Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Redeeming Women

A little interview about one of the more controversial passages at the end of Ruby Slippers is available online at Gifted for Leadership.

A fan and editor, Caryn Rivanendiera, pushed me to answer some harder questions.
(syndicated from GFL)

Earlier this year, I underlined this passage out of Jonalyn Grace Fincher’s book, Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home:

"We say we want Christ to come in and make us new all the way to the center of our souls, but we really don't let him change this weight on women. We just settle for the feeling that this is our lot in life, hoping for better, but expecting the never-ending struggle with our identity and place as women" (page 180).

After rereading it, I added “really?” in the margin. It might have ended there, if Jonalyn wasn't one of our Gifted For Leadership contributors. But since I kept wondering what this meant for women in leadership, I emailed her. Her answers to my questions follow:

Caryn: You make an interesting point, and in many ways I agree. But as I kept thinking about this, I wondered what you were really saying here. Do you really think we WANT this struggle, this fight?

Jonalyn: That’s a great question mainly because of the tension between the two hyped-up responses, “let go and let God” and “take up your cross and follow Jesus.” Can I point out that the first one isn’t in Scripture? Sure God says to “be still and know I am God” but this means we recognize his power, not abdicate our wills or desires for the sake of letting him operate without us.

God loves strong-willed women. He wants us strong enough to take up our cross and follow. He also wants us to work out our salvation with him alongside. He wants to be present in the new life in us, but this doesn’t mean we surrender our capacities to be fully human. In fact, I’m not certain the idea of surrender is even biblical or taught by Jesus. He wants our submission, not our surrender. These are such different concepts.

Caryn: Go on….

to read the rest see "Redeeming Women" at Gifted for Leadership.


himmiefan said...

Hi Jonalyn. Do you know if Barnes and Noble is going to carry your book?

Jonalyn Grace Fincher said...

Yes, they carry it (they'll have the hardcopy available for order now). If it's not on the shelves, just request it for order. Both hard and softcovers are intheir system!

Myowne said...

I totally agree with your position on the total redemption of women through Christ. As strange as it sounds I have always said that once Christ came the curses that were pronounced upon mankind, including the issues that women deal with (relationships with men, female positioning, and even childbirth/PMS)were completely covered in His Blood. I hold claim to that in my own life. I don't have to live under a curse because I have been wholly redeemed.

Amy said...

Beautiful explanations. I get it. Surrendering is much different than submission. The importance of "getting this" is crucial.
Great stuff. I'll be getting your book eventually (I will). I have a stack still to read. Until I finish them though, I enjoy reading your blogs.

~Amy :)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday my friend. We miss you guys something awful. - Tyler

Cara Nilsen said...

Hi Jonalyn, A few thoughts on your post...I think you make a good point about the problem of women just resigning themselves to this weight they have to bear. You make it sound a bit easy though--a fresh pool of water waiting for us to dive into? Wrestling, carrying a cross, and swimming in a cool pool don't all fit easily together. I think you are relating them as all being part of the Christian life though, which I agree with. I think what you're saying is that we can have freedom from a "fate" and that is the refreshing pool part. But the struggles of this world are still with us in this life--for us to wrestle with (and in doing so, wrestle with God and how he set up this world).
I was thinking that it reminded me of the palantir seeing stones from Lord of the Rings. The stone shows glimpses of the future, just as the Genesis curses are prophetic. The stone causes despair though when the glimpses are seen as definitive of a specific fate. But the glimpses are just that, and we don't know exactly what will happen.
Thanks for your thoughts, Jonalyn!

Jonalyn Grace Fincher said...


An apt metaphor, those palantir stones. Beautiful picture of how it is hard to wrestle with the prophetic vision of Genesis. I think the power of suggestion is so huge for women (and men). It's like we just resign ourselves, when there's so much to wrestle with.

You're good at fighting against that with grace and firmness!

Yes, you are correct, the refreshing dive doesn't accurately convey the hard part of cross bearing.

I'm curious as to what you would say is the cross bearing part for women today....?