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Half the Church - Peter Enns' interview with Carolyn Custis James

Categories New Testament

9780310325567Peter Enns recently interviewed Carolyn Custis James about
her book Half the Church.

Below is an excerpt from the interview, and you can read the
rest here.

"What’s the back-story that led you to write Half the

Half the Church opens with, “Sometimes when you’re
searching for answers, you get more than you bargained for.”
  When I
started searching for answers to personal questions I was asking for
myself—about God and about his calling on me as a woman—I had no idea I was
wading into one of the most important (certainly one of the most controversial)
issues facing the 21st century church. I didn’t imagine where that search
would take me either.

I started asking questions when my life veered off course
and I became the first women in my family who didn’t marry during or
immediately after college.  Instead of following the traditional roadmap
for women, I joined a sizable and largely forgotten demographic of women who
live outside the parameters drawn for women by the church. Messages for women
coming from the church say a lot about women as wives and mothers, but rarely
acknowledge or champion other paths we follow.

Furthermore, Christian discussions about women tend to focus
largely on women in American pews, excluding women in other cultural settings,
ethnic groups, socio-economic classes, and circumstances.

I came to the realization that we weren’t asking big enough
questions of Scripture or challenging our conclusions by the real experiences
of real women and girls in a fallen world.

I wanted to know how big God’s vision is for women? Will it
hold up under the 21st century pressures bearing down on women’s lives?
Does it equip us to advance boldly into the future or does it summon us to
retreat into the past? Can the Bible still speak with relevance into the
diverse lives of every 21st century woman and girl or should we, as many
women are doing, simply move on without it?"

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