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How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership

Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals
Narrated by: Jay Charles
Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

This book features a number of autobiographical accounts as to how various persons have come to change their minds about women in leadership. Well-known evangelical leaders - individuals and couples, males and females, from a broad range of denominational affiliations and ethnic diversity - share their surprising journeys from a more-or-less restrictive view to an open inclusive view that recognizes a full shared partnership of leadership in the home and in the ministries of the church based on gifts, not gender. 

This book offers a positive vision for the future of women and men together as partners of equal worth without competitiveness in the work of equipping this and the next generation of Christian disciples for "the work of ministry" and service in the Kingdom of God.

All featured writers: Bill Hybels, Lynne Hybels, John Ortberg, I. Howard Marshall, Stuart Briscoe, Nancy Ortberg, Jill Briscoe, Tony Compolo and Cornelius Plantinga.

©2010 Zondervan (P)2010 Zondervan

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Interesting read

I enjoyed this audiobook however found it quite hard to follow at times with only one reader for both male and female testimonies.

Surprised at this considering it is a book about women in leadership.

Content wise, on the whole I found it thought provoking and challenging, although occasional comments from some contributors to this book, comparing those who hold different views on this subject to Nazis, terrorists, slave traders, calling them evil and 'wondering' how many of them would go to hell was really really unhelpful. Surely when discussing something as emotionally sensitive as this, a little more love would have better.

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  • Adam Shields
  • 31-05-11

Stories make a difference

I first heard of this book when John Armstrong blogged about it (he wrote the first chapter.) It has taken me five months to get around to reading it, but I very enthusiastically encourage you to listen to these stories no matter what your position.

Of course it is a bit repetitive (there are 22 chapters by 26 separate people, several couples jointly wrote chapters.) But I think it is repetitive in a good way, because there are many people that have similar stories about how they have come to understand that women in church leadership is a good and appropriate direction for the church as a whole.

I found it interesting to see commonalities. There were more men than women that wrote chapters (a later chapter expressed the importance of men calling other men to a more egalitarian understanding). And many, but not all men, were prompted toward inspecting their own beliefs because someone close to them was being hindered from a clear calling because of church restrictions. For most women, it was their own ministry that was being hindered and there was often pain because of restrictions on ministry that was counter to their understanding of God’s direction.

Most, but not all, spoke of long periods of intense bible study and research because of several difficult passages in the New Testament. If you have primarily, biblical opposition to women in leadership, this book has a very good summary of the different ways that many have come to a different understanding without a lower view of scripture. But some were honest and said that it was not primarily scriptural reasons, but cultural reasons that were the basis for their opposition to women in leadership.

Like many good Christian books, one of the things that is striking is the humility that many of the writer’s exhibited. It is difficult to write about how you believe that you were once wrong. (Originally this was a longer review on my blog bookwi.se)

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  • AWeber
  • 08-06-17

Life Changer and Bible-centric

Egalitarianism has always been portrayed to me as unbiblical, but I found most of the essays in this book to be strongly Bible-centric! I am amazed to discover a whole other biblical side to this discussion that seems much stronger to me than the complementarian viewpoint that I have espoused my entire life. This book has brought me enormous personal freedom. You won't regret the read!

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  • tom
  • 19-11-19

Great approach for this topic.

This book is nicely done and a presented in a great way by couples and/or experts. My only suggestion is to have had a woman read the woman segments.

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  • Rob Trenckmann
  • 14-10-19

Great Read

Well written and careful with the topic. He stories are engaging. Fun to hear how God uses people throughout the world!

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  • Beaver Reader
  • 01-04-19

Understanding is key, ministry is necessary

I enjoyed this book, it provides clarity and wisdom. Thank you very much. I was very similar upbringing and never thought I could be useful in Gods kingdom, years later I learned it is my mission to be the hands and feet of God. Jesus the excellent Teacher that He is opened my eyes even wider with this reading and confirmation through these Teachers and Evangelicals. Thank you for all the research, biblical references, Life journeys shared here. Now it’s Our turn. Readers we are all called to action to be Doers in Love with the knowledge we’ve gained here! Audibles resource was so helpful for me to finish this book as I was hands free.

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  • Lori Adams-Brown
  • 18-01-19

Many perspectives

This book approaches the journey to discover that women leadership in the church is beneficial, true to Scripture, and healthy. The study into the scriptures involving Greek words and digging deep into the culture that framed each verse that each author journeyed through both spiritually and intellectually is encouraging to read. The many varied personalities and perspectives aid in framing a well-rounded case for why Jesus invited Mary to “sit at His feet,” aka be His disciple, why He chose to have a woman first witness and preach of His resurrection to men, and why spiritual gifts are not based on gender. This leaves no detail uncovered by in it’s compelling case for opening the door wide for women leaders who make up half (and often more) of the church. We need a second volume with more perspectives to encourage women to lead, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

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  • S. Hewitt
  • 02-02-16

Production decisions could have made it better

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend the book to a person who is just beginning to explore what the Bible teaches on the role of women in the church or a person who is open to learning more about interpreting the Bible. It may or may not be encouraging to women who are in ministry.

What was one of the most memorable moments of How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership?

Favorite chapter title: "The Gospel does not change but our perception of it may need revision."

Any additional comments?

Not all the authors are "household names." It would have been very helpful if the brief bios that appear at the beginning of each chapter of the print version had been included in the narration. It also would have improved the narration if the chapters or sections written by women had been read by a female narrator and those by men by a male narrator. This would have added in particular to the chapters written by spouses.

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  • Kim F
  • 19-03-15

nice narrator - reading with passion

I wish the the chapter title will show on screen when the narrator is reading.

Also hoped to have woman's voice reading women's writings

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  • Anagnostes
  • 22-06-14

Description or persuasion?

What did you like best about this story?

The transparent concern of the book's contributors to learn and follow truth rather than blindly to defend a received dogmatic position.

Did Jay Charles do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Not really. He read as if all the contributors were the same. But for a book in which the "characters" are different authors, the question is not especially relevant.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Extreme? No. I already agreed on the "destination," so I naturally nodded at aspects of the authors' journeys—and occasionally shook my head in wonder at the beginning points a few of them described. Our received culture (or "Christian" tradition) does, indeed, "grind the lenses through which we see the world," and I think this book valuably reflects how some prominent "evangelicals" discovered that the lenses they had been handed distorted rather than focused.

Any additional comments?

The contributions naturally vary in quality and are somewhat repetitive, but they carry the weight of honest reflection and search for what is true and relevant. My primary hesitation was with the narration, which at times sounded as if the book's title were "why you should change your mind ..." rather than "how I changed my mind ...." No doubt, all of the contributors would commend their view to readers/listeners who still exclude women from Christian ministry/leadership merely on the grounds that they are female, but the strength of each writer's witness is in the stories, from which I think the reader's falsely soupy tone of persuasion often detracts. Despite that negative, the audiobook is very much worth a listen by anyone who still wrestles with (or confronts) Christian gender exclusion.