A Year of Biblical Womanhood – Review, Interview & Book Giveaway!!!

Look below for details how you can win!


Look below for details how you can win!

Last year is when I first heard about a strange project : a Tennessee blogger was embarking on a one-year commitment to live out the biblical directives aimed at women as an effort to demonstrate “biblical womanhood.” The result is Rachel Held Evans’ new book, A Year of Biblical
Womanhood : How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master.
( I love long titles! Seriously, I do!)

Rachel’s book is a record of different antics she submitted herself to as she took the words of the Bible literally. Passages like Proverbs 31 where the virtuous woman is described as being the ultimate domestic goddess who manages her household with the skill of Martha Stewart is one example. Rachel determined that to try to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman she would need to brush up on her domestic skills. Armed with a Martha Stewart cookbook, she set out to learn how to cook meals that were far above her repertoire. This may sound silly, but every good Christian woman knows that homemaking and kitchen talent is codified in the collective conscious of the faithful. Rachel notes this by quoting contributing writer, Dorothy Patterson from the guide on traditional roles, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
She writes:

This photo from Rachel’s website shows her with a pan of freshly made “matza toffee.writes:

(Patterson) concludes from these two passages that “keeping the house is God’s assignment to the wife–even down to changing the sheets, doing the laundry, and scrubbing the floors.” Ambitions that might lead a woman to work outside the home, says Patterson, constitute the kind of “evil desires” that lead directly to sin. – A Year of Biblical Womanhood

It is this worldview that Rachel determined to challenge, and rather than stop with a few well-written blog posts, she thought of a creative way to really get her point across while at the same time brushing up on her cooking skills, a bonus according to husband Dan.

Biblical Womanhood, as I call this book to keep it short and simple, is a smart and humorous journey of a curious writer who chooses to wrestle out one of the most polarizing issues in the American church today : the role of women. Early in the book, Rachel describes her Southern upbringing in a churched family that was not rigid about traditional roles. She mentions her mom a few times throughout the book. “The only people who enjoy potlucks are men. Women do all the work,” says her mom writes Rachel.

These glimpses of Rachel’s growing up years and later her college years gives context to how the church shaped her perspective on the debate of women and roles and leadership and also to why this is such an important issue to Rachel. She is a champion for women’s equality.

The book is funny. Rachel has some great one liner’s peppered throughout the book, sort of reminding me of humor writer, Erma Bombeck Rachel’s humor is incisive, yet not sharp. Like this quip:

We evangelicals have a nasty habit of throwing the word biblical around like it’s Martin Luther’s middle name.

Biblical Womanhood is a fast read. All throughout the storytelling and surprise zingers, Rachel shares her reflections about the stereotypical Christian woman. She dismantles it, bit by frilly bit, showing that underneath the rules and roles and presumptions about Bible commands, that there is no one-size fits all biblical woman template. For some readers, this is not a rush of revelation. But for a Tennessee blogger finding her way through the jungle of rhetoric as the war on women wages within (and outside) the church, Rachel does many women a great service by showcasing how absurd it is for all women (let alone any woman!) to try to live up to an ideal that we were never meant to live up to in the first place. This is a powerhouse of a book written with candor, humor and just the right amount of theology to keep it from getting bogged down. I happily recommend it.

*******

I was able to catch Rachel before her whirlwind promotion of her book kicked in. Here is a short email interview she kindly agreed to. Be sure to check out details at the end of the interview of how you can win a free copy of her book. We have three to give away!

Me: At the end of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, you write that you were looking for a story when you embarked on your project and the story you found was a deep desire for permission to be a woman. A Year of Biblical Womanhood project helped free you from needing permission to be a woman and to Just Be. What were some key moments that led to this realization?

Rachel : One of the most liberating parts of the experiment for me was rediscovering the stories of celebrated women from Scripture—and not just the ones we hear about growing up in Sunday school, but women like Deborah, Huldah, Jael, Miriam, Vashti, Ruth, Esther, Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, Junia, Priscilla, Tabitha and Phoebe. What I found was that each of these women honored God in a different way, that they showed incredible bravery and faith that transcended their culture, their circumstances, and their status as women in a patriarchal world.

