I am regularly dumbfounded by how few Christians have read Half the Sky—Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Whenever I ask Christian audiences (and I do ask!) how many have read it, the percentage is rarely more than 10% and often significantly less.
If you haven’t yet read this important book for Christians, allow me to offer a couple of nudges to get you going.
- Here’s the 2009 NYTimes review, Changing Lives, that hailed the release of the Half the Sky and compelled me to order the book and start reading.
- Beginning tonight, October 1, PBS is broadcasting a 4-hour documentary series on Half the Sky. You can view the trailer here.
But as Christians, we have even greater reasons to be informing ourselves and doing what we can to end this global crisis that is destroying the lives of millions of women and girls. This issue is central to our callings as followers of Jesus and as God’s image bearers.
How can we fulfill God’s mandate for us to “rule and subdue,” if we aren’t subduing the Enemy in his terrible offensive against women and girls? How can we in good conscience pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” if we turn a blind eye to the evils the Enemy is perpetrating in God’s world? Are we really taking seriously the Apostle Paul’s red alert to “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” if we confine his warning to our private spiritual battles and ignore this most hideous and widespread of his schemes?
My book, Half the Church—Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women (see Lesa Engelthaler’s review www.faithvillage.net) provides the second “Half” by linking the issues raised in Half the Sky to our Christian calling as followers of Jesus. The video below demonstrates how the whole gospel includes both the good news of salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection and the subsequent deeds of mercy and justice that are supposed to characterize those who follow him.
“Carolyn Custis James has written an unusual and compelling book, mixing her personal story with the dramatic changes in today’s world and her thoughtful interpretations of the Scriptures and how women can respond with greater fervor to the Bible’s call for change and betterment of the world.”—Sheryl WuDunn, co-author of Half the Sky