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Rachel Held Evans does so many things well when she writes on the issues that influence how the Bible is interpreted and applied in today's cultural context. Her post-modern approach is consistent with the beliefs of Gen-X, Gen-Y, and Millenials who insist that Bible interpretation is a biased activity and is less about asking "what does the Bible say?" and more about asking "what am I looking for?" This makes her writing topical, relevant, honest, vulnerable, sincere, and hopeful. Her recent work "A Year of Biblical Womanhood" does not disappoint.
First, her topic choices are thoughtful and relevant demonstrating the issues that are on the minds of so many young adults who still believe the Bible matters but are challenged by modern (Enlightenment) methods that are inconsistent, irrelevant, and marginalizing. How is it that a few comments about women contained in the letters of the New Testament come to be treated as commands and take precedent over the entire portrait of women in the Bible?
Second, her approach is honest and vulnerable admitting that there is something to learn on both sides of the interpretive landscape. Everyone is guilty of "picking and choosing" Bible verses to support their position but admitting this actually made Rachel open to spiritual growth as she practiced the verses on womanhood that she would not naturally have "picked or chosen."
Third, her response is sincere and hopeful as she and millions of women like her are looking for permission - "permission to lead, permission to speak, persmission to find my identity in something other than my roles, permission to be myself, permission to be a woman" 296. There is no single model for womanhood in the Bible, no one-size-fits-all forumula, no ideal woman of faith.
Instead of a mold, the Bible provides the stories and examples of many women who respond to God's call and faithfully act in their unique circumstances and within the limits of their cultural context. As a woman serving in church ministry, I seek to follow the biblical example of these women: women of faith, women of conviction, "Eshet Chayil! Women of Valor!"
Book has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review.
 

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I do not have a vagina.
But I have a brain and a soul, and I loved this book.
It tells the story of a Christian woman's attempt to take the Bible literally and live out its commands in modern-day society.
The results are at times hilarious and at other times thought-provoking.
Quite often, both happen at the same time.
I feel well-informed about the contents of the Bible. Like this author, I take my faith seriously. It informs my choices and influences by decisions.
But I learned some fascinating new things about old verses. The scholarship in this book is just as high-quality as the storytelling.
You've likely heard the hype and the controversy. Most of it is misguided. I give this book my highest recommendation. You will be challenged and you will grow in your faith.
 

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