Christian women are often told that their lives should look like carbon copies of the woman celebrated in Proverbs 31, and too often, the focus is on the elements of that acrostic poem that feature the domestic accomplishments of an upper-class ancient Near Eastern wife (keeping the home, providing food for the family, weaving from dawn until dark). But that misses the point of the text entirely! Proverbs 31 is not a to-list describing what a woman is supposed to get done in a given day; it’s a poem celebrating what a woman has already accomplished! It’s meant to honor a woman’s daily acts of valor, which is why the poem begins, “a woman of valor who can find?” (The Hebrew is eshet chayil—woman of valor).

What’s interesting is that the biblical heroine Ruth too is identified as a “woman of valor” (eshet chayil). And she is identified as such before is married, before she has children, and before she had a pot to pee in. In fact, you could argue that Ruth had the opposite lifestyle of the Proverbs 31 woman, since she was poor, widowed, and childless….and yet she too is identified as a “woman of valor.”

So as my exploration of these women went on, I began to see that being a woman of valor isn’t about what you do, but how you do it. It’s not about squeezing into a mold or a particular lifestyle; it’s about living your life with character and bravery. It’s about living your life as the woman God created you to be.

Me: In your intro and throughout your book, you refer to your mom who provided you with a Christian upbringing. All the stories about your childhood suggest that though the messaging of idealized biblical womanhood was absorbed in church and reinforced in college, this was not the case in your home. Did you have conversations at home with your mother or sister about these things during your growing up years? What about now? What did your mom think of your biblical womanhood project ?

Rachel: My mom is awesome. She never really fit into the perceived mold of the Southern Christian woman, and I love her for that! (She used to complain about how men were the only ones who enjoyed church potlucks because the women were always stuck doing all the work.) So I think I got a lot of my…chutzpah…from her, and I’m grateful. She and my dad have shown unwavering support for me, even when my passion for gender equality in the Church has set me at odds with evangelical leaders who are respected in their circles. Same goes for my sister, who, even though she is younger than me, I look up to as a model of valor and grace. We Held women have always been opinionated and strong, and we’ve always surrounded ourselves with men who aren’t intimidated by that. So I think gender equality has happened naturally in our homes. The trick is seeing it played out in the church.

Me: Your book is somewhat memoiresque concerning your marriage. Your husband Dan is featured a lot in the book including excerpts from his journal during the time of your womanhood project. In some ways, your book is as much about marriage as it is about a woman’s identity. Did you intend this or is that where the writing took you?

Rachel: We knew from the beginning that the project would turn a spotlight on our marriage, and we were a little nervous about that at first. But what the project did, in the end, was remind us of how happy we are functioning as a team of equal partners rather than as a hierarchy. When I took some of those “submission” passages literally and out of context (as complementarians tend to do), Dan was just as uncomfortable as I was imposing a gender-based hierarchy onto our marriage, believe me. At one point he “ordered” me to stop submitting! So we both emerged from the project more appreciative of our relationships, and happy to get back to normal and just be ourselves. Imposing hierarchy onto a partnership is disorienting and unnecessary, and I ache or all the couples who feel like they have to do that because someone told them that the Bible requires it.

Me: Every writer I know harbors hopes and fears for the books they write. What are some of the hopes and fear you have for this book?

Rachel: I hope that A Year of Biblical Womanhood will make people laugh. It includes a bunch of funny stories (and pictures!) from my adventures in following all the Bible’s instructions for women as literally as possible for a year…so I hope it entertains! I also hope that it helps liberate women from this idea that there’s just one right way to be a woman of faith, that “biblical womanhood” means keeping the home and submitting to men.

My fear, of course, is that it will be misunderstood. I think every writer worries about that. I fear that people will judge it without reading it, that they will think I’m making fun of the Bible, when nothing could be further from the truth. I took on this project precisely because I love the Bible, and I was tired of seeing it reduced to a list of rules and roles when it came to something as important and beautiful as womanhood.

Many thanks to Rachel for offering my blog readers some insights into her book. For more info about A Year of Biblical Womanhood check out Rachel’s blog, and if you don’t already subscribe to it, Do It !!

