Tag Archives: history

The Making of Biblical Womanhood by Beth Allison Barr

This book is one part memoir, one part history, and one part social commentary. It opens on the heartbreaking situation her family went through when her husband was fired over women’s role in the church. This event brings her to contemplate over the Church’s history with women in the church and how patriarchy has played a destructive role.

I liked how informative it was, how every opinion and reflection was backed my historical data. Towards the end of the book, she shows how patriarchal values can be a danger to women and marginalized people. She used the #metoo movement to exemplify the dangers of having one people with power over another. It was interesting because I see us even farther down the dangerous road she describes.

The medieval history was fascinating, as well as the reformation, how they compare to present day. There were cycles that showed up even during the early church with the Roman empire’s culture of patriarchy. She showed how these cycles, while maybe a little different in creation, still maintained a lot of the problems of the previous cycles because patriarchy still played a major role in society.

The mixture of theology and history was informative. I don’t think this should be the only book on one’s shelf when it comes to reflecting on the current hierarchy of the church and the problems it brings. But it should definitely have a voice in the discussion. I would recommend this book to any church leader or someone who likes to learn about church history.

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The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

This beautiful book. I’ve already recommended it to friends before I even finished it. This author’s work is both challenging and edifying. I really appreciate everything she does to lay out the history, statistics and personal perspectives in this book in order to show how our bodies have been abused and misrepresented.

Her writing vacillates between hard facts and humor. It’s like I was taking a class in radical self-love. There are questions throughout the chapters and challenges to have conversation with other people. One of the biggest points was that we can’t radically love ourselves in a vacuum, it has to be done in community, both in how we treat and view ourselves and others.

There are also practical examples which are perfect for my learning style. She reiterates points throughout the book so you aren’t just given a whole lot of information but instead are able to process it from different sides and facets. It is only 130 pages but pretty dense, and it references the workbook that I will be definitely looking into soon. I would recommend this to anyone with a body and who desires building a community where we love and celebrate who we are and how we are made.

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