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 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.
She Preached the Word explores data around who supports women’s ordination in the United States, why, and the effects of women in ministry on those in the pew. The book serves as a tool to understand congregants' views on women's ordination and offers some discussion on how those views are formed, including the influence of politics on theological convictions. It is a starting point for advocates who want to find the most effective strategies to change opinions around women ministers.
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.
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.
Men are from Israel, Women are from Moab: Insights about the Sexes from the Book of Ruth, written by Dr. Norm Wakefield and Jody Brolsma, takes a quick look at our gender stereotypes and discards them. Instead, they focus on how we can build one another up and nurture healthy relationships.
Does God Make the Man? is a fascinating look at how evangelical and ecumenical men process the messages they hear about masculinity from religion and media. The authors organized focus groups and recorded hundreds of hours of conversations to see if religion is vital to developing masculine identity. They conclude that, although evangelical men may claim to learn gender roles from the Bible, the actual sources of this knowledge are media and culture.