;

Rachel’s publisher has offered to mail a book to three readers of this blog. So cool, right?!

Here’s what you need to do to try to score one of these copies:

  • Leave a comment Tell me what you think of this idea of “biblical womanhood.”


  • Subscribe to this blog If you aren’t already subscribed here’s a LINK to make that easy for you. Be sure you’re subscribed to the blog and not just my newsletter. Only subscribed readers are eligible to win.


I will choose three commentors based entirely on my subjective powers. Get your comment posted by Thursday, 12:00pm PST time. Click here to convert your time. Winners announced in Friday’s post. I will email winners for your mailing addresses to forward to the publisher.

Super excited. This is the first time I’ve offered a book giveaway. I look forward to your comments. Who knew biblical womanhood could be such a hot topic?

***POST UPDATE***

Here’s the LINK to see the winners!


Comments

A Year of Biblical Womanhood – Review, Interview & Book Giveaway!!! — 56 Comments

  1. Pingback: a blt Biblical Studies Carnival « BLT

  2. We have our winners!!! To see if YOU won, check in at my latest post, HERetic of the Week. Winners announced at the top. And while you’re there,be sure to read the interview I did with Jo Hilder, a wonderful writer and blogger from Australia. She kicks up the patriarchal dust with this interview. Not to be missed. Here’s the LINK

  3. Just added your blog to my Google Reader. So much to encourage me here. I left a very male-oriented church system this year after 49 years in it, and the freedom in Christ I’m now enjoying “out here” is delicious.

  4. Thanks all for your comments and thoughts on biblical womanhood. IF you have not yet preordered Rachel’s book, I encourage you to go for it (and while you’re at it, order my Unladylike book too. Great companions!)

    Instead of just picking three winners I will instead put everyone’s name in a hat and have my son help me pick. So many great comments there. I can’t just pick three on my own. I’d give everyone a copy if I could!

    I have to head to my shift at the hospital. When I get home tonight, I’ll have my son Jeremy help me draw a winner. Winners announced in tomorrow’s edition of HERetic of the Week (who I am SO excited to share with you. She’s an Aussie lady with a lot of sass !!)

    New readers welcome to add comments to keep the conversation going. I will look at time stamps to know who made it to the 12p cut off.

    And an extra big thank you to those folks who signed up for my newsletter and subscribed to my blog. These are not just promotional ploys, but ways to build up my contact with my blog community. I spend a lot of time reading blogs and writing on my own. I want to build up these connections with readers and other writers. Blogging can be a lonely road. Your willingness to connect back to me helps ease the isolation. Seriously!

    So thanks again everyone for such a great turn out for Rachel’s book. It was fun to do this and I will look for opportunities to have more giveaways. Blessings!!

  5. For several years, I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a world where “Biblical Womanhood” is a mostly irrelevant term.

    I own my own business, and oversee several employees- it would not occur to any of them to doubt my capabilities based on gender (though I’m challenged daily to be a better leader, employer, and neighbor).

    I preach at least a few times per year in my church, where equality is a given (but when I was student chaplain of a christian college, my scheduled time at the pulpit was mysteriously cancelled).

    I am about to get married to a man who deeply recognizes, appreciates, and advocates against the limitations that our culture puts on both genders. Unlike me, he did not grow up in the church, and more often than I’d like to admit, he notices me accepting the shame, pressure, or judgment from not living up to this standard I’ve unwittingly inherited from growing up in the church (despite my best efforts to let go).

    I still recognize that the legacy of “Biblical Womanhood” is ever behind me, nipping at my heels- when I don’t bring a pie to a party, when I forget to send out thank you cards, when the dishes pile up, when the negative voice of self talk starts questioning if I am good enough. I live in a world beyond it, but am still haunted by it. Conversations like these, and the communities that are created by them, are what encourage me that my world is getting bigger and less haunted.

    • Mary, so beautifully stated. Thank you for sharing your story. I am convinced that as we speak up and out we inspire one another towards being our authentic selves. Thank you for inspiring me !!! (Sunday dinner this week? Look for a text!)

