Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Jesus Feminist

     "I often think of Lydia when people argue over the false dichotomy of whether or not women should work. Women have always worked; they will always work - for their families, for their homes, for survival, for provision, for the good of their souls. It's a straw man argument for the purposes of arguing or imposing a new law. Lydia used her portion, a considerable business acumen and subsequent wealth, for the benefit of the gospel."

     Chapter Six: Patron Saints, Spiritual Midwives, and "Biblical Womanhood"
     Jesus Feminist, Sarah Bessey
      This is not what I saw myself reading this year, but life is full of surprises. A couple of my coworkers have read both of Sarah Bessey's books and highly recommended them to me, but it wasn't until I heard her speak at my church that I finally picked  up Jesus Feminist. I had seen it on the shelf; noticed it when it first came into the store last year; and the title made me want to read it, but non-fiction can be so hard for me. It took me weeks to finish Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, even though I adored the book. This is a bit of the same story, but I'm getting through it, and it is beautiful.

     It is powerful, and wonderful, and encouraging. Her words are beautiful, and her thoughts are careful and blessedly heart-warming. And strong. Her words are so, so strong.

     I recommend this book to any woman. And I recommend this book to anyone who has felt oppressed, as a woman, in the church. Even if it felt minor. Even if it was something that you were fine brushing off, because it didn't really apply to you anyways.

     This is a book to encourage women, but Sarah Bessey doesn't ignore men either. She approaches everything with a care, gentleness and grace that calms the nerves and the anger and the judgement on either end of the spectrum. She brings the reader in for a chat. A deep, and perhaps difficult chat, but approached in such a way that the frayed nerves don't feel so raw and the hurt doesn't rear its head so violently. Because there is a lot of hurt on the subject, and a lot of violence and frustration and anger. Sarah Bessey is here to set that aside. She "makes her case - not as a fire-breathing debater - but as a woman utterly captivated by Jesus, who will stop at nothing to follow him" (Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church).

      Now, I'm not good with non-fiction, as I've said. I'm also awful with confrontation and seriously angsty and argumentative topics. But I love this book. I love the kindness and gentleness of it. I love the truth and the warmth of heart and the strength.


     For more information on Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey, visit our website here.

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