A fascinating overview of the mythology and biblical background of hell and the sources that gave shape to the hell created by Dante in his Inferno. WA fascinating overview of the mythology and biblical background of hell and the sources that gave shape to the hell created by Dante in his Inferno. While it seems that the author assumes Dante's version of hell has shaped our modern understanding of hell, especially in conservative circles, I wish he would have drawn more connections between Dante and today. However, it's still a very helpful book in tracing the evolution of the afterlife in Jewish, Greek, and Christian thought. ...more
Sarah Bessey boldly writes about the message of Jesus and its intersections with feminism while keeping her arms open and creating space for all.
I'veSarah Bessey boldly writes about the message of Jesus and its intersections with feminism while keeping her arms open and creating space for all.
I've followed Sarah's blog for years now. I knew that something like this book was in the works, and even I am still surprised at how she managed to take a strong and decisive line about the importance of equality and dignity for women in the message of Jesus without aiming shots at potential critics or opponents.
Sarah opens the book with a metaphor of a bonfire by the shore that is outside the "table" that professors, denominational leaders, and pastors have set up that has long been closed to women in many Christian circles. She returns to the bonfire often, advocating for the creation of a new space for the worn out women in ministry debates and gender role arguments.
Throughout the book Sarah shares glimpses of her own story that adds a layer of context and warmth to her writing. Although the first half of the book starts a little slow with some explanations about key passages of scripture and their relationship to the equality of women, she kicks into full on prophet in the latter half of the book. By sharing concrete stories about a new kind of "church lady" and more aspirational thoughts about what it could mean to be a "church lady," she manages to keep her tone both forceful and gentle, inspiring without being overbearing.
I suspect that more concrete readers who want the plain facts will not enjoy this book as much as those who crave writing that is more lyrical, emotive, and metaphorical. I have not read a book quite like it, and to that end, I can see some readers clutching it to their hearts when finished reading it, while I can see others arching their eyebrows in confusion. I see that as a strength. This is a unique book that will speak to many readers like no other book has. We have our concrete books about Jesus and feminism. Why not turn a charismatic poet loose on them?
I also suspect that those well acquainted with feminism will come away from this book with some hard questions, such as whether we really can have a bonfire on the shore and leave well enough alone with "the table" where women aren't welcome. We take for granted many rights for women that were fought for when women didn't have a place at the table. For those committed to the love and equality of Christ, we need to talk more about what it could look like to gather in unity under Christ while also addressing the real injustices at "the tables" in our world. Sarah wrote about some of these topics metaphorically, so I may have missed her concrete conclusions at some key points.
This book will be especially well received by Christian readers who like the idea of equality for women but have heard primarily negative things about feminism from their churches. It provides a way forward for those who have been hesitant to call themselves feminists.
Most importantly, this book creates room for all of us to pursue equality in the company of Christ. That is perhaps the last thing many will expect from a book called Jesus Feminist, and the delight of that surprise is what makes it a worthwhile read.
I received a preview copy of this book from the publisher. ...more
While waiting for our first child to be born, this was an extremely helpful book for me both from the perspective of helping me prepare to be a fatherWhile waiting for our first child to be born, this was an extremely helpful book for me both from the perspective of helping me prepare to be a father and to understand what my wife will be going through. I highly recommend this book to fathers because having a child can be extremely taxing emotionally for mothers, and it's so important to be gracious while recognizing the enormous changes and challenges they face.
Overall, this is not the kind of book most people will read cover to cover unless you've been raised with some pretty strict notions of how to raise a child (on a schedule from nearly day one, etc.). The content is excellent, but each reader will find different parts more helpful than others based on what you've been taught about parenting.
The best insight for me personally was the suggestion that parents should approach caring for their children spiritually. While there is value to be found in parenting books, the authors make an excellent point that God is more than able to guide parents. That insight alone makes this book a worthwhile read.
My only critique of the book is that while the authors do a fantastic job sharing their personal stories, the style of the book where they jump back and forth and sometimes write "together" is a little clumsy and distracting at times. That doesn't take away from the value of the book, but I certainly hope Tietz and Oyer write another book together, and hopefully they can work on that aspect of their collaboration for next time.
I received a free copy of the book for review from the authors and had no pressure to offer a positive review. All the same, I highly recommend and endorse this book especially for first time parents. ...more
Great ideas worth considering, but so academic, it's quite unreadable. Even with an academic background, I find this book unnecessarily impossible toGreat ideas worth considering, but so academic, it's quite unreadable. Even with an academic background, I find this book unnecessarily impossible to read even if I'm extremely interested in the concepts discussed....more
An interesting history of the French and Indian War with special insight into the Native American nations that generally played a larger role in shapiAn interesting history of the French and Indian War with special insight into the Native American nations that generally played a larger role in shaping the war's outcome than most histories let on. Though slow at times, this was an enjoyable read, especially before we vacation in the Lake George region where some of these events took place. ...more