  6. I’m excited to read the book, I’ve always found RHE to be thoughtful, articulate, and bold – all qualitied I appreciate, and wish I had more of myself!

  7. I can’t wait to read Rachel’s book! I loved this interview you did. I’m even more excited to learn that there’s plenty of humor in the book. I agree with Al’s comment above. Humor can make it easier to look at things that can be challenging otherwise.

  8. The more interviews I read about this book, the more I want to read it!
    I love the way RHE describes REAL biblical womanhood: living out our callings to be women who love deeply. Love our God, love our friends/families, love our communities, love the world… all for His Kingdom purposes. That’s what it is about, not our marital status or motherhood or submitting. It’s about the courage to do whatever He has called us to no matter what others might say.

    She’s kind of the Lauren Graham of the Christian blogosphere: gutsy, smart, witty, quick humor… but also might have you sighing at the beauty of her words and maybe a little teary occasionally. :)

    • @Jenna, GREAT! I hope you will read it. Personable, humorous, insightful….she’s a helluva writer! I’m not familiar with lauren graham. will have to look her up. thanks for your comment and for reading!

  9. Thanks for your review Pam! I’ve been reading a bit of the “comp” side of the up-roar over Rachel’s book. The review I read sounded like the person writing was following a check box of what “wrong” things she expected to see, and then put in a plug for the “true womanhood” movement…as if we all need to go back to the ’50′s to be a righteous woman. *sigh*

    I’d love a copy of this book to be able to share with the philosophy department where I go to school. One of the comment I got from the professor who is the head of woman’s studies said “Well, if Christianity is done right it is very egalitarian.” So even the Atheists “get it.”

    • @Lisa G, LOVE what your professor says! (and while you promote Rachel’s book, I have to make sure you know I have a book out too. Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church…..my book has a totally different flavor than Rachel’s.)

      I agree. some folks def read her book with the lens of patriarchal complementarianism coloring their vision. I am familiar with the True Womanhood movement. I wrote a post a while back in response to their “manifesto.” Here’s the link

      http://www.pamhogeweide.com/2012/05/26/unladylike-manifesto/

      Thanks for reading and for your comment. Rachel’s book is out on the 30th. Be sure to get a copy!

  10. I am really looking forward to this book. I believe that Biblical womanhood means being like Jesus, and that totally transcends cultural expectations!

    • @Don, so good that you have your Amazon review up. I love it when I hear brothers like yourselves reading books like this….and btw, I hope you’ll consider reading my book, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church. I have a different purpose for my book than Rachel did, but I think you might like it. It is endorsed by Mimi Haddad of CBE and is also a resource in the CBE bookstore. I hope you’ll read it and review it !!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting !

  11. Dumb question from a non-technical person—I clicked on the link to subscribe, and I clicked on the subscribe button, but nothing happens. How do I know if I’m subscribed? Will I get a confirmation email or anything?

    • Hi BH Girl, No, not a dumb question and I’m glad you brought it up. I just changed my feed service so I appreciate hearing how it is operating.

      I just checked it and saw what you mean. Nothing does happen. If you wouldn’t mind, go back and click it again, but this time click the blue email icon. Then click the Feedblitz icon and it will take you to the subscription options. I had no idea there were these “extra” steps to subscribe. I will look into how to make this a one-click opt in rather than the current 3-click operation. Though I know this is not a really big deal (can ya say First World Pain??!!) but I do want to make it easy for my readers.

      Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention. I hope you’ll try again!!

  12. Your review actually makes the book sound more interesting than I thought it would be – I’d like to read it now! I would say that I’m a “biblical woman” – but I don’t cover my head, sit on my roof or call my husband “master” and I have no desire to read a book about someone who does. But if Rachel’s book is actually a *deconstruction* of that image then, yeah, I could get interested in that!

    And another shout-out for Julian of Norwich – she’s great!

    • Hi Elizabby, that is a great compliment to my review when it changes someone’s mind. Thank you!!! Yes, Rachel’s book is definitely a deconstruction of the stereotype, but she doesn’t stop there. She brings the reader full circle to the liberation of being the unique woman God has created you to be rather than trying to be a one-size fits all Christian woman.

