Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Jesus Feminist

So, I just finished reading Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist, and I appreciate it so much more than I expected given the particulars of my upbringing, marriage, faith, interpretation of scripture, etc. I'm surprised, also, to have read (devoured, really) the book within twenty-four hours because, well, I just don't tend to do that, these days.

I've visited Bessey's blog but don't follow it regularly, and chances are slim that I would've purchased the book: limited resources, so many other (already-purchased) books to read, and (as this post proves) weariness over the topic of feminism. But my blogger friend Esther Emery sent me a copy, so I decided to give it a whirl.

This is what I like: even though Sarah Bessey and I are in different places, I didn't feel as though she were yelling at me or coming at me angrily or forcefully; in fact, I felt loved by her, and that's important to me. I'm not in the same place as the Jehovah's Witnesses, either, but I feel loved by them; therefore, I invite them in when they come knocking.

Also, I believe that Bessey knows and loves Jesus, and I have no reason to doubt she's on an authentic journey with Him. I enjoyed reading stories from her life: the ones in Chapter Seven, especially, about miscarriage and childbirth. It doesn't offend me that Bessey's marriage is one of mutual submission or that she can sit comfortably under a female preacher. To each her own, in Christ (of course), and in general I think the world would be a better place if we were in hot pursuit of what He wants for us individually instead of insisting we should all be living identically.

In Jesus Feminist, Bessey encourages her readers to really pray and seek the Lord and His plan for their lives, and I like that. She encourages her readers to love as Jesus demonstrates and Paul writes, also to do Kingdom work as we've been called and gifted, and I like that, too. I don't think we can go wrong, doing any of those things, and I feel inspired to do better and more, even if my marriage, church, etc. function differently than Bessey's.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly unless, perhaps, you're easily confused or swayed/tempted from God's plan for your life. I'm not. If someone shares something with me in the right spirit, I can generally (prayerfully!) take from the conversation or resource the things that are helpful/useful to me and let the rest go. My thanks to Esther for sending Jesus Feminist; I'm very glad to have read it.


  1. it is interesting...depending on the attitude of the feminist i am good...i think often we judge but the extremes...i would be interested in seeing her points and arguments in how these come together...

    1. She believes that women are equal to (although different from) men, that all roles within the church (mission field, etc.) should be open to them, and that marriages should function as equal partnerships. She's pro-life, though. I can't imagine that you'd find her position offensive.