In her book, 7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership, Kate Coleman outlines what she believes are the seven most destructive behaviors that women in leadership succumb to: limiting self-perceptions, failure to draw the line, inadequate personal vision, an unhealthy work-life rhythm, the ‘disease to please,' colluding instead of confronting, and neglecting family matters.
Ron Clark offers a passionate and personally informed response to the issue of male-to-female violence. Drawing on his pastoral care efforts and experience of working with a variety of couples coming out of violent relationships, a reader can tell that he deeply cares about the issue at hand and that his personal reflections are well thought out. Overall, this book is easily accessible to a lay audience but may not be for those expecting rigorous theological exegesis or expansive social science research.
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.
After years of leading an identity formation group for women, I was asked to create a similar process for men. While developing the curriculum, I was hard-pressed to find material that was not complementarian, or that did not rely heavily on archetypal models to frame a man’s identity. Because I wanted the curriculum to be rooted in the biblical story and the imago Dei, I searched for resources that provided a biblical framework for a male identity. I never quite found what I was looking for—until Malestrom.
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.
Tara Beth Leach’s book, Emboldened, takes me to the same place, where there is room for women’s burdens and for an imagination of what could be possible if we really did this thing we are called to do. With unapologetically maternal warmth and authority, Tara Beth sits with readers like a big sister. She makes space for the frustrations and pain without condescension or bitterness. She acknowledges the baggage and cultural challenges without leading us into victimhood. Above all, she presses forward with courage, joy, and imagination.
Theologian and author Alice Mathews recently said in a Christianity Today interview with Hannah Anderson, “Satan knows that if he can keep women out of service, in the church and in the world, he will have won an enormous victory.” Mathews’s most recent book, Gender Roles and the People of God, takes back some of the territory gained by the enemy.