Free e-book for those who purchased The Black Swan Effect

A big thank you to all who supported the launch of The Black Swan Effect: A Response to Gender Hierarchy in the Church.

Thank you to those who blogged about the book, mentioned it  on facebook and wrote tweets. Thank you for those who wrote reviews on Amazon. Check them out–they are amazing.

Thank you to all of you who purchased the book.

I’m very grateful to all of you. You all are the best!

The book did way better than I had even dared to hope for, creating quite a buzz and rising up through the Amazon rankings.

Now it’s up to the Holy Spirit. If the message through the book is to gain traction, a second wave of people, those who hear about it from those who have read it, will have to emerge.

[Tweet “Free ebook for those who bought The Black Swan Effect http://bit.ly/1lQSiCy”%5D

As a thank you to those who bought the book already, I have an ebook on the challenging Scriptures for women. I’ve been reading books on this topic for decades, trying to work out what the Scriptures really say about women in those passages that seem to limit them. All of us want to obey the Word of God. The e-book looks at the four most difficult ones for women–the ones that are usually quoted by those who believe that men lead, women follow. I’ve tried to simplify the reasons why many of the best scholars believe that these verses can be interpreted, with integrity, to mean something quite different.

Get your free e-book here

I love this picture. A friend sent it to me when the copies he ordered arrived in the mail!

The birth of The Black Swan Effect–and a review

[Tweet “Check out this interview with Frank Viola http://bit.ly/1h8CHxQ”%5D

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.[Tweet “The Black Swan Effect is now on Amazon http://amzn.to/1lAhU6x”%5D

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!”

Thanks to Chris Jefferies for the photo 

The launch of The Black Swan Effect

[Tweet “IT’S OFFICIAL! THE BLACK SWAN EFFECT IS NOW LIVE ON AMAZON. Yay!!”]

 

Here’s the link to The Black Swan Effect: A Response to Gender Hierarchy in the Church on Amazon. Both paperback and Kindle editions are available.

I’m so grateful to the team of women–my wonderful friends Peggy Batcheller-Hijar, Jan Diss, Katie Driver, Suzette Lambert and Julie Ross–we’ve worked together on this project for four years now. And I’m very thankful for the guys who’ve stood with us, contributed chapters, encouraged us–Neil Cole, Dave Ferguson, Michael Frost, Alan Hirsch, Floyd McClung, Frank Viola and Jon Zens. And Lynne Hybels wrote the foreword of the book for someone she’d never met… What a blessing!

Although our technical launch date is tomorrow (Saturday, April 5th) there are already various other blogs and articles about  it on the Internet. (See here, here, here and here).

Most readers of my blog are familiar with the The Black Swan Effect. But if you’re new, here’s a little about it–taken from the “blurb” on Amazon.

The Black Swan Effect presents a vision for what can happen as men and women work together in the Kingdom of God.  The authors (both male and female) encourage men to champion women as equal co-laborers and partners in the harvest. They also give women permission and inspiration to follow the Lord—to reach their own full potential and encourage others to fulfill God’s call. The Black Swan Effect equips both men and women to bring an informed and positive contribution to the increasingly crucial conversation on gender in the church.

If you are like most Christians, one of three primary motivations propels you into this discussion about women in ministry:

  • Many Christians have come to the conclusion that there is no better way to increase the size of God’s missions workforce than to fully deploy women to use their spiritual gifts and God-given capacities.
  • Some are asking theological questions. They are investigating how the Bible portrays women, especially women leaders. How did Jesus treat women? Were the New Testament writers—in particular, the apostle Paul—misogynists? Are there alternative interpretations for some of the really difficult passages of Scripture?
  • Others are drawn to this discussion because of issues related to justice and human dignity around the world as well as in the church. As they study Scripture, they are assured that God creates all men and women in his image, and they can’t even imagine a God who would discriminate against women.

