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Review Books for CBE

CBE Bookstore helps advance CBE’s mission by sharing books that affirm and promote the biblical truth that all believers—regardless of gender, ethnicity or class—are free to lead and serve as equals. It serves our community as a reliable source of the best egalitarian books available, covering topics such as theology and Bible translation, Bible women, marriage, abuse, social justice, and much more.

Book Criteria

Each book CBE carries is carefully vetted to make sure it aligns with our statement of faith and core values, whether or not the author agrees with CBE in other work. By carrying a book, CBE does not endorse the author’s entire body of work, the author, or the organization or denomination they might represent.

Books carried by CBE Bookstore have been evaluated and recommended by a volunteer who is passionate about supporting CBE’s ministry.

CBE regularly reviews new books that are relevant to our mission (whether supportive of our work or not). We post reviews on our website, and if we recommend a book, we also carry it. This is a big project, so we are always looking for people to help.

Do you support CBE’s Mission and Values?

Are you familiar with egalitarian Bible interpretation and theology, and how it differs from complementarian/headship theology?

Then please consider volunteering to read, evaluate, and review books for CBE! If you’re interested, please read this page carefully, then complete our Book Reviewer Application and we’ll be in touch!

Reviewing Books for CBE

For each resource reviewed, we ask for:

  • An evaluation of whether to include the book in CBE’s bookstore. If a book affirms our mission, we may include it. If it doesn’t, we won’t.
  • A 600–800 word written review of the book. This should evaluate the book’s message and overall quality, as well as its usefulness to egalitarians.

When we assign a book for review, we provide a form with more detailed instructions, including specifications for the written review and a list of things to check when evaluating a book for the bookstore. Reviewers then return their review and completed form to CBE.

You may receive a hard copy or digital version of the book, and depending on the situation, we may request that you return the book so that we can also evaluate it. Especially if you’re a new reviewer, or if the book has especially tricky subject matter, a second evaluation may be needed.

We request reviewers finish reading and reviewing a book within four weeks of receiving it, if at all possible. We can be flexible as needed.

  • We attempt to respond as quickly as possible, but reviewing submissions sometimes takes a few weeks. We appreciate your patience.
  • CBE reserves the right to edit and shorten reviews as necessary. Any significant changes made by the editorial team will be sent to you, the author, for comment.

To facilitate the reviewing and evaluation process, below are basic criteria and background information.

Evaluation Standards

When you evaluate a book for CBE, we’ll ask you to respond to the following (think about these when writing your review as well):

  • Is the content consistent with CBE’s mission, doctrine, and values?
  • Is the book explicitly about biblical gender equality or gender and leadership in a Christian context?
  • If no to the above, is the book related to the topic or would it be helpful/relevant for egalitarian readers? (e.g., it could be about marriage, leadership development, pursuing one’s calling, culture, biblical interpretation, etc., written from an egalitarian perspective that assumes equality and shared authority/leadership between women and men.)
  • Is the author qualified to write on the topic?
  • Are the writing quality and format satisfactory? (e.g., grammar, typos, visually appealing, etc.)
  • Is the argument and/or scholarship sound (e.g., is the information accurate and current)?
  • Is the writing and writing style compelling and appropriate for the 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 values, which CBE’s audience might find objectionable (e.g., endorsement of same-sex marriage, does not take the Bible to be authoritative, etc.)?

To effectively answer these questions, reviewers should have a strong understanding of CBE’s mission and priorities.

CBE’s Mission and Bookstore Priorities

Because the bookstore is integral to advancing CBE’s ministry, 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 evaluation are found in CBE’s mission statement, and all books must adhere to CBE’s statement of faith and align with our mission, core values, and vision. This means they must:

  • 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. We believe that while many ancient societies were patriarchal, the moral teaching of Scripture opposes patriarchy or male domination. Our resources explain the biblical passages in their historical and cultural context, rather than discounting certain passages altogether.
  • 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 dominion, and our resources reflect this belief. We also avoid using stereotypes to categorize groups of people, as each person is an individual made in the image of God.
  • 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 believers regardless of their gender, and that these giftings should be used for God’s glory. We encourage husbands and wives to mutually submit to one another. In the same way, we encourage the Christian community to recognize the gifts of men and women, and allow them to be used to build up the body of Christ.

Secondly, each book is chosen on its own merit. Therefore, we carry each based on its agreement with CBE’s statement of faith, 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.

To offer more clarity, the following summarizes the ranked priorities of our bookstore. Also included are examples of books that meet these priorities.

1. Offer books that teach the shared leadership, service, and authority of women and men from a biblical perspective.

2. Promote books that show how biblical equality affects individual lives. (These may not address gender equality to the extent that the first priority resources do, but it is still part of the discussion.)

3. Carry books that expose the impact of patriarchy through other disciplines other than biblical scholarship. These may not address biblical gender equality as directly as the first two priorities, but may further CBE’s mission because their work shows the impact of patriarchy. In other words, the book is related to biblical gender equality in that it—in some way—dismantles patriarchy. So if the resource deals with parenting, economics, education or some other aspect of life, it addresses the negative impact of patriarchy in a way that exposes, challenges, and/or dismantles it.

CBE also evaluates books based on cost, availability, appeal, and other factors to determine if it should be carried. And, while we highly value reviewer input, including a book in our bookstore is entirely up to CBE’s discretion.

Submitting Books for CBE Bookstore

Have you written a book that you think would be an asset to the CBE community? If it meets the criteria and priorities outlined above, please send us review copies.

Become a Book Reviewer

Now that you know a bit more about our process, guidelines, and priorities, apply to be a book reviewer for CBE!

If you have questions, email bookstore@cbeinternational.org.