The process of writing a book can become all consuming. I know. I’ve written several. It starts out as an idea which grows. An outline forms. The middle stretch is hard–is anyone interested in your topic? The final few months, it takes over much of your life as you try to reach deadlines.
I’m so thankful for the co-authors of this book. The team of women brainstormed every aspect of it over a period of four years. The guys who contributed chapters have stood with us, encouraged us and helped in every way they can.
I was humbled and blessed to see some of the reviews over the weekend. Here’s one of my favorites by Gary Roberts:
“The Catholic priest Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to the church doors in 1517. He was not suggesting the Church should reject the scriptures or hold any position contrary to the Bible. He was encouraging the Pope and others to reconsider and return to the scriptures. Nearly 500 years later, it’s difficult to believe there may still be doctrinal or practicing positions held by Bible believing people which need to be reconsidered. Is that possible?
The Black Swan Effect: A Response to Gender Hierarchy in the Church raises an issue for all thoughtful Christ followers. What are the God-given roles and responsibilities of women in the Church? Have we misunderstood, misinterpreted or misapplied the scriptures concerning women? Have we, to our peril, sought to know Christ and advance his Kingdom with one hand tied behind our back?
The Black Swan Effect says, “Let’s talk about it”..
Felicity Dale and her team of ladies have assembled thoughtful, passionate, informed and experienced authors to propel our conversation forward and walk with us on the journey. And some of them are men!
The ladies; Lynne Hybels, Peggy Batcheller-Hijar, Jan Diss, Katie Driver, Julie Ross, Suzette Lambert and Felicity Dale, tell their stories and the stories of other women longing and looking for their place in the Kingdom. They honestly detail their struggle to know and understand their giftedness and calling only to find a church which for the most part discourages them because they happen to be female. There are questions raised by these ladies that challenge me and even haunt me. I’m glad they asked.
The men aren’t bad either. Neil Cole, Alan Hirsch, Floyd McClung, Dave Ferguson, Frank Viola, Jon Zens, and Michael Frost are confessional and confrontational. They detail their own journey to understand the Bible’s teaching concerning women and to release them to their God-given destiny. As a man with complete confidence in the scriptures and a desire to follow Jesus Christ, I found their contributions to be convicting, informative and affirming. They raise and answer questions most Christian men have, but rarely ask. I have read these men outside this current collaboration because they love Jesus and make me think. You will enjoy their contributions.
Felicity Dale’s chapter Created in God’s Image – Male and Female (chapter 7) is worth the price of the book. She also does a wonderful job serving as team leader and general editor for the project while writing additional parts.
Viola, Zens and Cole handle some details of interpretation and application in their chapters which should serve us well in our discussions. Read them thoughtfully.
Suzette Lambert’s chapter on The Emancipated Woman held the biggest surprise for me. Her words forced me to face some of my own struggles and thoughts which keep me from realizing my own destiny and fulfillment. Life changing? Yes.
I’m a long, long way from being where I need to be as a follower of Jesus Christ. These ladies, with an assist from some “door opening” men have helped me on my way. Thanks!
Let’s wrap up this review.
Martin Luther knew this truth and so should we. We need never fear the truth.
The Black Swan Effect is well planned, well written, well edited and well done!”