      And yes, I’m a Julian of Norwich fan as well. I need to reread some of her stuff. I bet she had NO IDEA that her writings would survive as long as they have. Go Julian!

  13. Oh my goodness! I have so been looking forward to the release of her new book. I’m sure she tackles it with grace and style, and humor as I’ve seen on her blog.

    My perception of “Biblical Womanhood” is a very strong, personable lady who knows what her her needs/wants are and how to fill them, her family’s needs/wants and her community’s as well. She’s able to network and get things moving and done, whether or not the men pull it together. Women like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Tzipporah, Deborah, Jael, Hannah… and on and on.

    Most unfortunately though, this is not at all the view of biblical womanhood that most of Christianity has. :/

    • Hi J.S. so glad you are familiar with Rachel’s writing style and voice. Yes, her book definitely is HER voice. I like your description of what comes to your mind with this concept of biblical womanhood, though obviously you are not declaring it an ideal. This is where Rachel’s book comes in — she is challenging the tribe of Christians who INSIST on an ideal of a woman that is universal for everyone. Like the True Womanhood project. Google it. Ugh. I get what they are saying, and there are so many wonderful attributes in their language of a “true woman.” However, just as women come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so too do women come in all kinds of expressions of their unique way of following Jesus and living out a life of faith. It is unfortunate that religious convictions divide rather than inspire mutual respect of one another’s interpretation of biblical principles. I am a huge fan of Rachel’s book in using a humorous approach to turning a stereotypical image of a Christian woman upside down.

      Thanks for reading!!

      • Amen!
        I’ve been quite disheartened to see how people are picking poor Rachel apart left and right and calling her such awful names.

        I’ve been force-fed the whole “Biblical Womanhood” idea my entire life and I started bucking it big time 12 years ago, but it took moving overseas to really dig my heels in and dig deeper. I’ve been very thankful to find your blog (and book!!!) as well as Rachel and many others as of late.

    • Hi Kathy…..yes, that last chapter was so good, so thoughtful and what a beautiful way to honor the nameless victims of violence written in our Bibles. In my more than 30 years of hearing Bible teaching and sermons I have not once heard a teaching on how to grapple with a sacred text that will record violence towards women but remain silent about it. Rachel references Phyllis Trible’s small but brilliant book, Texts of Terror, who totally confronts these troubling inconsistencies in the bible. I dont’ remember Tribble landing on redemptive response like Rachel does though.

      Loved the art lady right away. I do art too and as soon as I saw the photo in the book of the shadow box she made in their honor I thought, Wow, I want to make something to honor women of the Bible too. Will def be thinking of an opportunity to do this.

      Thanks for popping by the blog and thanks for subscribing too! (one reader pointed out that it has been confusing subscribing. Can you give me feedback. I’m using a new feed service and if the subscription process is not clear I want to resolve that. Thanks!)

      • I’m so enjoying following this thread! :-D

        I can’t find the comment that appeared in my inbox – it wasn’t in reply to me anyway, but Pam, when you mentioned the ‘Texts of Terror’ I got more goosebumps. I read it last year (it belongs to my husband).

        My desire as a woman who has been the victim of terror (too many times :-/ ) is to share what I have learned of Jesus and *his* response to women and use it as the backdrop to these awful ‘texts of terror’ as well as Christianised inequality (goosebumps all over again!). I am currently attempting to write my own *fictional* take on the Hagar story (who always gets forgotten). I will also do a modern version (fiction is my thing really). How interestng that you have read that same (rather obscure) book!

          • Love that you are writing about Hagar!!!!

            I read a borrowed copy of Texts of Terror on a camping trip a couple of summers ago. I was so affected by it. I wrote pages and pages in my journal under the trees. Her most troubling point to me was how can a divinely inspired text inspired by a benevolent God remain silent on the brutality against women? The stories of these women in the OT are told with a glib tone. There is no condemnation. Just a matter of fact telling of dismemberment, rape, kidnapping…….

