Palmer's underlying thesis is that the promise of the Father to pour out his Spirit on all flesh, male and female, and that sons and daughters would prophesy, relates to the role of women in the church today.
Anatomy of a Schism is unlike any other book about a church split. Most narratives of a split revolve around a theological or moral interpretation that becomes so difficult to walk together in that the only logical conclusion is to walk apart. What’s often lost in these narratives is the individual stories of people who experienced and dialoged about the schism as it was happening. In many instances, we can watch a news segment about a church split which may give an overview of what happened and inform the viewer that the once unified congregation will now be meeting in part at the park district and in part at the library. Rarely, do you hear the news anchor inform their audience about how the schism affected nine year-old Susan or ten year-old Jack.
In a time when men like Billy Sunday and Dwight Moody were gaining national recognition, significant numbers of women were also making major contributions to American evangelical faith—yet without the same levels of fame. This book fills in some of those missing pieces.
Martin provides us with an historical context for the issue of women's roles in the church. She begins by tracing the patterns of male authority in both Old and New Testaments. She also describe some of the more contemporary views on submission of women, and continues with a chapter on how we have actually made God in our image, especially our sexual image.
Christian Egalitarian Leadership takes further steps toward broadening the issues (e.g., it is about more than gender) but also focuses on one essential aspect of the thriving of egalitarianism—leadership.