In talking with women around the country, Jim Henderson has come to believe that there is an epidemic of quiet, even sad resignation among dedicated Christian women who are feeling overworked and undervalued in the church. As a result, many women are discouraged. Some, particularly young women, respond by leaving the organized church . . . or walking away from the faith altogether.
Containing personal interviews with women and new research from George Barna, The Resignation of Eve is a field report on what women have to say about how they’ve been affected by their experiences within the church. It is crucially important because, across the board, the research shows that women are driving changes in the church . . . so what will happen if they resign?
Inviting women to speak for themselves, The Resignation of Eve is a must-read, life-changing book for women who have been engaged in the Christian church as well as their pastors and ministry leaders.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the roles given to women in the church, even before reading this book. I will go ahead and say that I find less, and less proof that women weren't intended to be pastoral positions in the church. It seems like we are picking and choosing from the cultural expectations of Paul's time to keep women in a very odd fragmented box that doesn't many any sense. If all churches told me my head needed to be covered and that I couldn't speak at all in church then I might be more prone to see where churches are getting their basis to keep women from leadership roles, but since it's obvious that the majority of churches don't have women keeping their head covered there is a disconnect in logically telling women why they can't teach. Either you follow all of what Paul says, or you have to accept there is a problem with how you're choosing and picking what to think.
This book addresses all that, and more. It brings up the problem of how these views can also put the feeling of dominance in men, and how domestic violence has even been defended because of churches stance on the leadership of men. Probably the most heartbreaking of stories is when a woman shares how abusive her husband was, and had an affair, but since he was the authority he blamed her for his inability to stay committed to her. When she went to her church for support they took the husband's side. I think this book is exposing a lot of issues these views have caused amongst Christians.
Jim is also very patient, and understanding with the women he interviews. I find it admirable that this male pastor has taken it upon himself to push for people in the church to think of why they think women should have the suppression they do in the church. Even his wife started out passive as to understanding why it was so important for the role of women to change in the church. The questions he asks are good ones, and you can tell the women are stumped as to discovering the illogicality of why women can't teach at higher levels than they do. My only wish is that Jim would have went deeper into why he believes it isn't wrong from women to have higher authority in the church. He does mention that the culture Paul was directing was different from ours, and that he had reason for saying what he did, but I think it would have helped if a whole chapter would have been dedicated to the cultural context. There are a lot of good arguments for it being okay for women to be pastors, and in other usually male only roles.
I think this book should be read by men and women. It is insightful, and hopefully gets people who are open-minded to reconsider there stances, and why they have them.
This book was provided by Tyndale in exchange for a review.