            My good friend Deborah Loyd (google her!) tells me that though the Bible was written from a patriarchal culture, it is not a patriarchal book. She helps keep me centered (and she was also my theology coach for my book. Brilliaint woman. You’d love her!)

  14. I really like what Rachel said here: What’s interesting is that the biblical heroine Ruth too is identified as a “woman of valor” (eshet chayil). And she is identified as such before is married, before she has children, and before she had a pot to pee in. In fact, you could argue that Ruth had the opposite lifestyle of the Proverbs 31 woman, since she was poor, widowed, and childless….and yet she too is identified as a “woman of valor.”

    There is something so true about this. Our ideas of a “biblical woman” (and a “biblical man”) are way too wrapped up in American church culture, and not enough in Jesus. I mean, we as *humans* should all learn what humanity means from the perfect human.

    There are times I disagree with Rachel, but I would love to have a beer or a cup of coffee with her and talk about those differences. My respect for her has grown in leaps and bounds in the past year, especially with her having the “balls” to do a project like this. I mean, this was a project. I’m excited to see it getting some real attention.

    • Aaron, I think you nailed it when you said that our ideas of biblical womanhood/manhood are wrapped up in American church culture. Totally! At my women’s listening party the other night we talked about this very thing. The Industrial Revolution of the early 20th century affected the role and image of women in America and beyond. Like many other things, American (and perhaps most Western Christians) mix up our Bible views with our cultural leanings. It is understandable, but we have to own that and not go around telling one another how to be a true woman or man of God. This is where is gets all kinds of effed up and this is where I think Rachel’s book is relevant and timely. Just look at the push back (as in that awful slash job at that one guy’s blog. ugh. I still feel a tinge of anger about that…not at him or the commenters, but at the meanspiritedness behind it)

      Thanks for commenting Aaron —and btw folks, Aaron is my blog’s 911 techie. He has helped me out a LOT, especially lately!! (round of applause!)

  15. I can’t wait to read it! I came to Rachel’s site, and yours, just as I was breaking away from a comp church. I want to laugh a little, too! It’s a Godly thing.

    • Hi Susan
      Thanks for reading my review. I am encouraged to hear that you are making the decision to break away from a complementarian church. Have you read my book yet? This might be the perfect time for you to delve into it, as I think you will find affirmation for your choice to leave. I didn’t call it Unladylike : Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church to inspire women to resignation. So glad to hear that you refused to just keep making nice with it.

      A friend of mine tells me that she was sad to hear that my book was causing people to leave their church. My response to that is that is makes me sad that women are forced to such decisions due to the oppression of their personhood. Her criticism is directed in the wrong direction. I’m the messenger. Not the oppressor!

      Seriously. I hope you’ll pick up a copy. If you are financially strapped, email me. I can send you a pdf copy. I’d love for you to have this on the heels of your departure. I hope you find a new community or a new way of doing community that is meaningful to you and your relationship with God. And yes, get Rachel’s book. She is FUNNY!

      • Is it on Amazon as an electronic copy? I’m starting a library on my iPad, my husband will shoot me if I bring another physical book into the house. I already found another church that I was attending on Wednesday nights, and a good group of women to fellowship with. My leaving that church was a really long time in the works, my girlfriend who is a psychologist said I knew for a long time that I needed to leave. The Holy Spirit practically pushed me out the door! Someday I will email my story. I am reluctant to blog on it, since if I named names you’d know who I was talking about. It would be too much like gossip, and it would hurt a lot of people. Kathy Escobar is doing features this month about people who got thrown out of church. I should do one and change the names.

        • Yes. Rachel’s book is not officially released until Oct 30, but you should be able to preorder a print or Kindle version via Amazon. Click the picture on the post for easy access to the Amazon page.

          Btw, I have to mention that my book is also available on Kindle. :) Just search for Unladylike Pam and you will find it.

          Have fun with your electronic library! I got a kindle last year and find that I am reading more!

  16. The idea of “Biblical Womanhood” is really code for the continual oppression of women in the church. When we take the Bible literally we tend to give ourselves and others expectations that are unrealistic and unattainable as a human being. I appreciate Rachel taking the time to acknowledge this and for giving women a voice.

