Title: The Resignation of Eve: What If Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing To Be The Church’s Backbone?
Author: Jim Henderson
Publisher: Tyndale House
Complimentary Copy from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
“I went to seminary because I felt like it would help give weight to my voice as a woman.
I care deeply about helping women see themselves as equals. They battle against it in pop culture and at work. The last place they should experience a feeling of being “lesser than” is at church. I want to change that from the inside. But here’s what’s discouraging. In my home church we’ve only had two female speakers in the past twelve years. I asked my pastor, why?
His response, “It’s just not something our church is comfortable with.”
Here’s what I think—I think it’s just not something he’s comfortable with.”
~ Female church attendee (pg 247-248)
I think every church in the United States should read, study, and consider the timely message of Jim Henderson’s latest work, The Resignation of Eve.
I’d like to take a moment to personally thank Jim Henderson (and the Barna research group) for providing a platform to engage the topic of “women in the church” from the perspective of women. Thank you for sharing the stories of so many women who have struggled against, wrestled with, coasted under, or challenged the status quo. Most importantly, thank you for using your influence and position to promote egalitarian cooperation, affirmation and partnership within the church and among the body of Christ.
What you will not find in The Resignation of Eve: theological banter dissecting the pro’s or con’s surrounding the debate of the role(s) of women in the church or a biblical exegesis affirming or critiquing the role of women in the church. To my surprise, but the author’s credit, Henderson avoids that road. In doing so, the reader is able to focus on the stories of the many women interviewed by the author, allowing the reader a space to offer their undivided attention.
What you can expect to gain from The Resignation of Eve:
(1) A candid look at how traditional, conventional, complementarian views of women in the church can harm women, stifle church growth, and damage the witness and effectiveness of the church body as a whole.
(2) The opportunity to engage and wrestle with the topic personally through thoughtful conversations (and a full study guide).
(3) A challenge to the Church to consider the emotional and psychological effects of the message(s) communicated to women, be it via direct discourse or non-verbal cues, regarding their perceived and actual place in church polity, leadership, pastorate, and staff.
Whether the church cares to admit to admit it or not, she is in crisis. Young people, ages 18-30 are leaving the church in staggering numbers. Second to this demographic, women are leaving the church in large numbers as well. According to Barna research, church avoidance by women rose from 18% to 30% in the period between 1991 and 2003. In 2005 the number of unchurched women jumped to 38%! (pg xix) What would your church look like if 38% of the church up and left?
If the Church doesn’t take note and begin partnering with women in ways that validate, affirm, integrate and appoint women into all levels of church life, women will continue to leave the church. Jim Henderson’s book, The Resignation of Eve, is an essential tool to help any church begin the process of implementing genuine dialogue, egalitarian partnership, and biblical reconciliation.
Win a Free Copy!
The author and publisher have ever-so-kindly provided me with a certificate redeemable for one *free* copy of The Resignation of Eve. To enter for the chance to win, simply reply to this post with your thoughts on the role of women in the church.
The winner will be notified on March 31, 2012.
*CONGRATULATIONS TO Laurielfrodo, winner of the publisher’s free copy of The Resignation of Eve! May the BC Library use it well!*
Jim Henderson is acclaimed by USA Today for having “blazed a new path as an innovator, author, church evaluator, self-professed subversive, and leader in the creation of new ways to be publicly and persuasively Christian in the twenty-first century.”
Jim is a speaker, author, and producer. His most subversive act to date was buying an atheist’s soul on eBay and then sending him to attend and review several churches. On the heels of that project, Jim hired another atheist (Matt Casper) to join him at various church services and share his feedback. Together, they recount their unique findings in a book titled Jim and Casper Go to Church (Tyndale, 2007).
After twenty-five years as a pastor, Jim formed Off the Map, an organization that produced live events designed to help people recover the lost art of being “unusually interested” in others, especially Outsiders. Today, Jim’s company, Jim Henderson Presents, produces live events and television projects that look at the important role of religious spirituality in our lives. Jim is known for asking the questions others skip.
Jim holds a doctorate in transformational leadership and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today and on Fox News and This American Life with Ira Glass. For more on The Resignation of Eve, visit http://resignationofeve.com/
In talking with women around the country, Jim Henderson has come to believe that an epidemic of quiet, even sad resignation is developing among dedicated Christian women who feel overworked and undervalued on the church. As a result, many women are discouraged. Some, particularly young women, respond by leaving the organized church … or walking away from the faith altogether. The Resignation of Eve is a field report on what women have to say about how they’ve been affected—both positively and negatively—by their experience with in the church…It’s time to pay attention before it’s too late—time to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who went out of his way to honor, elevate, and work through women wherever he went.
I received a copy of this book from the Tyndale House publishers in exchange for an honest review.