Monday, July 15, 2013

Defending the Faith - Kregel Book Tour Review

Defending the Faith--Apologetics in Women's Ministry
Mary Jo Sharp, 2012
Kregel Publications
Kregel Inc.
P.O. Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
ISBN:978-0-8254-3872-1

"Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received this book for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

The latest Kregel Blog Tour book I've been reading is Defending the Faith --Apologetics in Women's Ministry.  This book is full of insight and solid ideas about knowing and defending what you believe in. Here's a peek at what is discussed.

Mary Jo discusses being honest with yourself about what you really believe and why it is important to be honest with others about what you believe. She discusses how knowing why we believe makes us confident and more willing to share knowledge of the ultimate Truth-Giver. She suggests that Christians need to be humble and acknowledge that they don't know all the answers.  She also says that if we know why we believe we can feel more confident about sharing it with others.  She reminds us that we need to know why we believe so that we are strong in working with women's ministries which impact future generations.

Next, the author discusses how many women are currently living out what they believe, but she notes that for many women this is not such a great thing.   Mary Jo suggests that many women have no desire to learn more than what they already know about scripture and God, and, therefore, many women are not experiencing spiritual growth or sharing their faith with others.  She suggests the study of Apologetics to learn about God, believe in and trust God, and live out our faith through our actions.  There is also discussion about learning how to think and acquiring and maintaining beliefs.

Mary Jo how our thoughts lead to actions and why we should focus our attention on disciplining our thoughts.  The author suggests that other people notice what we do and how we do it, noting that our actions are motivated by our beliefs.  She also says that some of those most affected are our children.

The next topic discussed is our need to be realistic and explore the truth with people.   Mary Jo says we can do this by knowing essential Christian doctrines, truly listening to people, questioning others about their beliefs, and responding to statements and questions with the knowledge we have acquired.

After all of the above, the author discusses helping people understand the need for learning Apologetics and helping women understand how their beliefs affect all aspects of their lives.  She strongly suggests that we need to deal with difficult passages and tough questions to show an accurate view of Christianity.  A safe, loving, learning environment is suggested as well as finding or creating a study, several of which are noted.  The last part of the book is a section with suggested resources

Keep or Toss?  This is a good book full of practical ideas and suggested resources.  The author's scriptural references and other data referred to are relevant and helpful.  This would be a good suggested read for women interested in women's ministry and digging deeper for spiritual growth.
I appreciated the author's honesty and assessment of the current situation in many churches today.

I was not obligated to provide a positive review.  Your thoughts may vary, but I thought this was a good book for women involved with ministry.

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