    • Hi Bridget, yep. I think so, too.

      Was so great to meet you last night. Thanks for coming out for the Listening party. You and I need to hang out sometime. I want to know more of your story!

  17. Pam, you formulated great questions for Rachel, who, in my mind is a woman of courage and valor for writing this important book. It will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers, but I’m hoping that those who might be ruffled will make the time to read it with a spirit of grace and humility. I have greatly appreciated Rachel’s strong and courageous voice in the blogging world and look forward to reading her book.

    • HI Marilyn, Thanks for reading. She has become an important voice for women. I love her book and am confident it will have far reaching results! Let’s plan a coffee date and discuss!

  18. I think the idea of the book is fabulous and I am sure the execution is as well. As a single woman, especially an educated one, I have often wondered if I’ve been afford a small blessing in regards to this idea of “biblical womanhood.” I already don’t fit into any of the preconceived moulds, if anything I’m the representative for everything “un-biblical woman-like” according to the stereotypes. And yet I have always found the tension of knowing I was so far beyond the boundary of “biblical womanhood” but at the same time wanting to belong in some way to. This summer I came to a similar epiphany as Rachel, in that the scripture is full of a diverse chorus of female voices and experience so maybe it isn’t as narrow a definition as it seems to be. This realization came as I read Ruth in Hebrew class, No’omi was this no nonsense woman and she wasn’t afraid to express her hurt and anger against God (that part is lost in the English translation) and at the same time the depth of her love when she had nothing to offer. I think when we condense womanhood to one little cookie cutter we strip the beauty given to us by a Creator who sought fit to paint the sunrises and sunsets and the intentional relationality in the Son coming to save us.

    • Jenn, love how you put this :

      I think when we con­dense wom­an­hood to one lit­tle cookie cut­ter we strip the beauty given to us by a Cre­ator who sought fit to paint the sun­rises and sun­sets and the inten­tional rela­tion­al­ity in the Son com­ing to save us.

      Amen sister! And I’m with you with that feeling of being an “unbiblical” woman. A friend of mine (kathy escobar) started an ex-good christian women’s club. I’d join except I was NEVER a good xtian woman! :) Thanks for commenting here and for shedding some more light about Naomi. I certainly did not have that impression of her. Love how you’ve shattered my picture of her in swoop of a comment. My imagination is perking now!

  19. When I first heard of this idea of the year of Biblical Womanhood, I was horrified. Thank you for reviewing this in a way that shows me I can read the book without quaking, LOL. I’m looking forward to reading the book!!!

  20. totally and amen, al! I wish I wrote more humor. My mom LOVES it when I do. She was a huge Erma Bombeck fan and introduced me to Erma’s writings when I was growing up. Sometimes I can nail humor, but it is actually quite hard to write and pull off. Maybe I’ll practice at it more because I think you are so right. Humor is disarming and helps us listen to ideas that we might not be open to otherwise.

    Thanks for being such a loyal reader of my blog. Love to you and Dorothy!

  21. That sounds absolutely brilliant. I am so glad to hear someone else say the words ‘just be the woman God made you to be’. It took me until I was 34 to figure that out, by God’s grace, and had made me miserable trying to live up to other people’s expectations. I will read this book asap because I have a goose-bumpy feeling that it will come in very handy in whatever my future ministry will be. I know that – somehow – God is calling me to minister to women who have been as broken as I was, and one of the things broken people need, in order to heal, is to learn that God made us to be who we are, and that He loves us. This book sounds like it will build on all I have learned, especially when tied in with Julian of Norwich (wrote the first book in the English language by a woman, around 1400AD, called the Revelations of Divine Love). Thanks so much for this interview, Pam – and for this blog :-D

  22. I have wanted to read this book since I first heard of it, and your interview with Rachel has increased my resolve. So sometime soon, if I’m ever caught up with my reading for The Seattle School, I’ll be jumping in. I have alway believed that humor is one of our most powerful tools for revolution and social change. Humor usually is based on us taking an honest look at who we are and what we do. We can often seem very funny (with sometimes tragic results!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>