is to be commended, but his lack of serious engagement with key challenges undermines a work that has been over twenty years in the re-making. Those looking for an evangelical systematic theology that is up-to-date on recent theological and exegetical advances should look elsewhere.