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How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  49 reviews
This book features a number of autobiographical accounts as to how various persons have come to change their minds about women in leadership. Well-known Evangelical leaders—individuals and couples, males and females from a broad range of denominational affiliation and ethnic diversity—share their surprising journeys from a more or less restrictive view to an open inclusive ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published November 6th 2010 by Zondervan Academic (first published November 2nd 2010)
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Adam Shields
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Short review: These are short essays by fairly prominent Evangelical leaders about how they changed their mind about women in leadership. All the essays are from people that were changing their mind from a more restrictive position to a less restrictive or open embrace of women in leadership. About half of the authors I was fairly familiar with and about half were pretty much unknown to me, but I was often aware of the organizations that they lead or work for. So there is real credibility in the ...more
D.j. Lang
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To add to that title so that it's clearer: ...who changed their mind from women not being in leadership to women being in leadership. I read this at least a year ago, but for one reason or another did not review it (didn't want to get caught up with politics at the time or had no time myself to write it). However, I just heard a sermon on "check what the bible has to say" and not to believe everything one is told. Excellent! That is exactly how I and the contributors of this book came to believe ...more
Greg Dill
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
First, a disclaimer: I am currently in a season in my life where I am truly trying to gain an unbiased understanding on gender roles in the church and family. For all of my Christian life (over 20+ years) I have been a complementarian, ascribing to the belief that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities both in the home and the church, precluding women from ecclesiastical leadership roles. However, over the past couple of years, due to a variety of reasons, I ha ...more
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. I recommend it to anyone who wonders about whether or not women should have leadership positions in the church -- or anyone who thinks they shouldn't -- or anyone who believes they should....excellent book. Thank you, Alan, for writing it -- and hugs to Rea! I always knew there was something special about you two!!

Another thing that struck me is that most of the people that wrote chapters are older than I am -- and I'm no young'un any more. I really appreciated hearing from those
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
While this book doesn't walk through the biblical issues in a linear fashion, I do think there's great value in hearing people's stories. In such a polarized society, I think we probably don't spend enough time reading or hearing about people who have changed their mind on an important topic. I haven't read all of the testimonies here, but the ones I read represented a spectrum of backgrounds and were insightful.
Matt Hartzell
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rather than being an exhaustive exegetical review of the Biblical text as it relates to leadership structures within the church, How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership takes a more casual and experiential approach to the topic. It feels much more like a group of people sitting around the fire, sharing personal stories and anecdotes about themselves and how they came to see the role of women in the church today. It's a great introduction to the egalitarian position, especially if you app ...more
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book provides a collection of short essays written by some fairly prominent Christians (both men and women). Some names include: Gilbert Bilezikian, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, Tony Campolo, John and Nancy Ortbreg, and Ronald Sider. Each one of these authors explains how they have moved from a complimentarian (IE. Male leadership only) model to an egalitarian one. They write from a practical viewpoint as well as a theological one bringing in the socio-historic context of the early church and t ...more
K.D. Winchester
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: feminism, theology
This book tells the stories of theologians/pastors/seminary professors who changed their minds about women in church leadership. Most of the writers conclude that marriage is a matter of mutual submission and partnership, rather than a hierarchy. However, every writer holds a different view of women in leadership, the varying degrees of which a woman can lead in the church, and woman's "true roles."

While about 1/3 of the essays are written women, including the chapters written where she is part
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book as a primer on biblical egalitarianism and its implications for the life of the church. Especially relevant for anyone accustomed to patriarchy or plagued by nagging questions. Tony Campolo's contribution is quite a scorcher; read it when you are ready to have your eyebrows singed.
Elke Speliopoulos
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the most eye-opening books to me as a female follower of Christ. Absolutely 100% loved the affirmation I received from it.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! What was great about it was that so many people had so many different ways that they had explored the biblical principles of women in leadership.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Non-religious people often seem to have this idea that Christians are stubbornly unable to change their minds about what they believe. That may be true sometimes... but most of the time, the problem is not understanding what could make a passionate or person change their minds. This book therefore does something crucial: helping us understand (autobiographically!) people's journeys in changing their minds about gender roles in the bible (mainly in ministry, and also to a lesser extent in marriag ...more
Patrice Fischer
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-issues
I've recently started a project on Women's Issues Within Messianic Judaism, & this book had been recommended to me by Rabbi Jake Rosenberg as a resource that meant a lot to him.

It's amazing how many of these authors John & I have met, talked with, and/or were friends of friends of ours. So I was very happy to see their views in print after all these years, and was not surprised at all by their stories.

Very informative for anyone, male or female, who wishes to search out why women can be allowed
Andrew Pierce
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Listened to this as an audiobook in the car.
Strangely, given the subject, it was narrated entirely by a male voice - this proved quite confusing when he was quoting a female contributor.
To those outside the church and to those in church who have resolved these matters I suspect this book would seem strange and mystifying as you try to understand where people have come from on this subject.
The contributions seemed, to me, to fall into two areas:
1. Pragmatic / Emotional
2. Theological / Textual (i.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I wish this book were beefier and included younger contributors, I am appreciative of those that took the time to tell their story. There are themes that come up again and again, but there is a good diversity of testimonial, autobiography, theology, and biblical reflection in the contexts of many different kinds of leadership.
Amy Jacobsen
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
helpful read as I consider more deeply by own experiences in parachurch ministry over the past 15 years and my leadership in my local church and community. Thankful for this who have invested and advocated for me and feel burdened to do the same for younger women.
Jenifer DeCastro
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I will admit I threw this book across the room at least 3 times. I believe in women in leadership but the "before" stories made me so mad. I finally made it to the second part of each story but it took awhile.
Nichole Liza
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely one of the best books i have read on this subject. A must for every Christian exploring this topic.
Dorothy Greco
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some of the essays are superb and others just OK. Overall, it's worth a read.
Lisa Blair
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book!

