Earlier this year I told you that one of my summer reading goals was to read more “non-white guy” voices. I asked you – the reader – for suggestions of your favorite authors and books, and you came through in a big way. I picked 15 books for my summer reading, and 12 of those fit the non-white guy bill.
One of my favorite books was No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God by Aimee Byrd. In it, she makes a case for bolstering theology and doctrine in our pews. She pulls no punches along the way, and yet manages to approach a hot topic in a grace-filled, forward-thinking manner. The book gave me much to think about, talk about, and process, and I highly recommend it to you.
Here are my top ten favorite quotes:
- Our theological views about creation, gender, and the household context affect the way we think about women’s status, roles, and contributions to the church, home, and society.
- We don’t need to fall into the traps of overgeneralizing or stereotyping the differences between men and women or of perpetuating the lie that women are designed to be man’s exact clone. Our diversity as individuals reflects the beauty of God.
- Jesus does not treat Martha, Mary, or any other woman as the intellectually inferior sex. We see in this relationship a woman who learns. She engages. And she learns straight from the source, not through another man – such as her brother and husband – as a mediator.
- [On women’s ministries] …we say we are being complementary because we have designated a separate wing for women to do their thing in the church. It has the appearance of valuing women and giving them a place to serve under male headship, but far too often these women are not properly invested in by that headship or led in the most meaningful way.
- Evangelical Christians are not generally expected to be critical thinkers. And this is sad.
- It seems that we have entered an era of what I call Pinterest Christianity. We can take a Bible verse and paint it on stair risers. We can put together super-cute baptismal ceremonies with dramatic sandbag candles. We can distract people from our potentially offensive doctrines by offering our own homemade remedy and marketing it in a trendy Mason jar. We can take an Old Testament prophet and turn him into a poster boy for a great diet plan. We’ve become brilliant at taking the old and making it new again. We unleash the ordinary with sparkling promise that goes viral. And followers are giddy with the new revelation.
- I don’t want to come to God’s Word only as a woman, but rather as a fellow human being made in his image. My main calling is not biblical womanhood but holiness.
- Since the truth is frequently offensive, we try to dip it in a “nice” makeover before we handle it. And at that point, the truth can be unrecognizable. Niceness is the Eddie Haskell of evangelicalism. It’s manipulating, but not really loving – manners without truth. Have we become more concerned with politeness than we are with truth?
- The more engaged we are with Scripture, the better our triage skills will be and the more equipped we’ll be to recognize good books.
- [On practical tips for pastors] …use feminine pronouns. We can easily give away our stereotypes in our illustrations. I’m not sitting back and looking for a pastor to use feminine pronouns when he is describing someone intelligent or ambitious, but my ears perk up when he does because I am so conditioned to hearing masculine pronouns for those illustrations. That immediately sends a message to me.
Bonus quote, because it’s hilarious and true:
…the sad truth is that Christian bookstores can promote some of the worst doctrines (and their candy can be quite inferior).
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