I feel like all I can say after reading this book is “wow.” On so many levels that sums up every aspect of this book. Half the Church is a must read for all women (and really men as well). It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are at, this book will inspire you to be the woman God created you to be and step forth with action to impact your world.
James started this book based of the inspiration of stories she heard about the global atrocities that women face. Since women make up half of the population and half of the church, we need to examine what our role is and who God has called us to be. Obviously there is a lot of pain and suffering in the world. Sometimes as western thinkers, we can close our eyes to the truth that half of the church is mistreated. Not only are women mistreated globally, but they are silenced. Women feel that they must be silent and take a back seat to men. We can see this even in the modern day church.
So what do we all have in common? What does this mean for the average church lady and for the girl sold into the sex-trafficking industry? There must be some common ground, some place where we can see God’s purpose for us. There is a universal call to all women – here in the US and around the world!
The book uncovers so much and gives solid Biblical backing to God’s global vision for woman. First of all, we are image bearers of God. Being made in his image means we are called to his purposes in this world. We were made to be in alliance with men. It’s not a battle of the sexes. It’s not about women taking a stand against men. It’s about us coming together to make the church whole and to be a complete presence of God in the world.
James brought up a good point when she says that two are called to become one. There aren’t fractions here. It isn’t one half comes together with another half to make one. When men (one) and women (one) come together in unity (one) then a true reflection of God can be seen in the world. We are not against each other. The church is functioning as a healthy whole when both men and women are contributing.
We are called to leadership. Just because I am female does not mean I am sidelined in God’s kingdom call. James mentions that the church has put so much focus on being a wife and mother that we are not able to see the vision for women outside of these roles. Now these roles are not to be taken lightly, but they are not our whole identity. God certainly has a calling and purpose for women before marriage and he certainly has a calling and purpose for them after their child-bearing years. We are never off the hook for being God’s image bearers in this world. Our leadership and our value remains steadfast from the moment we take our first breath to the moment we take our last. God has a dynamic vision for our lives and the question is are we ready to accept and live it out.
Through vivid illustrations and biblical examples, James clearly paints the picture of how God views his daughters. We are not second best and we are not an afterthought. This book has really empowered me to a new level of boldness and a new sense of urgency. We can’t let half the church do this alone. The body of Christ suffers when all its parts aren’t working in unity for God’s kingdom purposes. This is a call to half of the church – it’s time to step up and embrace God’s vision for our lives. Trust me; this book is worth the read!