Strength: Many testimonies of how people in christian leadership moved from a restrictive mindset to an inclusive mindset regarding women in "titled" christian leadership.

Weakness/Strength: Some of the chapters seemed redundant and it took a lot of effort to push through and read yet another chapter that seemed to say the same thing. Yet, this was such an encouragement as I heard person after person testify how God walked with them by highlighting truth and exposing cul
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm thankful for this book. It was so good to hear intelligent, theological standpoints from respected church and ministry leaders on the matter of women in leadership and the roles of husbands and wives, instead of mere opinions from hippie chick bloggers. Instead of trying to push a feminist agenda, these writers (men and women from all ages and backgrounds) are most concerned with communicating their interpretation of God's intended design for men and women that brings Him the most glory. Pra ...more
Elise Smith
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Wow, I know a lot of people who need to read this book! For me personally, it gave me some hope that there are some evangelical churches out there that are more accepting and sympathetic to women in leadership. It would be great if this were required reading for male church leaders.

Simply put, the book is over 20 evangelical thinkers writing on exactly what the title describes. Many of the authors make the same essential argument, so it can be a bit redundant at times. However, the personal sto
Marti Garlett
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wrote my PhD dissertation on this very subject -- a new topic and my research was called out in an article on Christianity Today -- but I'm not even in the footnotes of this book. Where have these people been all my professional life? Certainly not present and supportive.

Although they're only talking about about female preachers, I want to believe it extrapolates larger. Welcome to the real world, people. Although I do recommend Tony Campola's chapter. These are not new insights to him. I've k
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is interesting in that you get to hear the stories of how a number of Evangelical leaders (both men and women) came to change their views on women in the leadership of the church. Unlike some books which are primarily designed to present arguments (whether Scriptural, contextual, etc) to persuade, this book is designed to give you glimpses into the journeys of people. For this reason it is very accessible. For me, some of the stories I found very interesting, while others didn't really ...more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting read by someone who was brought up, and spent their adult life in churches who put forward that women don't have a place in church leadership. The many authors point out the gross inconsistancies churches have in regard to this.

I didn't really need convincing, although I never had a real strong opinion about this because I had no desire to be in a leadership - or heaven forbid preaching position.

I found the arguments very valid and those who believe women should "be
Lynda Gravier
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This book thoughtfully and clearly traces the journeys of many, many non-heretical evangelical believers from some form of patriarchal thought system to a more egalitarian thought system about God's design for "gender roles"'. Perhaps the best thoughts I've come away with are 1) that God doesn't specifically address gender roles much in scripture and 2) that people of intelligence and conservative theology can embrace egalitarian views of Christian community and still be faithful to scripture.
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
The book contains many stories outlining why leaders have changed their mind about women in church leadership. The stories are helpful reinforcement for those who are struggling with the topic. It is also helpful for those who are being oppressed because of their views on the topic.

Despite this, the book is too long and many of the stories have little significant impact. It could have reduced down by 100 pages and been more effective.

There are better books on the topic. Save your money for the
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend this book! Probably not for someone who wants a reasoned theological argument, although the various authors make reference to theology. I appreciated the very human, hearts full of love for God and his people reasoning. Not at all "unscriptural," just a different starting point than the usual arguments.

I have to say that I often weary of this discussion, having grown up in a church led by a wonderful woman, whose entire life was a testament to the validity of the fact that God d
Lydia Shepard-kiser
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book filled with wonderful testimonies of renowned leaders. This is a wonderful read for someone who wants SOME of the exegetical/theological arguments FOR women in leadership and/or egalitarian marriage.It is great for someone who would prefer a more personal, emotional testimony in this area as opposed to the many other books that are solely exegetical and more technical (i.e. Paul, Women and Wives, Beyond Sex Roles, etc.)
Andy Hickman
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good collation of personal transformation stories of evangelical ministers coming to accept, embrace and endorse women in leadership and ministry.

Validates Donald Green, political science professor at Columbia, “the key is when you personify an issue - in a positive way - people become more understanding."

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Alan F. Johnson (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Emeritus Professor of New Testament and Christian Ethics and Emeritus Director of the Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE) at Wheaton College. He is the author of commentaries on Paul’s letter to the Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Revelation and co-author with Robert Webber of What Christians Believe. He and his wife Marie reside in Warrenvil ...more

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As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
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“Was Eve’s sin so much greater and more unforgivable than Adam’s that the entire female gender must forever be treated with suspicion and controlling measures?” 1 likes
“men have never seemed to object to women going off to difficult missionary assignments in the far corners of the earth. The matter of women preachers became a problem only when women wanted to be pastors back home, in the sometimes affluent neighborhoods that typically had churches pastored by men.” 1 likes
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