Jesus Feminist: Book Review

The word “feminist” carries different meanings and evokes a variety of feelings depending on the circle it is used in. I suspect most in the conservative arena (myself included on occasion) have tended to believe feminist=man hater. Sarah Bessey not only refutes this definition but she gently challenges the church to fully welcome women’s “diverse voices and experiences”.


I wasn’t sure what to expect with Jesus Feminist since the word has angry undertones. I suspected this book would have anger and vitriol woven through it based solely on the title. I’m glad my assumptions were inaccurate.

Sarah Bessey is a popular Canadian blogger who has written Jesus Feminist out of a place of peacefulness and hope. The topic of feminism and women leading within the Church is a powder keg subject today among Christians. The topic of women leading within the Church is not a topic I spent much time thinking about. I have no desire to lead or to preach, but I have gifted, talented female friends who do. By virtue of association, I now pay more attention to this subject. It now matters to me because it matters to those I care about.

The author finds a way to discuss this topic without animosity or bitterness. Bessey invites the reader to join her around a proverbial campfire to sit, listen and share. She gently points the reader towards stories of heroic and strong women from the Bible, shares her own story and asks questions about what Scripture means in regards to women in leadership within the Church.  She references Scripture and asks questions but does not point fingers nor provides pat answers.

I will have to read this book again. The electronic Advanced Reader’s Copy I received is riddled with typos and formatting errors which made it very difficult to focus on the author’s message. I feel I missed a great deal as a result.

However, the bottom line for me is Sarah Bessey is a talented writer who takes on a hot button issue without disparaging anyone or cheapening Scripture. She’s a fellow sister in Christ who has questions and is seeking answers. I’m quite eager to read more of her work.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for purposes of review. I was not required to write a positive review.

One thought on “Jesus Feminist: Book Review

  1. The opening line of your review intrigues me. “The word “feminist” carries different meanings and evokes a variety of feelings depending on the circle it is used in.” Unless the Christian community is attempting to co-opt another secular term and spiritualize it, e.g. Jesus was a radical, Jesus was a anarchist, (I recently met with a “Christian anarchist), or the early Christians were socialists, etc., my guess is that by using the term feminist, espoused by the notable Marxist, Betty Friedan, in her book, “Feminist Mystique”, this latest book, “Jesus Feminist” will not help the church in the long run.

    We shall see if a greater understanding of the roles of men and women in the church is established or becomes even murkier. We shall see if her book helps lower the divorce rate among Christian couples. We shall see if the number of emasculated young men and confused young women who have been raised in a predominantly maternal atmosphere will be able to find their Jesus masculinity or femininity? Will they no longer see their roles as being no different than their sexual counterparts, as many do today? Will this book help produce a generation of young husbands and wives who don’t see themselves in competition with one another for leadership in the home? Will it increase their understanding of their unique but distinct God given roles? Will more young married couples work as a team to build a strong families or will we continue to see more of them fail? I will read the book soon, but I want to learn more about the author as well. I hope, for the sake of the body of Christ, this is not just another book with a catchy titled that is filled with liberal ideology supported by scriptures taken completey out of context, or simply twisted to fit the desires of the writer. But these are the questions I have as pastor who is deeply concerned about the gender blending that has been taking place in our culture since the 1960’s.

    Thank you for allowing me to voice my concerns. After I read the book, I may join the ranks of those applauding this author’s work. We shall see.

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