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A Year of Biblical Womanhoodcomment (0)

September 19, 2013

By Martine Bates Sharp

Rachel Held Evans. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012. 321 pp. (Kindle Version).

Can you say “controversy”? The publication of this book set off a debate, particularly among conservatives — which was a good enough reason for me to decide I needed to read it. I mean, what could possibly be controversial about attempting to spend a year living as instructed by the Scriptures?

Well as it turned out … there was plenty of fodder there. But first, the good part. The book was thoughtfully written by a talented writer who is obviously well versed in biblical doctrine. Her slant was somewhat liberal, but she was raised (in Alabama) by conservative parents and frequently demonstrated her familiarity with conservative beliefs. Additionally the author appeared to be transparent in sharing insights and conviction she experienced during the process. I was humbled and convicted by her apparent openness.

My overwhelming sense as I read through the book was that of a gigantic, yearlong publicity stunt. The author was clear about conducting the experiment for the purpose of writing a book about the experience, but some of her antics seem to have been planned for maximum newsworthiness rather than a genuine attempt at conforming to biblical womanhood. Also the seemingly random mixture of Old Testament and New Testament was confusing — it was hard to understand what biblical womanhood the author was striving for. 

I think, rather than controversial, I would describe the book as confusing, but certainly interesting and informative.

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