CBE regularly reviews books and resources that align with and elevate our mission, vision, statement of faith, and core values Our review process consists of two components: 1) a written review of the resource and, 2) a completed Evaluation Standards Form rating the resource for inclusion in CBE Bookstore. Before beginning the book, please review the Bookstore Inclusion Criteria below, and CBE’s mission, vision, statement of faith and core values.
When evaluating a book for inclusion in the bookstore, reviewers will address the following (to address when writing your written review as well):
- Is the content of this resource consistent with CBE’s mission, vision, statement of faith, and core values?
- Does the resource explicitly address biblical equality for women, or women and leadership, in a Christian context? Does most of the content provide insight and help on the biblical, historical, and social strengths of egalitarian theology and/or failures of complementarianism?
- If no to the above, does the resource teach/illustrate women’s equality on a related topic such as leadership development, pursuing one’s calling, biblical interpretation, marriage, parenting, or culture, etc.? Does it assume equal and shared authority/leadership between women and men in church, home, and world?
- Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
- Is the writing quality and format satisfactory? (e.g. grammar, typos, visually appealing format, etc.)
- Is the argumentation, logic, and/or scholarship sound (e.g., is the information accurate and current)?
- Is the writing and writing style irenic, compelling, and appropriate for CBE’s audience?
- If applicable, does the author fairly describe opposing viewpoints and show respect for people who disagree?
- Does it contain any cultural, political, or religious viewpoints in conflict with CBE’s mission and values which CBE’s audience might find objectionable (e.g., endorsement of same-sex marriage, rejects scripture as authoritative, etc.)?
- Would the resource be acceptable/applicable/respectful and helpful to Christians worldwide, e.g., those outside the western context?
- Does the resource address biblically the challenges women face at racial, or ethnic margins?
To effectively answer these questions, reviewers need to have a strong understanding and affirmation of CBE’s mission, core values, and priorities.
Because the bookstore is a branch of CBE International, its purpose can be found in CBE’s mission statement:
CBE exists to promote the biblical message that God calls women and men of all cultures, races, and classes to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world. CBE’s mission is to eliminate the power imbalance between men and women resulting from theological patriarchy.
The criteria for evaluating resources are first and foremost CBE’s mission statement, and therefore all resources must adhere to CBE’s statement of faith and align with our mission, core values, and vision. This means:
- Resources should affirm that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, is reliable, and is the final authority for faith and practice. For instance, some materials claim that the Bible is patriarchal or that certain biblical texts are not authoritative. CBE recognizes that while many ancient societies were patriarchal, the moral teachings of Scripture oppose patriarchy or male domination. Our resources explain the biblical passages in their historical and cultural context, rather than discounting certain passages altogether. Further, scriptural concerns are also addressed through Scripture responding to Scripture—a whole Bible approach.
- All resources affirm the essential dignity and shared authority of men and women of all ethnicities, ages, and classes. We believe the Bible teaches that all men and women are equally created in God’s image for shared governance and CBE resources reflect this belief. Thus we avoid using stereotypes or caricatures that demean groups of people.
- All resources affirm that men and women are to diligently develop and use their God-given gifts for the good of the home, church, and society. We believe God gifts women and men according to God’s purposes regardless of their sex, age, ability, race/ethnicity or culture, and that these giftings should be used for God’s glory. We encourage wives and husbands to mutually submit to one another. In the same way, we encourage the Christian community to recognize the gifts of women and men and allow them to be used to build up equally in the body of Christ.
Secondly, each resource is chosen based on its agreement with CBE’s statement of faith, mission, and core values whether or not the author has expressed agreement elsewhere or in other venues. By including a resource, CBE is not endorsing the entire body of work by an author, or the organization or denomination they represent.
The following criteria summarizes our bookstore priorities.
- CBE’s first priority is to promote resources that teach the shared leadership, service, and authority of women and men from a biblical perspective.
- The resource offers a critical assessment of the biblical texts and culture used to support male-authority teachings, as well as the Scripture that support women’s shared leadership. These resources may be scholarly or popular in nature. Examples:
- Discovering Biblical Equality: Biblical, Theological, Cultural, and Practical Perspective edited by Ronald W. Pierce, Cynthia Long Westfall, Christa L. McKirland
- 1 Peter: A Commentary by Craig S. Keener
- The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth by Beth Allison Barr
- Men and Women in Christ: Adjudicating the Complementarian-Egalitarian Debate by Andrew Bartlett
- Leading Well: A Black Woman’s Guide to Wholistic, Barrier-Breaking Leadership by Jeanne Porter King
- Why Can’t Women Do That? Breaking Down the Reasons Churches Put Men in Charge by Philip B. Payne, Vince Huffaker
- The resource informs readers about women leaders in Scripture as examples. Resources may also address the difficulties and abuses women experienced in Scripture. CBE resources show how one’s sex, race or ethnicity combined are not obstacles to leadership; to holding spiritual authority; to preaching and teaching, etc. Examples:
- Tell Her Story: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church by Nijay K. Gupta
- Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter, Expanded Second Edition by Lindsay Hardin Freeman
- Biblical Women Submissive? by Joe E. Lunceford
- Rediscovering the Marys: Maria, Mariamne, Miriam edited by Mary Ann Beavis & Ally Kateusz
- From Widows to Warriors: Women’s Stories from the Old Testament by Lynn Japinga
- The Ministry of Women in the New Testament: Reclaiming the Biblical Vision for Church Leadership by Dorothy A. Lee
- The resource brings to light the contributions of past or present women who have followed their callings, providing historical and tangible examples of biblical equality being lived out throughout history. These books also consider the impact of culture, especially ancient culture, on our reading of Scripture. Examples:
- Women in the Mission of the Church: Their Opportunities and Obstacles throughout Christian History by Leanne M. Dzubinkski and Anneke H. Stassen
- Voices Long Silenced: Women Biblical Interpreters through the Centuries by Joy A. Schroeder and Marion Ann Taylor*
- Finding Phoebe: What New Testament Women Were Really Like by Susan E. Hylen*
- Daughters of Deliverance by Lorry Lutz
- Into the Pulpit: Southern Baptist Women and Power by Elizabeth H. Flowers
- No Time for Silence: Evangelical Women in Public Ministry Around the Turn of the Century by Janette Hassey
- Women in the World of the Earliest Christians by Lynn Cohick
- The Hidden History of Women’s Ordination: Female Clergy in the Medieval West by Gary Macy
- The resource addresses the ways culture affects our understanding of the Bible and God. Examples
- Women and the Gender of God by Amy Peeler
- Transforming Worldviews: An Anthropological Understanding of How People Change by Paul G. Hiebert
- Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels by Kenneth E. Bailey
- Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes: Cultural Studies in 1 Corinthians by Kenneth E. Bailey
- Abusing Scripture: The Consequences of Misreading the Bible by Manfred T. Brauch
- Sweet Surrender: How Cultural Mandates Shape Christian Marriage by Dennis Hiebert
- The bookstore’s second priority is to carry resources that show how biblical equality for women of all races and ethnicities affects individual lives. (These resources may not address women’s equality to the extent that the first priority resources do, but it is still part of the discussion.)
