“When abuse strikes, there is no home.” So say Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark in their book, No Place for Abuse. This quote struck me, as I grew up in a fundamentalist church where mentioning some personal abuse brought blame to me and sympathy to my father. This book is refreshing in its directness as it addresses the ticklish issue of how churches have traditionally dealt with abuse.
Based on my reading, Winter in each instance seems to interpret key texts in dispute in a way completely in sympathy with the hierarchical-complementarian agenda. If his exegesis were compelling we would need to listen, but it is not.
Rise Up is primarily about African American women discovering their capacity to lead, whether in large or small ways. In the introduction, Rose gives a wake-up call to African American women, claiming that there is a crisis in church leadership and African American women need to step up into those roles.
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.
Pastor Leslie Ann McKinney passionately believes that God loves and accepts his daughters and has created Accepted in the Beloved: A Devotional Bible Study for Women on Finding Healing and Wholeness in God's Love to help women know and experience this love for themselves. The book is suitable for individual and group studies, but it is also a helpful resource for spiritual directors and other mentors who work with women who have been wounded in their relationships or in their faith communities.
In Beyond Abuse, readers who know of or who endeavor to care for those who experience domestic violence receive essential information as well as deeper insight into family abuse and what our more effective, healing response should be for both victims and perpetrators. The authors exhort the Christian reader to gain knowledge, and they provide the kind of redemptive guidance to abused women one usually has to seek from the secular community. Given the common occurrence of family violence and the resulting systemic problems that pervade our communities, BeyondAbuse is a must-read.
Responding to Abuse in Christian Homes: A Challenge to Churches and their Leaders represents the final book edited by Catherine Clark Kroeger, together with her colleagues Nancy Nason Clark and Barbara Fisher-Townsend. Similar to other publications by the late Dr. Kroeger, this book addresses the link between violence against Christian women by their (oftentimes) believing husbands and the incorrect theological presuppositions which enable the violence to persist.
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.