Not Marked is recommended without reservation to Christian men and women who want to discover that help and healing are available to those who feel forever stained by the shame of sexual abuse and assault.
There are many excellent books on the topic of domestic abuse, but this is one of the more practical ones that I have read. Included in its helpful resources is a detailed plan or “exit strategy” for the abuse “victim” who has decided she must leave the situation for the well-being of herself and any children involved. It also offers a section explaining how abuse in the home affects children, providing another point of reasoning as to why the best option might be to plan to leave. Throughout the book, the authors emphasize that abusive situations are not magically resolved, but offer biblical and wise practical counsel on how to proceed and why. Any person who reads this book will be greatly helped to sort through their emotions and be strengthened for path that lies ahead.
Women in the Church is a dangerous book which should not have been published because, while it appears to be scholarly, it actually teems with historical and theological errors and also emotional subjectivity. Alan G. Padgett has provided a critical rebuttal to Women in the Church in the Winter 1997 issue of Priscilla Papers. I refer readers to his technical refutation of the key themes of Women in the Church. I will highlight other problems with the book and critique its basic tone.
Gary Hoag revisits the topic of wealth in the letter of 1 Timothy, asking whether the teachings found there are consistent or inconsistent with other teachings in the NT, or whether it might be a mixture of the two. Scholars are divided on this question. Hoag’s findings rest on cross-referencing the terms in 1 Timothy with a novel, Ephesiaca by Xenophon of Ephesus. This novel was originally thought to have been written in the 2nd or 3rd century CE, but having been recently codified as an ancient Greek novel of the mid-first century CE, we now know that it was written at the same time as Paul’s ministry as portrayed by Luke in Acts. It’s a valuable source in shedding light on the social setting or Sitz im Leben of the letter, and Hoag studies in particular five passages: 1 Tim 2:9-15; 3:1-13; 6:1-2a; 6:2b-10; 6:17-19.
The increasing incidents of abuse in our society are a sad reality with which all church leaders must come to grips. Mending the Soul is, therefore, a valuable resource not only for abuse survivors and those ministering to them, but also for church leaders who have to explore the uncharted territory of abuse because of love for their congregations.
If you want to expand your knowledge on the subject of violence against women, Scars Across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence Against Women by Elaine Storkey is a must-read. It is an engaging, investigative book packed with history, research, stories, outcomes, and possible solutions to the global issue of violence against women. It covers the past, present, and future of this violence that has many faces in all societies across the globe.
Responding to Abuse in Christian Homes: A Challenge to Churches and their Leaders represents the final book edited by Catherine Clark Kroeger, together with her colleagues Nancy Nason Clark and Barbara Fisher-Townsend. Similar to other publications by the late Dr. Kroeger, this book addresses the link between violence against Christian women by their (oftentimes) believing husbands and the incorrect theological presuppositions which enable the violence to persist.
In her book Push Back the Dark: Companioning Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, Dr. Elizabeth Altmaier combines her professional career as a psychologist and professor with her personal experience as a survivor of child sexual abuse to offer this approachable guide for churches supporting adults who experienced child sexual abuse.
So say Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark in their book, No Place for Abuse. This quote struck me, as I grew up in a fundamentalist church where mentioning some personal abuse brought blame to me and sympathy to my father. This book is refreshing in its directness as it addresses the ticklish issue of how churches have traditionally dealt with abuse.