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The #metoo Reckoning: Facing the Church's Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

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4.76  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The #MeToo movement has revealed sexual abuse and assault in every sphere of society, including the church. But victims are routinely ignored by fellow Christians who deny their accounts and fail to bring accountability to the perpetrators. All too often, churches have been complicit in protecting abusers, reinforcing patriarchal power dynamics, and creating cultures of ...more
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Expected publication: April 14th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing (first published January 14th 2020)
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Calvinist Batman
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed reading this book, especially since I got the book a whole three months before it came out. It's a book that I wish was out now.

SUMMARY

This book is primarily about how the church handles (and sadly, helps) sexual abuse cases, particularly those that happen at/in the church by church leaders. Everhart pulls from both previous experiences (and testimonies from others) and scripture as she intertwines them. Her thoughts on the story of Tamar and Bathsheba are both worth the cost
...more
Lib
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book needed to be written. I was triggered, not gonna lie...
What courage for the author to tackle such a sensitive topic, and shed light into the dark places.
In a time where the church and evangelical Christianity want to label the #MeToo movement as
a leftist sociopolitical stance, Ruth Everhart brings to the forefront of the conversation just how
complicit the church is in allowing our safest spaces to become a breeding ground for predators.
If this sounds like an indictment against the
...more
Katherine Pershey
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I will try to write a fuller review once I’ve had a chance to process this book more.
This should be required reading for all seminarians, pastors, denominational leaders, and really anyone in a position of church leadership (lay or ordained, volunteer or staff).
I cannot imagine a more excellent handling of a more devastating topic.
George P.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading an advance reader copy of Ruth Everhart's "The #MeToo Reckoning: Facing the Church's Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct," published by InterVarsity Press. It is, by turns, a slap in the face, a kick in the rear, and a shoulder to cry on. It publishes on January 14, 2020, and I highly recommend church leaders to read it.
Katelyn Beaty
I wrote the following endorsement for this important book:

"Individual bodies can't heal until they receive a diagnosis. Likewise, the body of Christ can't heal until it learns what is making it sick. With bold storytelling and deep engagement with the biblical text, Ruth Everhart diagnoses the unchecked power, patriarchy, and shallow forms of forgiveness that plague many Christian communities grappling with abuse. She also points to the cure: a better, more biblical practice of justice for
...more
Ashley
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read an advanced reader copy of this important book. The #MeToo Reckoning is an unapologetic examination of how church complicity with sexual abuse occurs and a loud call for churches to do everything within their power to stop it.

Ruth rightly frames this book within the context of patriarchal norms and beliefs that declare women less than. She is correct when she insists no complementarian construction of man as a head and woman as sidekick can embody genuine equality. It is this way of
...more
Jess(ToTheMoonAndBackReviews)
We are a nation facing so many broken issues, this book hopefully can shed some light on ways to help fix one of them.

I was a little skeptical about reading this, as a victim like so many women I tend to stay away from these books because they either trigger me or trigger some depressive episode. This book actually did the opposite. I wanted to applaud the fact that she chose to take on such a subject and give some light on things such as "grooming"

Alot of people are not aware that there is
...more
Ruth Everhart
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-wrote
I wrote this book to call the church to account for its lousy response to the sexual abuse that occurs within its walls. I tell a lot of true stories, and work with a lot of scripture. Let me know what you think.
Mindi Welton-Mitchell
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy and this is a must-read. Everhart weaves scripture in with her own and other survivor's stories of sexual assault and how the church was complicit in allowing, excusing, and covering up behavior. This is a brave book. She names names. She lists organizations and processes that have failed. Even though I'm of a different denomination, my eyes widened while reading in recognition. I've heard the same excuses for abusive behavior by leaders and pastors. I've heard ...more
Hannah Everhart
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rev. Everhart tells a compelling story that is so important and not talked about. 100% would recommend for anyone who has been affected in the church--for good or for bad--to read.
Sarah Habermehl
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The church needs this book right now. Pastor Everhart’s writing is truthful, poetic, blunt, convicting, and prophetic. We need to take the time and space to listen to victims and survivors so that the church can re-form itself into a safe and sacred space. This book, reading these stories, understanding these Bible passages, is a fantastic first step in this journey toward reconciliation. I commend it to everyone involved in the church but most especially to those in power— pastors, lay leaders, ...more
Stacie
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book really hits hard! I can not think of a more important book to read this year - for those in and outside of the Christian church culture. For a tough topic, Everhart does a great job of keeping the reader's interest with compelling true stories matched with biblical narratives. This book is not just for women or just for those in faith communities. Power dynamics exist everywhere, and I'm pretty sure that just about anyone could read this and find value in the experiences. These are ...more
Lori Neff
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Ruth's approach - no apologies. She's courageous and tells it like it is. Our churches need this book.
David
This was a book that I was not sure I wanted to read as I was a probation office, have read many works on spousal abuse, sexoffenders, and treatment options. I do no regret the day I decided to read it. Ruth uses narratives, biblical exegesis, and ends each chapter with: 1) the text asks us, and 2) My Hope.

