In the recent flurry of blog posts and statements from well-known pastors about a woman’s place in the Church, comes the latest release by author, Jim Henderson, “The Resignation of Eve: What if Adam’s Rib is no Longer Willing to be the Church’s Backbone?
I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers as park of the book’s blog tour. Given that the role of women in the church is such a hot button issue now, I thought it would be timely to read and post a review. What I didn’t anticipate was how hard it would be to write a review on an issue that I’ve had personal experience with and haven’t been able to come to terms with yet.
Lynne Hybels (who writes the book’s foreword) cites the following statistics: Between 1991 and 2011,
- There has been a 20% decrease in the percentage of adult women attending church services during any given week.
- 29% drop in the number of adult women attending Sunday school classes
- 31% drop in the number of women who volunteer at church during the course of a week
- Bottom line: more than one-third of all women no longer are connected to a church
Henderson commissioned The Barna Group to conduct a nationwide survey (results are cited throughout the book) to determine what was going on and interviewed countless women on the issue of gender roles within the Church and determined that there are three faces of resignation of women:
- Resigned To: Women who are in this category either came to terms with the fact that they will not be allowed to fully use the gifts and abilities they have within the Church or feel perfectly fine with that reality.
- Resigned From: These women were capable of leading, teaching, guiding, shaping, and forming spiritual community within their Church but were denied the opportunity to do so. They either resigned from their church or even more tragically, walked away from their faith.
- Re-Signed: These women knew the risks and limitations they were up against. They didn’t quit or accept things the way they were. They make waves and stay engaged.
Henderson tells the stories of 15 women who wear one of the above faces of resignation. Some of these stories will either anger you, encourage you or make you weep. All of them will make you think.
It’s a well-written, well researched book and I’m pleased that Tyndale has reserved a copy for me to give away on this blog. To enter to win a copy of The Resignation of Eve, leave a comment in this post by mentioning something you’ve read that’s challenged you in a personal way. I’ll announce a winner on February 20th. I will mail the winner a gift certificate from Tyndale that can be redeemed at your local Christian bookstore. The gift certificate is only valid for The Resignation of Eve.
Download a free chapter from The Resignation of Eve here.
Jim Henderson’s Facebook page is located here.
I received a copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.
UPDATE: To read another view on this book, please click here.