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.
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.
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.
As a whole, Feminist Thought is a thoroughly-researched and concise treatment of a notoriously controversial and complex subject. Readers have professors Tong and Botts to thank for their tireless work on this extremely helpful volume. I highly recommend Feminist Thought if for no other reason than to put the brakes on judgment regarding what “feminist” might mean in today’s highly fragmented and tribalistic culture.
Edited by Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, Still Evangelical? contains chapters by ten individuals who consider themselves evangelicals, and their reflections as they wrestle with the meaning of and their association with evangelicalism, especially in light of the 2016 election.
Overall, Shalom Sistas is a fun read. It’s not too heavy on theology, but not without it. It’s primarily story-based, but also teaches the reader the peacemaking way of life. It’s humorous, but the reader will sometimes find herself crying. At the end of the day, it’s worth taking the time to join Osheta Moore, and think about bringing shalom to all areas of our lives.
While this book does not explore new territory regarding the issue of women in ministry, it does serve a useful purpose: This is an ideal book to give your pastor, especially if he is straddling the fence on this issue. One pastor speaking to other pastors can have a powerful impact.