The #MeToo movement has revealed sexual abuse and assault in every sphere of society, including the church. But victims are routinely ignored by fellow Christians who deny their accounts and fail to bring accountability to the perpetrators. All too often, churches have been complicit in protecting abusers, reinforcing patriarchal power dynamics, and creating cultures of secrecy, shame, and silence. Pastor and survivor Ruth Everhart shines a light on the prevalence of sexual abuse and misconduct within faith communities.
Katz is cofounder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP), and his focus is on prevention—his intended audience is not violent men who need help changing their ways, but all men, who, he says, have a role to play in preventing male violence against women.
Kevin Giles surveys available scientific information and notes the consensus that the most sure indicator of higher incidences of abuse is found in communities where men are privileged and expected to be in charge.
Answering his title question in the affirmative, Giles forcefully argues that “headship teaching can encourage and legitimate domestic abuse and it must be abandoned if domestic abuse is to be effectively countered in our churches.”
Through her book, The Courage Coach, Ashley Easter brings her life experience and training to those who have lived with harmful relationships. As someone who has followed her North Star out of abuse and toward health and healing, Ashley invites anyone who has lived through damaging relationships into a safe space. This book is a space where victims and survivors can be heard, affirmed, and equipped. Whether you have experienced abuse yourself or whether someone you love has experienced abuse, Ashley offers a warm presence and practical advice.
This collection of essays was gathered by Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, who provides an introduction to the volume. What follows is a diverse and provocative set of perspectives and reflections from evangelical insiders who wrestle with their responses to the question of what it means to be evangelical in light of their convictions.
Domestic abuse is a horror. It lurks beneath the surface of our collective existence, sometimes raising its ugly head where least expected—in the church or within families of faith. Are we—individually or collectively—ready to respond? What can, or should, congregations and their pastoral leaders do?
Speaking into current #MeToo and #ChurchToo conversations, this book shows that the body of Christ desperately needs to understand the forms power takes, how it is abused, and how to respond to abuses of power.
My advice: Buy this book. Read it slowly. Chew on its words. Digest its content. Let its truths tutor your mind, penetrate your soul, and motivate you toward embracing, modeling, and conveying a more humble, Christlike expression of power.