“Unchristian patterns of culturally conditioned models of masculinity are the norm for many Christian men, with disastrous and, far too often, tragic consequences. By surveying the diverse biblical landscape with wisdom, insight, and conviction, Carolyn Custis James calls for a Christ-centered understanding of “male,” where men and women are equal image bearers of God, truly one flesh, and thus co-workers in the mission of God on earth. James’s Malestrom is a prophetic and healing voice.”
—Peter Enns, Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies, Eastern University (St. Davids, PA); author of The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
Malestrom is not of this world, just like God’s kingdom to which it bears witness. Carolyn Custis James is a modern-day Deborah, whose work serves as a prophetic challenge to all men to image Jesus. Against the backdrop of patriarchal and radical feminist perspectives that degrade and discount men, James invites Adam’s progeny to display profound courage and dignity as they gain a biblical sense of their true identity. This is not a book for the faint of heart: liberated male readers will join forces with women to conquer despair and celebrate the transformative power of God’s cruciform and unifying love.”
“Finding a crack in the door of patriarchy, which still patterns the life of both the church and the world, Carolyn Custis James swings it wide open, redirecting the gender conversation towards its rightful focus: the malestrom. Through careful biblical exegesis and an intersectional awareness of the actual social currents that daily sweep over men and boys, this book rightfully articulates a vision for men rooted in the imago dei particularly revealed in the life of Jesus Christ. The church is indebted for this resource for opening up a new set of questions at an accessible level, and for remembering that ultimately what makes something Christian is its ability to conform image of the Son.”
“With wisdom and fresh imagination, Malestrom challenges business-as-usual patriarchy and calls men and women of faith to a deeper and richer Blessed Alliance. In this inviting and absorbing book, Carolyn Custis James probes the narrative of Holy Scripture and concludes that patriarchy is “in, but not of” the Bible. As I read, I began to envision what masculinity might mean when redefined from a kingdom perspective that inverts the social pyramid that so distorts our gendered lives. With more in mind than just a kinder and gentler patriarchy, James opens up the scriptures, directing the reader through the pitfalls of traditional thinking about men, women, power, and hierarchy. As you turn pages you’ll meet anew people like Abraham, Judah, Barak, Boaz, Matthew, Joseph, and pivotal women of the Bible who, through God’s grace, come to stand against the malestrom and enter into the new hope of Jesus of Nazareth. A bracing book for an embattled world; I read hungrily and came away nourished.”
“Carolyn Custis James writes with urgency, clarity, and meticulous research about issues that don’t just concern every man, but relate to the health and stability of the entire church and our wider world. This is a call for men and women to live in the health and freedom of God’s calling for both genders.”
Malestrom, Carolyn Custis James takes us by the hand and leads us through the story of how God dismantles patriarchy in the Bible. By the time we’re done reading, a new space has been cleared. Men can now be men. Women can now be women. And together we can live God’s gendered salvation. It is a remarkable accomplishment.”
One endorsement's final sentence has me puzzled: ” …God’s gendered salvation ….” by David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary.
What does that phrase mean? It does not seem good…
Maybe it is a typo?
Thank you for your comment. I am always grateful to be alerted to typos on my blog. There isn’t one in Dr. Fitch’s endorsement however, but I’m happy to clarify.
As we are all painfully aware, the fall has impacted everything, including gender—meaning how cultures and subcultures define what it means to be male/masculine or female/feminine. Malestrom takes up the subject of the fall’s impact on gender with respect to men and boys and how Jesus’ redemptive work that saves our souls also transforms who we are and how we live and relate as male and female. In other words, Jesus’ gospel changes everything. That includes rescuing us from fallen, earth-bound definitions of masculinity and femininity and restoring the vision for male and female that God revealed at creation (imago dei) and that Jesus embodied. “God’s gendered salvation” may sound awkward, but the notion behind it is full of good news for men and women.
Your book sounds fascinating. I wonder if the lack of female leadership/patriarchy in the church and the world in general may be partly to blame for the horrific treatment of the environment and the animal kingdom that has taken place and is taking place right now? We are currently facing the prospect of total ecological collapse and mass species extinction, not to mention the enormous and systematic animal cruelty that goes on daily. Women in general seem to be more sensitive to these issues, whereas fallen man seems to want to “dominate” nature in order to express his masculinity. We were supposed to be stewards and caretakers of the earth and animal kingdom (Genesis 1-2) and express God's love and compassion (Luke 12:6).
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