Sarah Bessey is a blogger a Canadian and an editor for A Deeper Story and a monthly contributor for She Loves Magazine.
Sarah writes about her faith and spirituality, she writes about being a Mom, theology, women's issues, social justice, politics "pretty much everything else that you are not supposed to discuss in polite company."
Her new book is called Jesus Feminist, an invitation to revisit the bible's view of women. And I gather that Sarah wanted a bold shocking title - that sells books, but I think for many the word "feminist" or "feminism" for that matter strikes a chord. It almost seems like a negative word doesn't it? Or a dirty word? Was Jesus a feminist?
Well, what is feminism? Quist simple it's the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. Basically it's the idea that men and women are equals in every facet of life..... except childbirth.
So the next question would be, does the Bible (or Jesus himself) support that view? It's a heated debate - with people on both sides who will tell you what the Bible "really means" (despite what it really "says").
And although I hate to compare Sarah's book to another book, I kinda want to. Scot McKnight wrote a book called "The Blue Parakeet" and the layout of Sarah's book is rather similar. The first half of Sarah's book explains some of the key passages that have held women back and looks at a global picture of how women were viewed in the scriptures. The second half of Sarah's book is then filled with application and story - Sarah talks about what being a women of the church should look like and she weaves a beautiful narrative. (McKnight's book has the same format)
But here is where the two books stand apart. McKnight is a man and he writes his book "like a man." McKnight is analytical, he's detached and he presents a wonderful argument. And as you would expect, Sarah writes "like a woman." She's passionate, she cares, she's a story teller and she brings the reader in. And maybe, from the title, you'd expect Sarah's voice to be stern and direct and perhaps militant, but she isn't the over bearing stereotype of a feminist that you're thinking of.
And here's the thing and I think Sarah would agree with me... I can say Sarah writes "like a woman" and that doesn't "detract" from her story - it doesn't "lessen" her story. Feminism is not about men and women being "the same." It's about men and women being equal. Men and women ARE different. We have different roles, God made us differently and He gives us each distinct emotions, abilities and strengths. But those differences are celebrated and they make us complimentary to the other. Why did God make Eve? Because Adam needed her (Gen 2:20-21).
So I need Sarah's book AND McKnight's book on my bookshelf. I need History and I need Herstory. Wonderful book, great story teller - well recommended.
Thank you to Howard books for the free copy in exchange for my fair and honest review.