Fourteen different authors contribute to these themes, each writing from their own area of passion and expertise, the whole being woven together into a single narrative. Encouraging stories of women who are doing marvelous things for God today accompany each chapter.

Change is coming! Let’s get ready.

If you purchase The Black Swan Effect, readers of my blog can also get a free download of a short (25 page) e-book entitled “A Simple Guide to the Challenging Scriptures for Women.” (I’m using an honor system here. If you purchase the book, click on the link for the guide.) It’s a quick reference to four of the Scriptures that have proven most troublesome when it comes to women in ministry through the years.

 

Neil Cole on The Black Swan Effect

The Verge conference was last weekend. I always look forward to spending time with good friends who make it to Austin for the conference.  Neil Cole is one of the contributors to The Black Swan Effect, and he came and hung out with us at our home when the conference was over. I took the opportunity to take a brief video of him talking about why the concepts we all write about in The Black Swan Effect are important.

Neil has also recently written a book called Primal Fire: Reigniting the Church with the Five Gifts of Jesus, which I highly recommend.

Neil Cole speaks about The Black Swan Effect from Felicity Dale on Vimeo.

Michael Frost on The Black Swan Effect

I was at the Verge conference this past weekend, and caught up with Michael Frost, who’s one of the co-authors of The Black Swan Effect.

[Tweet “The Black Swan Effect will be released on April 5th. Just 5 days to go…”]

Although The Black Swan Effect is available right now on Amazon, it will help us if you delay getting it until this weekend. (It helps a book to climb the Amazon rankings if more people order at a similar time.)

I asked Mike to say something about the significance of both male and female contributors to The Black Swan Effect. Here’s his response:

Michael Frost on why we’re better together from Felicity Dale on Vimeo.

Is the age of chivalry dead?

Or should the age of chivalry be abolished?

Twice over the past few weeks I’ve read from different sources that it’s somehow demeaning to a woman if a man opens the door for her or pays for her meal. In both instances, the people concerned were offended if a man held the door open for them because it somehow made women inferior.  They felt that a man being chivalrous towards a woman was in some way discriminating against them because it was rooted in the idea of a female being helpless. (The idea comes from the age of knights and dragons and heroines in need of rescue.) One in particular made it clear that chivalry is basically kindness and should be practiced by both genders towards others.

Those who read my blog know that I believe women can be very strong, warriors for the Kingdom, able to do and be anything that God asks of them. They can make disciples, baptize them, plant churches, teach and train, give communion etc. There are no barriers in the Kingdom of God for women. But what about at a cultural/social level?

I guess I was taught how to “be a lady” from an early age. I’d never thought twice about a man opening the door for me. I’d never even considered the matter until recently.

I’m puzzled as to how to react to this and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What do you think about a man opening a door for a woman?

Is chivalry purely a cultural phenomenon? Should it be encouraged? Does it say anything about women at a spiritual level? Is chivalry a Kingdom quality?

    Photo Credit: InAweofGod’sCreation via Compfight cc

We are different

I don’t have a problem with men and women being different. I studied medicine (I’m a physician by background) and not only are we anatomically different, nearly every system in our body is different in some way. The X and Y chromosomes make an impact. We obviously have different endocrine systems (hormones), but other systems differ too. For example, our skeletons are different. Our musculature is different. Our brains are different (men’s brains are larger, but women’s have more connections between right and left hemispheres.) When I studied diseases, I had to learn the differing rates at which diseases occur in men and women. Study any text book on pathology and you cannot get away from the differences.

It’s not hard to believe that the chemical and physiological differences impact how we think and process things.

Are there differences between men and women?

Yes.

I have no problem with those differences.

What I do have a problem with is when those differences are used to create a gender-based hierarchy, or when they’re used to limit women, preventing them from doing and being everything God has commanded them. Or when they produce stereotypes that people are expected to conform to, or when they are used to demean women.

What I long to see is for the body of Christ to welcome those differences, creating a synergy from our different strengths.

What do you think?


Photo Credit: Double–M via Compfight cc