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A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband 'Master' Paperback – October 29, 2012
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"A Year of Biblical Womanhood will instruct as it delights, and delight as it instructs. Of course it's about womanhood, an incredibly important subject for 100% of the population. But it's about a lot more too - how we read and interpret the Bible, for starters, and how we - both men and women - grapple with issues like justice, charity, silence, and grace in today's frenetic world. On top of that, Rachel is such a gifted writer ... you'll be warmed by her good sense, good humor, and keen eye for beauty and insight on every page." -Brian D. McLaren
"Rachel Held Evans is my kind of woman, Christian, and writer. She cares too much about the Bible to read what it says without wrestling with what it means. Rachel's new book is full of humor, humility, and truth." -Glennon Doyle Melton
About the Author
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On Twitter I described it using these four words: fun, adventurous, challenging, and prophetic.
Aim of the Book:
If you are unaware of the aim of this book it is an effort to spend one calendar year trying to live according to various mandates in Scripture aimed at women. Some people find this blasphemous. I find it fits within the heart of the Christian tradition. Immediately as I began to read the book the words attributed to the apostle Peter in the Book of Acts 15.10 (NASB) came to mind: "Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" Christianity has not disrespected Scripture by acknowledging that strict, literalistic approaches are overwhelming and impossible. Rather, Christianity has honored Scripture by acknowledging its perplexing, exhausting, weighty nature. Christianity has said that the mandates of Scripture direct us toward Christ, because we cannot bear the yoke of rules and regulations.
This book (like A.J. Jacob's A Year of Living Biblically) aims to make this very point with a smile.Read more ›
But sometimes she displays an annoying habit (which is not unique to her alone) in that she seems to relish recalling her days as a benighted fundamentalist who was unwittingly bamboozled into a confounding belief system by a backwards upbringing. The point: we are meant to get the impression that she has come a long way down the road less traveled of theological sophistication. Allow me to rant on this a bit. While there is a healthy sense of wonder one can have upon reflecting on how much one has changed, there is something oddly self-serving about hastily re-imagining oneself as a paradigm example of closed-minded ignorance so as to set up a contrived contrast with the present, broad-minded self. I call this the `Frankie Schaeffer Syndrome', and it is a particularly obnoxious style of autobiography that seems to ail those who resent something about their Christian upbringing and write spiritual memoirs about it.
Why do I take time to point this out? Reading the autobiographical statements of Ronald L. Numbers in his seminal volume The Creationists, I noticed that while he now strongly disagrees with the teaching of his Seventh Day Adventist upbringing, he maintains a charitable and admirable respect for his past. This is no mere empty sentiment.Read more ›
1. There is nothing written in it that deviates from pre-existing evangelical Christian scholarship from an egalitarian perspective.
2. Rachel's project and book provide a creative and engaging point of entry into this difficult and controversial subject matter.
3. The writing is superb and vulnerable. My wife is quite critical of nonfiction books, and she loved it. I can't offer a better endorsement than hers!
In the days to come you're going to hear a lot of folks who are critical about Rachel's methods and conclusions, and I'd like to address both of them.
For starters, the method of the project struck me as a tool for both personally engaging with the relevant scriptures and for organizing the book as a whole. If you read the book, you'll find that she's simply trying to relate to all of the different ways that evangelicals have defined "biblical womanhood." She interviewed people from a variety of perspectives and dug deep into quite a bit of research that she tactfully weaves throughout the book. One moment you're laughing about the powdered sugar she burned on top of her apple pie and the next minute she's explaining the different historical interpretations of Proverbs 31 and the Hebrew behind it.
She uses the project's method as a way to help her both empathize with different perspectives and to deepen her reflections. In all fairness, the method of the project is also a clever way to market the book, but if that's all you see, then you're missing out.
As to Rachel's conclusions, I don't say this as a critique, but there's really nothing all that new in this book. You can dig up plenty of evangelical scholars who say that exact same thing as her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read by a great author. It's thought provoking, funny and one of the best books I've read in a long time.Published 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
The book arrived when I wanted it to, and was acceptable, as described. Does have some water damage, but that's not an issue for me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chrissy B.
What a great book! Borrowed if from the library - will buy it soon! Want to give it to friends so we can discuss it. I learned so much!! I laughed so much! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I was hoping for a more detailed experience in her project. She would focus on one task, one month at a time, rather than building on top of what was already focusing on. Read morePublished 2 months ago by readsalot
This was a great book. As Rachel worked her way through the year, she (and I) learned a lot about what the Bible really says about and to women. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Becky H
It takes a while to get into it, but once there, it has some excellent theological insights.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I struggled with whether to give this a 3 or a 4. It's a solid 3.5.
I avoided this book for a long time because I felt like the purpose of the book was to mock... Read more
Hilariously thought-provoking. Includes snippets from her husband's journal, which is equally enlightening.Published 3 months ago by Ree