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Book Review: The Liberating Truth-How Jesus Empowers Women by Danielle Strickland

The Liberating Truth
How Jesus Empowers Women

By Danielle Strickland

This book challenged me, but not quite in the way I expected.

I expected to be challenged theologically, and philosophically. I find rather that I am challenged to treat the book and the author with compassion. It doesn’t live up to its promise.

I understand that in a very Biblical sense, every injustice is an injustice against all. The prophets of the Old Testament challenged their entire society to deal with injustice. They understood that the society was sick because they allowed injustice, even if they didn’t participate in it. Strickland takes that notion to another level. All injustices [against women] are equal, so forbidding women to preach is the same as selling them as sex slaves or forcing them to wear a burqa. I think Strickland confuses “disagrees with Strickland” with “injustice.”

She writes well. This book is easy to read, yet the author keeps taking short cuts in logic that make it difficult to keep reading. Normally an author builds a good argument, and then refers back to that argument. Strickland makes offhand references to arguments that she will build later in the book.

She also makes arguments based on a flawed understanding of the culture and society of the ancient near east. Her image of male/female relationships in ancient Greece is not supported by historical research and anthropology. Her arguments about Paul’s statement to Timothy, “I do not allow women to teach men….” are made questionable by her dependence on questionable scholarship.

Thus, I am disappointed in this book. I expected to be challenged to seriously examine her theological arguments, and I find that although she writes well, she writes unconvincingly.

This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers. (  )

The Liberating Truth: How Jesus Empowers Women by Danielle Strickland, Foreward by Vicky Beeching (Foreword), Monarch Books (2011), Paperback, 160 pages

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