I am deeply burdened for the women of Lifeline and have been for some time. There are serious reasons why, among the many responsibilities I have leading and teaching within the church along with teaching and writing outside of the church, I have chosen to keep my hands on our women’s discipleship. I actually think that our women are being targeted as never before with the proliferation of culturally engaging but theologically shallow writing afforded online.
One of the major commitments of our ministry is to raise up theologically interested, well-versed, and capable women to impact the world. In fact, I personally know of no other church that spends more time and energy equipping women for the task of Gospel impact. Yet I find that our task is made more complex by the odd leanings of evangelical pop-culture that seem consistently to spew disdain toward a biblical, complementarian perspective on gender roles and minimize the verbal proclamation of the Gospel in favor of a recycled social Gospel that is more fed by emergent church ideas than by an exalted view of Scripture. That may sound harsh, but I don’t think it is. In fact I spend enough time immersed in the waters of evangelical culture that I can say with little doubt that this is the case.
There is a line from the movie Hoosiers that I absolutely love. When Gene Hackman’s character comes into a small Indiana town to take over as the basketball coach, the interim coach doesn’t want to give up the reins. As a result he throws out a threat to Hackman that goes like this: “Mister it’s one thing to get naked and bark at the moon, but it’s another to do the same thing in my living room.” His point is that you can do something inappropriate and even stupid where no one is impacted, but it is a different deal altogether when it starts impacting the family. That is how I feel about the trend in blogging, vlogging, social media, books, and articles targeted toward women. It is starting to get in our living room and as the primary caretaker of our church’s theological and philosophical commitments I want to say that I do not think it is healthy. But in doing so, I want to be constructive rather than destructive. So rather than point out everyone that I think we should keep from “barking at the moon,” I wanted to give you some writers that I think are doing some things well and encourage you to gravitate toward their work and away from voices whose theological and philosophical underpinnings do not reflect our own. So, for whatever it is worth to you from your pastor, who cares deeply about your spiritual health and discipleship, here is a list of female authors with a significant online presence that I think would be worth your attention.
- Elyse Fitzpatrick www.elysefitzpatrick.com
- Jen Pollack Michel http://jenpollackmichel.com
- Mary Kassian www.girlsgonewise.com
- Bethany Jenkins www.bethanyjenkins.com
- Trillia Newbell www.trillianewbell.com
- Courtney Reissig various articles online
- Candice Watters co-founder of www.boundless.org
- Kathleen Nieslon www.kathleennielson.com
- Nancy Guthrie www.nancyguthrie.com
- Gloria Furman www.gloriafurman.com
- Jen Wilkin http://jenwilkin.blogspot.com/
- Rosaria Butterfield www.rosariabutterfield.com
Obviously, there are a number of other authors who have been writing for years like, Elisabeth Elliot, Beth Moore, Elizabeth George, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Barbara Hughes and others, but I wanted to draw your attention particularly to those who are interacting online with present issues or are lesser known but speak from a healthy theological perspective about the Christian life.