Jesus Feminist: A Book Review

Jesus Feminist Cover

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women, by Sarah Bessy has been on my list for a long time.  It’s a long, long list of many amazing books, so that I actually read it is amazing.  It did not disappoint.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into.  I personally take for granted the ordination of women to pastoral positions (and not just women’s ministry), in addition women teaching and leading, without limitation, in all areas of the church, yet it was just that – I take it for granted.  I have realized over the last year or so that I do not have a quick way to articulate WHY in relation to those who do not agree.  I am thankful to Sarah for taking on this challenge and giving me a way to articulate what I have felt God speaking to and through me.

As always, I don’t want to give away all the great points of a book as I want you to read it.  So I’ll share two things you will learn about to help you articulate why you also need to explore “God’s radical notion that women are people, too.

Biblical Interpretation:  Sarah explains in normal language how scriptures have been misinterpreted based on men with power making a final decision on what God means for humans for all eternity, despite having  limited knowledge (language/cultural/context interpretation).  Sarah does not have a short or easy answer, and she does not ignore the texts in question, but rather takes all of God’s Word as a whole to share what others (men in power, usually white and originally Catholic) have overlooked or ignored due to their limited perspectives.  (Radical question:  Is patriarchy part of the Garden of Eden or part of the Fall?)

The Roll of Women in the Church & Society (Or rather, the Roll of People in the Church & Society):  Sarah primarily speaks of how “we” are doing a disservice to God by preventing and/or limiting women to fulfill God’s Call for them.  This is obviously in the context of reframing the rolls of men and women from the conservative-evangelical viewpoint.  This is not about making men and women equal, its about allowing God to work through each individual as God created them to be.  (Radical thought: The human stereotypes of women and men get in the way of God’s Will.)

Jesus Feminist is about what every Christian says they want: putting God first.  It is about taking to heart what God is calling us to do and be based on the LIVING God, not a God that was frozen in time 2,000 years ago.  It is about interpreting and living God’s Will in our own context and in our own lives, understanding that we actually do know better (but not perfectly) what God wants for us, rather than what someone closer to the time of Jesus (especially as those who decided were in power based on a system rampant with injustice – even more so than now).

Jesus Feminist is about the radical understanding that God loves each of us equally  and that God Wills that we all, equally and urgently, live our lives our to our fullest for the Kingdom.

As I write this our daughter is dancing and playing and signing and creating throughout our house.  She has a strong spirit that stands against every wind that wants to push her down.  She leans into life.  She is a person who has the power to break through ceilings and walls, to create new doors and windows.  There is no way that God has created her to be some man’s helper.  She is her own being, and I pray will someday find someone to partner with in life.  I am thankful that she is another generation away from the days where the only options for her life would be homemaker, nurse, teacher, shopkeeper or prostitute.  I pray that she will not allow anyone to get in the way of God’s Will and Love for her.

I pray that no woman, or man, will allow anyone to get in the way of God’s Will and Love for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sharing Our Stories: Upcoming Classes, Speakers and Workshops

For over a year now, I’ve been volunteering at the Blessing House in Victoria, MN.  Or rather, the Blessing House has provided me with an opportunity to help people share their stories.  With September only a few weeks away, I wanted to get the word out about some of the classes I am coordinating or leading.

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Take this as my invitation for you to attend one of the classes and bring your friends.  Please see the Blessing House Facebook Page for more information.  Classes have a minimal fee, and books/materials may have an additional cost.  (Attend a class for free by volunteering to help “host” the event! Contact the Blessing House to find out more information.)

Journal Writing – Hearing God’s Voice, Sept. 7th, 2-5pm. Stephanie Friant, Learn to journal as a spiritual discipline. 

Hope in the Midst of Hardship, Sept. 27th, 10am-12pm. Author Melody Richards. A journey of hope and healing after her daughter’s death. 

Word Craft: Bringing Sense/s to Your Writing, Oct. 4, 10:30am-12pm.  Writer & Author Susan Thurston. Enhance your writing by paying attention.

Walking with Tension, Oct. 18th, 10am-12pm.  Author Jenny Hill.  What happens after God doesn’t physically heal you?

Powerful Potential of Parent(s), Oct. 25th, 9:30-11:30am or Tues. Oct. 28th, 6:30-8:30pm (same class, two dates offered).  Expert Educator Dr. Don Draayer.  Nurture God’s Spark in our children.

My Journey to Write with LifeWay, Nov. 9th, 3-4:30pm.  Writer Karen Anderson. A story of writing for God.

Sibling Grief, Sun. Nov. 16th, 2-3:30pm. Jennifer Martin. Supporting individuals of all ages whose sibling(s) have died.


Sunday Writing Retreat.  First Sunday of each month, 2-5pm.  Join us for a casual writing retreat.  (Special topic on Sept. 7th)


Preparing to Leave – A special series led by experts on each topic., Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm

Moving into Eternity – Sept. 8th   What happens after we die?  How can what we do now affect our eternal life?  Join Gail Berger as she teaches about the “big questions” about what’s next and how to get there.

 Estate and Will Planning – Sept. 15th  You know you need to do it, but keep putting it off.  Join us for a session on learning the basics of estate and will planning, and advice on what to do next depending on your particular situation.

 Health Care Options & Directives – Sept. 22nd  We will explore a variety of end-of-life medical and spiritual options, and have an opportunity to begin writing our own Health Care Directives. (I’m leading! – Stephanie Friant)

 Funeral and Memorial Service Planning – Sept. 29th We will lead you through a step-by-step planning process to help ensure that your wishes are known and your loved ones have one less thing to do during a time of raw grief.  (I’m co-leading! – Stephanie Friant)

 Talking with Children & Teens about Death – Oct. 6th Gain techniques and knowledge of how to support children and teens as they encounter the loss of others.

Messy Family Relationships – Oct. 13th  Learn how to better deal with difficult family members and relationships before, during and after someone’s death.


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Please note:  The Blessing House is a Christian spirituality center created to make space for God to work.  Funded primarily by donations and staffed primarily by volunteers, it is a place for individual and group retreats, as well as classes and small groups.  All are welcome.

 

 

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