Ruth structures the chapters such that she introduce a narrative followed by a Biblical passage fitting to the theme of the narraitive. Ruth' covering of different passages exigetical
...more
Linda Bieze
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Too, People of Faith

As movie executive Harvey Weinstein seeks a change of venue for his rape trial in New York City, the #MeToo movement is on everyone’s mind again. People of faith may shake their heads and ask, “How low can men like Weinstein go?”


But people of faith may want to look at themselves, as well. Not just the Roman Catholic Church and the Southern Baptists. As Ruth Everhart’s new book, The #MeToo Reckoning: Facing the Church’s Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct, shows,

...more
Jennifer
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Everhart's newest book, The #MeToo Reckoning, is a must read for church members and leaders wanting to address church complicity in sexual assault (abuse), exploitation, and harassment. It is written for victims, survivors, allies, and church leaders. This book is an excellent resource filled with scripture passages and narratives that biblically reinforces needed change.

Everhart is passionate around wanting to see churches become safe spaces where victims can come forward and experience
...more
Helen Anninos
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This ten-chapter book is a tough read. It can be a tough read for a number of reasons, depending on the reader’s personal experience with church and/or sexual abuse and misconduct. It is important that the reader note these content/trigger warnings.

Reverend Everhart begins with the story of Tamar’s rape (2 Samuel). She retells Tamar’s story and gives the reader literary and historical context to better understand what happened to Tamar, and what it meant in a world that valued women as property.
...more
Melanie Weldon-Soiset
Thank you, Ruth, for teaching us not only how to be the persistent widow who doesn't let decorum deter her from speaking truth, but also teaches us how Jesus is the persistent widow knocking on the church's door.

I'm chewing on the good word that the discipleship model for our age needs to be one that welcomes and protects the "little ones" in our midst, understanding that "little ones" includes anyone who is vulnerable. I've read Matthew 10 many times, yet never considered how Jesus was teaching
...more
Kate Hennessy-keimig
This book is not easy to read. That is not because it is not well-written, because it is, but rather because the author takes an unflinching look at the problem of sexual abuse in the church. She uses her own story and the stories of others who have experienced various forms of abuse and harassment from those who abThisuse their church-bestowed power to call out the abusers and also, perhaps even more importantly, the systems that allow and perhaps even foster this destructive behavior.

Her use
...more
Michelle Kidwell
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The #MeToo Reckoning
Facing the Church’s Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct

by Ruth Everhart

InterVarsity Press

IVP Books

Christian

Pub Date 14 Jan 2020

I am reviewing a copy of The #MeToo Reckoning through Intervarsity Press and Netgalley:

In this book we are reminded that victims of sexual assault are crying out for justice. And that their voices have been amplified by the #Metoo movement, which is passing through the culture like a freight train.

The phrase #Metoo as relating to the movement
...more
Tim Huizenga
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Books about sexual abuse tend to either be polemics against patriarchy or stories filled with lurid details. This book in neither. The true stories in this book illustrate that sexual misconduct in the church comes in many forms and requires honest moral reasoning in response. The accounts show that stopping and preventing sexual abuse and misconduct requires that both clergy and lay leaders exercise both discernment and moral courage, always with an eye on the truth and an informed ...more
Michael
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Everhart’s book responds to the rising awareness of sexual misconduct and a paradigm shift in regards to patriarchy and the silencing of victims (#metoo).

