Saturday, May 7, 2011

GIVEAWAY: In which I review "Half the Church"

GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED. Thanks for entering!

Reviewing: Half the Church: Recapturing God's Global Vision for Women
By Carolyn Custis James

Publisher Summary:
Women comprise at least half the world and usually more than half the church. But so often Christian teaching for women either fails to move beyond a discussion of roles or assumes a particular economic situation or stage of life. This shuts a lot of women out from contributing to God's kingdom as they were designed to do. Furthermore, the plight of women in the Majority World demands a Christian response, a holistic embrace of all that God calls women and men to be in his world. 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 lead the way to something much better?  Is that message strong enough to withstand the worst realities women suffer in this broken world?  Carolyn Custis James unpacks three transformative themes the Bible presents that invest the lives of every woman and girl with cosmic significance that nothing can destroy.  These new images of what can be in Christ come with a blazing call for them to join their brothers in advancing God's gracious kingdom on earth.  Carolyn offers readers a positive, kingdom approach to the changes, challenges, and opportunities facing women throughout the world today.

My review:

Most of you know that the issues of women in the church is of particular interest and passion for me. It's something I've written about at Emerging Mummy often. So I was a bit nervous when I received the book for review.

But by the time I was finished the first chapter, I was nearly standing on my couch, waving my little charismatic white hankie and shrieking "Preach, sister!"

For instance (from page 40-41):

"Instead of addressing the wide range of questions and situations women are facing today, we focus mainly on marriage and motherhood, and that within a two-parent, single-income family. We overlook all the other seasons of a woman's life - which impacts every girl and adult woman, and excludes entirely women whose lives follow a different path."

It was equal parts inspiration and challenge. Myself, I felt convicted at how narrowly I had been looking at the issues for women in the church (my view being decidedly western and particularly north American). This book helped to open my eyes and my heart.

My interest and focus in social justice has primarily followed a feminine projection - my work with Mercy Ministries as well as other advocacy, giving and time for other ministries has focused almost entirely on women and children. And yet, I felt like this book was eye-opening, challenging, sobering and inspiring.

I'd like to hear what Idelette or Rachel have to say about this book.

Fortunately, better reviews were also done by two of my other favourites: Megan and Nish. So you can also check there if you aren't quite sure.

Highly recommend. Especially if you have been discouraged by the tone of the debate regarding women in church/leadership/the home/the world lately. It will broaden your views in the best ways possible without degenerating into nit-picky text-proofing.

I have one copy to give away, courtesy of Zondervan.

To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post.

That's it (I'm not too into making things complicated these days.) I'll draw a winner using

Contest closes: 1 June 2011
Shipping: USA or Canadian addresses only please.

** Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for review purposes as well as one for giveaway. I am paying for shipping to the winner and no monetary compensation was exchanged. 


  1. Ok the stack of books I want to read is going to fall over soon...but I really would want to read this one soon! Thanks for the review.

  2. Sounds very intriguing! I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for the review.

  3. Looks fantastic. Have been wanting to read it since Megan (sortacrunchy) reviewed it. Thanks for the opportunity.

  4. Thanks for the review and the links. I'm looking forward to reading a considered Christian response to global issues facing women, especially as I'm currently reading Half the Sky.

  5. i would love to read this, and cannot believe i neglected to fill out the google doc to snag a review copy myself!

  6. Looks interesting! Thanks for hosting :).

  7. I always appreciate your writing, and your willingness to self-examine. Thanks for this review!

  8. I, too, find this issues has a special place in my heart, especially as a woman in ministry, trying to decide what my role is in ministry (do I stay or do I go) and trying desperately to figure out how to lead and serve well, trusting that God made women the way we are, with all of our differences, for a reason and recognizing some of the issues that we create for women in the church. Thanks for the review!

  9. I'd added this book to my buy and read SOON list earlier this spring, so I would love to have a copy! Happy to hear that it would broaden my views. I'm up for that :)

  10. This book is on my "desperately want to read" list. Unfortunately my budget doesn't keep up with my list, so I would love it if a free copy would land in my lap!

  11. My daughter is 3, and I want the world for her. Sometimes our church and the Church seem to want somewhat less than that for her. I look forward to reading this.

  12. sounds like a book worth reading, for sure. :)

  13. would love to delve into this book! :)

  14. looks VERY interesting... i'd love to read this one!

  15. That sounds right up my alley! thanks for having the fun giveaway!

  16. That sounds like an interesting book. I'd like to read it.

  17. Thanks for posting your review. I've been so discouraged (even as a married mother) about the lack of resources available to women that moves beyond the "what's my role in marriage and submission to men" question. I promise this won't sit on my shelf for ages before being read if I win ;) (Thank you for the chance to win!)

  18. I would love to read this. I am a recovering from a fairly conservative Christian upbringing and am still trying to figure this whole "women and the church" thing out. Thanks for the chance to learn more, Sarah! And I do learn more just from reading your thoughts online. Thanks for that, too!