Beth Allison Barr
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Christianity Today 2022 Book Award Finalist (History & Biography)
"A powerful work of skillful research and personal insight."--Publishers Weekly
Biblical womanhood--the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers--pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn't biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments.
This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history--ancient, medieval, and modern--to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr's historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women's roles in the church and help move the conversation forward.
Interweaving her story as a Baptist pastor's wife, Barr sheds light on the #ChurchToo movement and abuse scandals in Southern Baptist circles and the broader evangelical world, helping readers understand why biblical womanhood is more about human power structures than the message of Christ.
Join over forty Christian historians as they journey through the biblical and historical past, reading God’s word in light of the experiences of those made in God’s image. Along with an invitation to study Scripture from Genesis through Revelation, Faith and History: A Devotional provides a link between modern Christians and faithful believers from the past—reminding us of all we share in our faith in the present day, as well as how different were the past worlds of our sisters and brothers in Christ.
With Faith and History, you will read the Gospels in light of the Civil Rights Movement and the Holocaust and pray the psalms alongside Frederick Douglass and Isaac Watts. Learn more about well-known Christians such as Billy Graham, C. S. Lewis, Aimee Semple McPherson, John Perkins, and St. Patrick, and meet historical figures who are less known but no less significant, such as faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman, Anabaptist martyr Felix Manz, and medieval mystic Margery Kempe. Each scriptural passage pairs with a historical reflection, suggests questions for further consideration and discussion, recommends resources for historical study, and closes with a short prayer.
This unique devotional integrates historical reflection with study and prayer to help Christians meet their ongoing need for spiritual formation. Faith and History is also intended to help Christians better understand their relationship to the past at a time when history, memory, and heritage are so hotly contested in American politics and society.