Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Half the Church

Thanks to Zondervan I have a copy of the book to give away to a reader!

If you would like to have a chance to win a copy of the book, write a comment below! A winner will be chosen on Friday!

Click to see a larger image of Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James

Carolyn Curtis James passionately writes on a topic for less than 200 pages what could be discussed in volumes. Although I agree with her overall point of the book, she really only gives two extremes. One extreme being the woman who works from home quietly and never giving her opinion while her God-given gifts are not being used to glorify God. The other extreme being a woman who becomes a leader in this world. Despite this lacking, the book is encouraging when considering applying it to each individual circumstance through the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. Using Amy Carmichael, Esther, Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Naomi as examples, she is trying to push women to get excited about being used as a leader by God without placing ourselves into a neat box. James refers to both books, Half the Sky and Things as They Are to open our eyes to an outside world that many of us forget about when we are putting a label on how women should behave. I do agree that much of what is taught about how women should behave is not necessarily unbiblical but is culturally biased.

We were not placed on this earth to be a wife, bear children, cook food, be president, or to work. We were placed here to glorify God with all of our heart, mind, and soul. Through these things and how we live our lives we glorify God.

I think that it is easy to lose sight of this when we read the "how-to" books on being a good wife. Everyone, both women and men, can gain some insight into James' Half the Church, but I think she misses one point.

While she is doing a great job at getting women excited about doing God's work and becoming leaders, she doesn't hit on the point that not every person is called to a particular position. I attend a church where single women are sent on the mission field and while I was young I was sent myself to Mexico as a missionary, but this doesn't mean that everyone is called to go. Also, right now, as a work-from-home mom, I prefer working behind the scenes and supporting both women and men in every way possible, but that doesn't make my job less valuable.

Her overall point is encouraging women enthusiastically to pray about where God would have you lead. Would it be teaching a Sunday School class? Leading a ministry? Becoming a missionary? But don't sit on the sidelines while workers are needed to help glorify God in this sinful world! As James encourages women to be active she is focuses on women and being being equals, and although I believe this true, I believe that women and men were created differently and play different roles. She wrote as though she may believe that men and women could do ALL jobs not considering their differences, strengths, and weaknesses.

Overall, the book encourages women to get excited about being an image bearer for God, but because it focuses only on two extremes without a middle, I would recommend that if it is read, it should be challenged. What I mean by this is that study in The Bible what you believe, and ask God to lay on your heart how you can best glorify Him in this world.

If you would like to have a chance to win a copy of the book, write a comment below! A winner will be chosen on Friday!

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  1. Anonymous9:28 PM

    I'd love to be entered in your drawing! Thanks, girl!

  2. Anonymous3:30 AM

    I love this subject! God has created us all differently, men and women, with different gifts and personalities. I believe God has specific jobs for men to do that woman cannot do, as I feel God has specific jobs for women to do that men cannot do. It is wonderful to be different and unique in our own ways as men and women.
    If God has allowed a woman to have children, raising her children to love and glorify God is her most important role, that is not to say she can not be used outside the home too. Each of us, men and women need to seek God to know what His job for us to do so that we glorify Him in doing it. AND, we as brothers and sisters in Christ should honor each one's choice in their job as they see it
    as God's choice for them.
    As a grandma now, I know God uses us differently at different stages of our lives. Let's glorify Him in all we do and always seek His will.

  3. sounds like an interesting book, would love to read it....in my spare time lol

  4. Sounds like an interesting book!

  5. First of all, I LOVE that you are a discerning reader...those are somewhat rare these days. People have forgotten how to challenge the things they read and forgotten how to ask questions. That being said, I think there is a fine line and a hard balance between being a Godly servant in the kingdom and overstepping into territory that is Biblically left for men. I think that childrearing and housework are a high calling--and a hard calling! But that's not to say that every woman is called to that. And those that are not can absolutely glorify God in the circumstances He has put them in! I'm curious to see how she handles this somewhat delicate topic. It definitely sounds like she is coming at it from an atypical point of view than most current women writers. I always love a good book, and a good book review. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This sounds like a thought-provoking book. It's something all women struggle with, whether they are stay-at-home moms, work-from-home moms, or women in the workplace (and some of us aren't moms). How did you get a free copy from Zondervan?


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