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I was given a copy of this title from Tyndale Press in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
My personal take on this book:
I was given “The Resignation of Eve” in order to write a review. I anticipated the delivery of the book in hopes to find fresh thinking and find new ideas on how to energize women into serving in various ministries. I gained this hope through the promotional materials surrounding this title. I have never been more disappointed in a book. I struggled through reading the entire book hoping to find some additional insight to the beginning premise by Jim Henderson. Basically, the only point for women to return or remain in church is to allow women to be equally measured with and for, all roles within the church structure.
The content of the book comes from multiple interviews with women who have had varying experiences in their church life. These experiences fit into three categories of resignation: women who resigned to, resigned from, and re-signed to the church. These stories are unfortunately ended with Henderson having the final take on their statements. So in a sense, echoing the very fact that his premise is against – men having final say over women.
The text includes statistical data gained through research and blog postings, sprinkling it in-between sections of the book. Barna Group was also hired to gain research data on this topic for Henderson to utilize in his writings. This research is presented at the end of the text.
A few issue I find with Henderson’s work:
He equates roles of women in politics and business with the role of women in the church. While many of his interviewees become flustered with answering questions on the topic or formulating a position, the sheer fact is that politics and business are not held to church rule and shouldn’t be measured thusly.
Many times Henderson raises issue with the requirement of women being submissive to men in the church, again applying the rule of submission to politics and business, he suggest as a valid argument: if you agree with submission and find the lack thereof a sin, but you are ok with women’s roles in business and politics, why not sin within the church setting as well. Basically, sin and sin again, why not? – as his argument.
Many of his interviewee’s life experiences are hard to read through without reacting emotionally to their predicaments of physical abuse and mental abuse. I agree these instances are wrong and should be righted; however, equal roles within the church are not the answer. I believe complementary roles are the answer.
Basically, Henderson is asking us to withdraw from scriptural authority because of the examples given of men’s misuse of leadership, power, and authority towards women with a little modern culture adjustments thrown in for flavoring. My take for a solution gained from reading his text has little to do with women and their need for equality within the church order; but more to do with men fixing their bad judgment and behavior.
My caveat: I have no issues with submission to God. I have no issue with submission to my husband. I have no issue with the roles I am able to perform within my church; a church that doesn’t allow women to preach, become elders or deacons. My reasoning for this is that my opinions and knowledge are respected. I serve on many committees within the church structure. I am not fearful to walk into a pastor’s office for a meeting, to raise issue, or pass on a comment. My opinion is respected, as it should be. Male and females working together in total complementary roles to further God’s glory.