Three Theologically Rich Book Recommendations By and For Women
You know I love to see theologically rich resources written by and for women. I’ve recently read three and want to recommend them to you.
This book is a sequel to Wilkin’s None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (And Why That’s a Good Thing). The first book (which I reviewed here) discusses God’s immutable characteristics—the things about him that we will never be: self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible.
In His Image, on the other hand, discusses God’s traits that we are called and equipped to reflect, if we are in him: holy, loving, just, good, merciful, gracious, faithful, patient, truthful, and wise.
Wilkin starts by stating, “For the believer wanting to know God’s will for her life, the first question to pose is not ‘What should I do?’ but ‘Who should I be?’” She goes on to say that “God does not hide his will from his children” and “the gospel begins transforming us into who we should have been. It re-images us.” Bottom line: we don’t need to wonder what God’s will is for our lives, what his calling for us is. He has made that clear. It is to walk in his image, for his glory and by his power. We are called to be like Christ and this book offers an examination of 10 traits we can emulate.
Each chapter is easy to read and chock full of theology. There are Verses for Meditation and Questions for Reflection at the end of each chapter, making this book ideal for your own quiet time or for a group study. Groups who want to have minimal homework, but solid discussion time together, should consider this book. It’s a good read for new believers, as well as longtime Christians (that’s something I love about all of Wilkin’s writing).
Throughout reading Identity Theft: Reclaiming the Truth of Who We are in Christ, I felt myself saying aloud, Yes, uh-huh, that’s right over and over. It’s a great read for any woman who wants to grow in her understanding of who she is in Christ. We live in a time when pressures from our flesh, the world, and the Devil make it difficult to know and hold on to who we truly are. But this book winsomely establishes the truth and reminds the reader over and over of who God is and who we are in him.
The compilation of 10 chapters by 10 of my favorite writers (Hannah Anderson, Lindsey Carlson, Courtney Doctor, Megan Hill, Jasmine Holmes, Betsy Childs Howard, Melissa Kruger, Jen Pollock Michel, Trillia Newbell, and Jen Wilkin) makes it fun to read. Each chapter offers their unique voice and story on a specific identity theft issue. While their perspectives and personal applications are unique to them, their teaching is all solidly unified in the Word of God. As readers, we repeatedly get the gospel, applied to different areas of life. The book reads like a robust conversation at a coffee table—each woman weighing in on a struggle or temptation that we all face and offering a Biblical response.
Identity Theft would be excellent to read with a group of women—just a couple or even a large group. I would recommend encouraging each gal to read one chapter a week and then take time throughout the week to memorize the provided memory verse and answer the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. It would lend itself well to a solid 10-week group study. Participants would be sweetly renewed in the truth of who they are in Christ by the end of the semester.
What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts), by Nancy Guthrie
As God's timing would have it, I read this book about two months prior to my dad passing away this past spring. I can say that Guthrie's words ring true. Not only does this book offer practical advice to anyone who wishes to be kind, but it also helpfully ponders life after death. I appreciate that she interviews tons of people who have walked through grief to get their perspectives. Hearing their stories was helpful.
Anyone in ministry should read this book. I found her suggestions for what to say instead of the common, trite, and unhelpful things we often say to be very helpful. I’ve implemented them and have seen my conversations with those in grief grow in authenticity and substance.
My favorite part of the book is chapter 6, “Let’s Talk About Talking About Heaven (and Hell).” In our almost two decades of ministry, my husband and I have observed that in the US, we are prone to saying that everyone goes to heaven after they die. We’re unwilling to grapple with hell, even when the person who passed away outwardly and vocally rejected God when they were alive. Even amongst mature Christians the refrain, “Well she’s in a better place now” is all too commonly heard—we assign it to everyone. I appreciate Guthrie’s thoughtfulness on this topic and her suggestions for offering comfort without lying or giving false hope.
Speaking of Great Books…Book Giveaway for my 40th Birthday!
I’m turning 40 two weeks from today! I’d like to bless four people (one for each decade!) with two books I have on hand. One is Identity Theft (above) and the other is Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds (I reviewed that here.).
To enter, please do two things: 1) subscribe to my mailing list (if you’re already a subscriber, then you’re done with this part!) and 2) comment on one of my social media accounts (you an click the icons below) with the name of a friend who doesn’t yet follow me or my writing.
These book giveaways are such a fun way for me to spread solid theology to more women (my heart!) and also a way for more people to learn about my ministry through writing. With a book coming out with Crossway in January 2020, I want to get the word out to as many readers as I can! Thanks for helping me do that.