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I will never forget that day in November 1999. I was serving as associate pastor in a church in the urban slum area of Lima, Peru. My wife, Loida, and I decided to visit Juliet (not her real name), one of the most faithful and endearing women from our congregation. She had been active in the church since childhood and had most recently served fervently as a deaconess. As she aged, she still delighted us with her voice. When she sang, it was as though a choir of angels had descended from heaven. Those of us who had the privilege of hearing her were always spellbound and captivated by the beauty of her singing.  Read more
One thing becomes clear in reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood: to be a woman of valor does not require fitting a particular mold. Rather, it requires a heart willing to seek God and cultivate virtues found throughout Scripture . . . Held Evans' book is filled with honesty, humor, and grace, and her book is a great tool to begin, or continue, conversing about what "biblical womanhood" means for us all.  Read more
Proverbs 21: 9 says that “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious wife.”  While sitting on one’s rooftop is not technically a prescribed punishment for a woman’s belligerence, Rachel Held Evans decided that a minute of roof time per contentious remark of the previous month was an appropriate penance.  Because she is accused of making a mockery of the Bible with her new book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master, one might think Evans would be the epitome of the contentious woman, but I, in fact, found the opposite to be true.  While undoubtedly bold, Evans is about as gracious as they come, and her book celebrates womanhood rather than promoting division. Read more
Matthew D. Kim
As we journey through life, many of us will be able to recount key individuals who noticed our God-given gifts and potential. Those same individuals not only showed an interest from the sidelines, but they also took proactive measures to mentor us and abet us in pursuing God's dreams for our lives. In Some Men Are Our Heroes, editors KeumJu Jewel Hyun and Cynthia Davis Lathrop have assembled a uniquely talented group of evangelical women from across the globe to share their testimonies about the male figures in their lives who have had a significant hand in helping them become the women of influence that they are today. Read more
Gayle Haggard's Why I Stayed is a spellbinding book. My reflections, as I read it, revolved around three separate but related themes—marriage, mutuality, and "healing through meeting." We all see the stories others tell about their lives through the prism of our own.  Read more
Marnie Ferree presents a deeply moving and sometimes disturbing investigation of sexual abuse from the perspective of the injured, as one who was deeply wounded through sexual victimization, and the healer, as an actively working counselor and minister to those who have experienced similar abuse. And, as if such revelatory investigations from the first-person perspective were not difficult enough, Ferree takes the discussion to an entirely new depth of difficulty: she presents herself as the perpetrator as well. Read more
Anna Snyder
The day after our engage­ment people began bombarding us with advice and suggestions for how to plan our wedding. As the bride-to-be, it was assumed I would be in charge of planning everything. Ryan’s role was simply to show up when I told him to show up, wearing what I told him to wear. Countless men (and women) clapped Ryan on the back and insisted that he “just let her do whatever she wants…your job is to stay out of the way.” Many of these people, ironically, are the same ones who expected Ryan to suddenly take the role as the leader as soon as we were married, despite having spent the months before our wedding in complete submission to my wishes.  Read more
Alice Matthews
Many of us have longed for a sane, nuanced conversation around differing viewpoints on gender issues in marriage. The Spencers and Tracys have given us that conversation in this fine book.  Read more
Tomboy. This label still seems far too domesticated a term for my childhood as I loved tromping through creeks, making elaborate forts, crawling around in camouflage, and climbing up pine trees. My parents never discouraged my outlets of energy nor my desires to become a detective, a lawyer, or the president; they encouraged me to be all God made me to be. Interestingly, the message I received in Sunday school and gleaned from weekly sermons did not match my parents’ encouragement. Read more
Matthew Gemmill
Drawing from his own experience of pornography addiction, Reynolds calls men, in his book A New Man, to reject any conception of masculinity that sees porn use as a natural—or, even worse, an essential—part of being a man. And he sees porn use as an inevitable part of the beer-swigging, truck-driving, "tough man" ideal exemplified during National Football League commercial breaks. For Reynolds, these images in popular culture are not ideals of manhood, but the opposite.  Read more

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