The stories of eight incredible women and their desire to spread the gospel against extreme adversity will overwhelm the heart with passion, love, and forgiveness. Each experience personifies Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”
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.”
The Beguines were a Christian ministry originating among the women of the laity outside of those who took monastic vows and entered convents. The “Beguines” gained their identity from a Belgic root-word—beg—meaning to mumble or to speak without clarity. This term was used disparagingly by highly privileged men who were jealous of women who were able to live independently economically and hold positions of privilege. The Beguines represented a broad spectrum of women of differing backgrounds who gave their lives and means to help the destitute, the ill, the downtrodden, and the homeless. Laura Swan’s history of the Beguines is the first good complete treatment of the Beguines that this reviewer has ever seen.
The view that only men can use their gifts in service to the Lord is too widespread in our churches today and should be countered by the evidence. I believe that Eminent Missionary Women, though gently written, is an antidote to unscriptural teaching by patriarchal groups. It is tragic that in our day so many people in the church actually believe that women are only called to serve men in the home.
Gayle Haggard's Why I Stayed is a spellbinding book. My reflections, as I read it, revolved around three separate but related themes—marriage, mutuality, and "healing through meeting." We all see the stories others tell about their lives through the prism of our own.
The Gospel According to Eve is a valuable resource for any egalitarian to have in their library. I also recommend it as assigned reading as part of a larger treatment or course on the history of interpretation.