Saving Women from the Church: How Jesus Mends a Divide by Susan McLeod-Harrison is the book that I just finished reading last night. At just over 200 pages, it is not a long book; but I found it very good in the arguments it makes for gender equality in the evangelical church. Each chapter has a story about how women are hurt by their congregations. The stories are fictionalized but are based on true accounts. Then McLeod-Harrison has a fictionalized version of a story from the bible that helps to address the contemporary story. After both stories, there is a section entitled "What was Jesus Doing?" where the author addresses what was going on in the culture of the bible story and how Jesus uplifted the woman in the story. This book set up to be a great book for a bible study class or a devotional guide because each chapter also contains questions and a section for personal reflection.
I truly wish that every woman in all churches can have the opportunity to read a book like this one. Several of the stories touched near and dear to my heart, and I could feel years of the pain in my own soul pour forth. I went to divinity school and studied theology before I could deal with how women are treated within my own congregation. For those who cannot attend graduate school to study theology, this book is an easy to understand guide for them. And I recommend it to both women and men who want to see how Jesus empowers us all.
The author is a firm supporter of Christians for Biblical Equality. And their blog featured a review of this book last month.