Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Book Review: The Resignation of Eve
That is my paraphrase of what the back of the book says. That is NOT what this book is actually about. This book is about how the church is run by male leadership, and how sad and unfair that is to women.
Yes, this book is filled with stories of women and their accounts of their experiences in church. However, the vast majority of them are just snipe-fests on how women are appalled that they cannot be senior pastors or elders in their church. There are a couple of stories (as in just two, I believe) of women who don't have a problem with male leadership and even find it comforting. The author's position on that is that these women have been indoctrinated and essentially brainwashed into feeling this way, and clearly that proves his point that some women are resigned to their positions in church.
There are quite a few things that I find offensive about this book as a woman. First, more than once the author and the women in this book allude to the fact that women's and children's ministries within the church are clearly the lesser of all the ministries. They say that if women want to lead then they are pushed aside into women's and children's ministries, rather than serving in the more important role of senior pastor. Second is the idea that any woman who supports male leadership has simply and sadly been indoctrinated. That tells me that, as a woman who supports male leadership, I must not have an original or intelligent thought in my head.
This book, this author, and the women in this book have missed the whole point of leadership. If they are truly going to use Scripture to find out about their roles in church, why do they keep missing Mark 10:44? As if the only acceptable leadership position is the role of senior pastor. And if there is anyone in the church who is serving in a role other than the senior pastor, then they are clearly not in a leadership position.
This book was not written from a biblical perspective; it was written from a secular worldview. But let's go with that for a minute; even then, this author misses what even John Maxwell, the great leadership guru has to say about leadership. And that is you can lead where ever you are. You do not have to be labeled "top dog" to be considered a leader. And if you're waiting for that label, then you probably aren't cut out for leadership anyway.
This book reminds me a lot of American Idol. You know, early in the season during the audition rounds when so many well-meaning, earnest kids come on and sing their little hearts out. And they sound terrible. And so the judges try to gently tell them that they should pursue other things. And then the kids get spitting mad and use all sorts of words and gestures to show how much they disagree with the judges assessment. Their parents have told them that they are amazing singers, so what would these professionals know? Well, this book is just like those parents to all bossy women who feel they aren't being listened to. It will fuel their fire and make them feel like they are right, even though the Bible clearly says otherwise.
I am throwing this book in the trash. As a book lover, I hate to throw books out, but I can't think of a single person I would want to read this book. I don't want it on some random book shelf in a thrift store either. No one should read this book. And this author should not be writing for Christian audiences either. He is clearly not on the same page.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book as a part of their blogger book review program.