The book is not a sociological exploration or explanation of sexual abuse. It is not a risk-management guide for congregations (although there is a useful chapter on what churches can do to improve). It is not an appeal for women to be more chaste and men to be more chivalrous. It is an unflinching look at a pervasive and detestable virus that
...more
Michael
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading Ruth Everhart’s latest book, The #MeToo Reckoning. The stories are heart wrenching and often difficult to read. Yet the stories must be told. Ruth’s incredible understanding of and interpretation of Scripture is amazing. It also took me back to some stories from my time as an AF Chaplain. The church has a long way to go in confronting this issue. This book should be a must-read for all leaders in the faith community.

The best summary of her thesis and call for systemic
...more
Rosalind C
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book weaves together Bible stories and stories of the church and its abuses that cry out for healing and justice. It raises questions of our theology of the body, especially women's bodies. It raises questions of vulnerability, justice, protection, protectionism, clericalism, and restitution. It allows the stories of our faith to question the way that we live out faith in our churches.
It's full of quotable moments; here’s just one:
"All lamentation, including that found in Scripture, does
...more
Heidi
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A deeply thoughtful, starkly honest, prophetic, and hopeful book about sexual abuse in churches. Ack, I've read a lot about #MeToo in secular contexts, but this book shone a light on ways those same issues, pitfalls, patterns, and failures have manifest in church life, across denominational and political spectrums. I thought I already knew a lot, but Everhart taught me more - sometimes to my horror. She includes her own story, as well as stories told to her by other woman and one man. Her ...more
Courtney Ellis
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is powerful, brilliantly written, and much-needed. Everhart is a master storyteller, and she weaves together Scriptural narrative with personal and first-hand accounts of sexual abuse within the church. A must-read for pastors, ministry leaders, and lay congregants, The #MeToo Reckoning covers topics like what to look for, how to come alongside victims and survivors, how to begin confronting an abuser, and why God's heart is for the church to be the safest place for the most vulnerable ...more
Rachel Moss
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
It seems more MeToo stories are happening in churches more and more today. Author Ruth Everhart shares her heart and passion for helping those who have been hurt by the people in the church as well as her own traumatic story and how the Lord has used her to help others heal.
The MeToo Reckoning is a book that is needed today, not just for those who have been hurt by the church, but also for those want their eyes open to the injustice that is happening to people today.

I graciously received an
...more
Kate
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a deeply challenging book about the church's complicity in sexual abuse & misconduct. While Ruth's focus is on sexual abuse specifically her wisdom applies broadly to the way the church responds to every type of abuse. For a belief system that accepts the presence of evil in this world, when it is in our midst we are all too quick to choose willful ignorance and protect our structures, systems, and reputations.
I cannot say strongly enough how grateful I am for Ruth's commitment to
...more
Molly Douthett
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew Ruth was writing this book and was fortunate to get an advanced copy. This is an important book and should be used in seminaries and shared in governing bodies who are responsible for oversight of pastors and congregations. I suspect the most difficult part of this book for some will be acknowledging that abuses like the ones listed here actually happen. And so easily. And so often.

Buy this book and read it and share it and talk about it. Let's change the way we listen to each other.
Catherine McNiel
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WONDERFUL BOOK. I spent the past few days inhaling this important and *very well written* book. The writing style was so engaging I didn't want to put it down. Everhart's use of stories--particularly weaving current-day stories with Bible stories--was deeply compelling, as was the hermeneutic she used to interpret each.

I cannot imagine a more effective or timely book on this topic; I hope many, many Christian leaders will read this and take it to heart.
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Ruth Everhart is an author, speaker, and Presbyterian pastor. Her current writing explores how religious beliefs shape the way we think about the lives of women. She is the author of three books: THE #MeToo RECKONING: Facing the Church's Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct (available January 2020), the memoir RUINED (which was awarded "Book of the Year 2017" from Christianity Today Women), ...more
“Let me be clear about another thing: I am not a liberal feminist. I am a radical feminist. Which is to say, it’s not enough that individual women can thrive in a patriarchal culture. As long as women as a group are treated as less than men, it doesn’t matter that individual women can experience success. Inequality is not what God intends for human society.” 0 likes
“In other words, sexism is a “logical” system springing from the belief that males should be dominant, whereas misogyny is the heat and emotion that powers this thinking, and creates backlash when it is opposed. Manne summarizes: “Sexism is scientific; misogyny is moralistic.” 0 likes
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