- The resource demonstrates how an understanding of the Bible (women’s biblical equality or male-authority) affects everyday life including marriage, family, church life, abuse, or health (mental, emotional, relational) etc. Examples:
- Created to Thrive: Cultivating Abuse-Free Communities edited by Elizabeth Beyer
- Nurturing Women’s Equality: A Church Evaluation Tool
- Mutual by Design: A Better Model of Christian Marriage edited by Elizabeth Beyer
- Destiny Denied by Barbara Boone Wooten
- Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church by Diane Langberg
- Ending Violence in Teen Dating Relationships: A Resource Guide for Parents and Pastors by Al Miles
- Heirs Together: Applying the Biblical Principle of Mutual Submission in Your Marriage by Patricia Gundry
- The resource demonstrates how men and women can work together to further the gospel. This may be accomplished by informing the reader about spiritual gifts. Examples:
- A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture that Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing by Scot McKnight, Laura Barringer
- Together in Ministry: Women and Men in Flourishing Partnerships by Rob Dixon
- Making Room for Leadership: Power, Space, and Influence by MaryKate Morse
- The resource shares personal stories of how people come to understand women’s biblical equality in their own lives. Examples:
- How God Sees Women: The End of Patriarchy by Terran Williams*
- A Sword Between the Sexes?: C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen
- How I Changed my Mind About Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals, edited by Alan E. Johnson
- The bookstore’s third priority is to carry resources that expose the impact of patriarchy through other disciplines other than biblical scholarship. These resources may not address the biblical equality of women directly but further CBE’s mission because their work shows the impact of patriarchy. In other words, the resource shows the positive consequences of shared leadership of men and women or the negative results of male-authority. Both examples dismantle patriarchy and advance human flourishing. These resources may address humanitarian work, business practices, parenting, economics, education, counseling, ethnicity, class, or some other aspect of life, it addresses the negative impact of patriarchy in a way that exposes, challenges, and dismantles it.
- The resource addresses equality as it relates to women, race, ethnicity and/or class. The resource may address the issue from varied perspectives and disciplines, but we are especially interested in resources that address reconciliation. Examples
- Diversity Playbook: Recommendations and Guidance for Christian Organizations by Michelle R. Loyd-Paige and Michelle D. Williams
- Leading Well: A Black Woman’s Guide to Wholistic, Barrier-Breaking Leadership by Jeanne Porter King
- Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community by Michelle T. Sanchez
- Buried Talents: Overcoming Gendered Socialization to Answer God’s Call by Susan Harris Howell
- The resource provides information about theological issues like the Trinity in order to help the reader understand the similarities and differences between theological concepts and women’s biblical equality. Examples:
- Mothers as the Image of God by Juliann Bullock
- The Imago Dei: Humanity Made in the Image of God by Lucy Peppiatt.
- Who’s Tampering with the Trinity? An Assessment of the Subordination Debate by Millard J. Erickson
- The Eternal Generation of the Son: Maintaining Orthodoxy in Trinitarian Theology by Kevin Giles
- Women, Men, and the Trinity: What Does it Mean to Be Equal? By Nancy Hedberg
- We carry books that equip women in developing their leadership skills. Other resources compare egalitarian theology to that of complementarians to further critical thinking. Finally, we offer resources on other areas related to the discussion of women’s biblical equality. Examples:
- Stained Glass Ceilings: How Evangelicals Do Gender and Practice Power by Lisa Weaver Swartz
- A Little Handbook for Preachers by Mary S. Hulst
- Finding Their Voices: Sermons by Women in the Church of Christ by D’esta Love
- Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton
- Women in Ministry: Four Views edited by Bonnidell and Robert Clouse
- The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity by Kevin Giles
CBE will also evaluate resources based on cost, availability**, appeal, and other factors to determine if a book should be carried. And, while we highly value reviewer input, whether to include a resource in CBE’s bookstore is entirely up to CBE’s discretion.
* As an Amazon Associate, CBE earns from qualifying purchases.
**If a book is self-published, we may not be able to add it to CBE’s cobranded store. To be included in CBE Bookstore, a book must be printed by a mainline publisher or print on demand company such as Ingram or Bookbaby.