Danielle's book will be published on 22 April 2011 and will be available at Spring Harvest this year or you can order from essentialchristian and other sites. We have three copies to give away! If you'd like to win one, leave a comment by 15 April with the name of a female Christian leader who inspires you . Winners will be drawn at random after that date.
'The Bible does not support female church leaders having authority over men. God made men and women different to occupy separate roles in the world. He did not intend women to be in the pulpit.’ How many of us have found ourselves in the middle of conversations where views like these are being expressed?
Recently, I attended an evangelism course facilitated by a very famous worldwide Christian organisation. I was rather surprised to find that I was one of only two women on the course; there were ten men. As you can tell from my opening sentence, the chat during coffee time was very interesting. Over the week, I had many conversations with my male colleagues which inferred that, as a woman, I was only valuable for certain types of work. How can the God who loved me and created me want to limit my potential... simply because I am a woman? It does not make sense! It is exactly these unbiblical views that Danielle Strickland aims to debunk, challenge and obliterate in her fantastic new book. Thank God for women like Danielle Strickland! Throughout the book, she passionately and skilfully declares her, and God’s, longing to see women released into their callings and emphasises that this is a major part of his plan of restoration for the world.
The Liberating Truth argues that women are subjugated and oppressed in contemporary culture, including within the church. It aims to educate people on a good biblical framework for equality and debunk the mishandling of certain passages of Scripture which keeps women oppressed. The book is very comprehensive and tackles a myriad of different issues – the contemporary and historical position of women inside and outside church walls, key Scriptural passages and looks towards the church’s key role in shaping the future. Dismissing patriarchal and complementation view points, Danielle aligns her argument to the discourse of egalitarianism. You can sense Danielle’s passion when she exclaims ‘Christians need not be afraid of this truth.’ The liberating truth that she refers to is that although men and women are different, ‘there is no equality distinction, and there are no limitations in using [women’s] gifts in and for God’s kingdom.’
In my opinion, her strongest and most thought-provoking chapters deal with the difficult passages of Scripture – the creation story in Genesis and Paul’s letters to Ephesus, Galatia and to Timothy.
This book comes hot on the heels of many other similar publications. So how is it different? As a Major in the Salvation Army in Canada, Danielle has travelled all over the world engaging in God’s mission. The book is sprinkled with Danielle’s own experiences which enhance and strengthen the main argument. She takes us on her own journey of meeting women who are desperate for liberation and restoration. From her chance meeting with a young Muslim evangelist on a flight from South Africa to delivering homemade cupcakes to prostitutes in her local brothels – in her own words ‘a tea break in hell.’ Alongside controversial and striking chapter titles like ‘You are not a princess’ and ‘Jesus the feminist’, Danielle’s writing style is very engaging and accessible. There is definitely no danger that this publication is staid or dry. I laughed. I cheered. I cried. I dreamed.
But let’s not make the equipping and releasing of all of God’s people into their callings simply just a dream. Danielle makes it quite clear that you and I have a responsibility to make this a reality. In her powerful words, ‘I believe that it’s a God-inspired idea that women can really change the world. It’s what we’re meant to do.’
So let’s do it. For his glory.
Reviewed by Claire Rush, the Esther Generation Project Facilitator for Girls’ Brigade England and Wales.