Initial thoughts on Half the Church

Zondervan sent me homework in the mail and I am very excited about it!

A couple of days ago my mailman (who happens to look a lot like Santa Claus) rang the doorbell. He was gone by the time I got to the door, but he left a little box between my screen door and the (main?) door. I knew what it was before I even had my hands on it—my review copy of Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James!

A book report might not sound terribly exciting to you, but I am delighted.

Here’s why. I already utilize the blog to share my opinions on books now and again, but this is the first time anyone (apart from a professor) has asked me to offer my two cents about a book in written form.

I know…lots of bloggers review books—but it’s novel to me! (Honestly, no pun intended.)

The other reason I’m charged up about this is that it appears I will actually like the book. To my shame, I was a little anxious when I heard the title Half the Church and noted that the author was a woman. I didn’t want to read another book touting that, according to the Bible, women are essentially the same as (or even somewhat better than) men. Nor did I care to hear another elaborate, theological spin on what kinds of content and under what circumstances it is appropriate for women to speak to men.

To my joy, from a quick read of the first chapter, this book appears to be neither! Rather, it invites the reader to think globally and explore whether the popular American notion of the message of the Bible for women is relevant and adequate for women world-wide, especially those who endure lives of hardship and brutality.

The strongest voices speaking into women’s lives in the twenty-first century are Islam and Feminism—systems that reside at opposite ends of the spectrum. Does the church’s message for women stake out the middle ground or does the gospel lead the way to something much better? After years of asking questions and digging into Scripture in search of answers, I am convinced we have a message for women that is ready to take on the challenges of the new millennium—a message that far out-strips these other voices and unlocks the untapped potential of half the church. (pg. 42 – 43)

Well, I’m intrigued.


Update: See my full review here.


4 thoughts on “Initial thoughts on Half the Church”

  1. I just bought this book and was so excited about it. After reading it, I think I’m going to write a review, because a lot of what she wrote stirs me in several directions. I googled reviews on her book and found only your blog (and the blog of my friend and professor who told me about it). It’s fun to see another Portland woman pondering and writing on these things. I look forward to reading yours soon.

  2. Yes, the book has plenty of food for thought. I was very excited to hear from another Christian-blogger-woman in Portland…and admittedly disappointed when I went to your site and found that you don’t post much.

    All the same, I’m very pleased you took the time to comment–and I’ll subscribe to your blog in case you decide to write a review. I’d be interested to hear what you think. 🙂

    1. Ha, yes. I do wish I posted more as well. Sadly, as seminary ended and consuming ministry life and wife-hood began, the blog suffered. But the sacrifice was worth it. 🙂 I hope that someday soon I can begin to write on it again. I think it is good for my soul to write and process on there. I hope to enjoy your blog now as well.

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