Malestrom 2022

Releasing in softcover—April 12!

“The maelstrom is the seaman’s nightmare, but the “malestrom” poses an even greater threat to men than the hidden dangers of the open seas…. It isn’t overstating things to say there isn’t a man or boy alive who isn’t a target. The malestrom’s global currents can be violent and overt, but also come in subtle, even benign forms that catch men unawares. The malestrom is the particular ways in which the fall impacts the male of the human species—causing a man to lose himself, his identity and purpose as a man, and above all to lose sight of God’s original vision for his sons. The repercussions of such devastating personal losses are not merely disastrous for the men themselves, but catastrophic globally.”

NEW SUBTITLE: How Jesus Dismantles Patriarchy & Redefines Manhood

NEW FOREWORD! by Professor Kristin Du Mez, author of NYTimes bestseller Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation.


Bold! Honest! Urgently needed! Persuasive! These are the words that come to me in reading this summoning book by Carolyn James. She offers a deep reread of Scripture that voices a sharp critique of our usual accommodating reading of the Scripture that domesticates the Bible into our comfort zones. While her critique is sharp, James’s word is elementally emancipatory. Her word is addressed, first all, to the evangelical community that so much is in need of this rereading. It is my hope and expectation, in addition, that her good word will move well beyond evangelical circles to a much wider readership for which this good word will pose a welcome challenge to re-hear the gospel.

—Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Carolyn James’ has written the book that every Christian man needs to read. For so long our conception of manliness has been shaped by cultures and media that promote patriarchy, power, and violence as the metric of masculinity, against that, James seeks to redeem masculinity by a Christ-culture, so that men and women can flourish together. A powerful mix of personal story, biblical commentary, and cultural analysis that is hard to put down.

—Rev. Dr. Michael F. Bird, Academic Dean & Lecturer in Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia.


Table of Contents

NEW FOREWORD:  Kristin Kobes Du Mez


INTRODUCTION:  The Malestrom
CHAPTER 1: The Genesis of the Malestrom—Adam
CHAPTER 2: Patriarchy Matters—Abraham
CHAPTER 3: The Father Wound—Judah
CHAPTER 4: The Rise of Women—Barak
CHAPTER 5: The Power of PowerBoaz
CHAPTER 6: The Marginalized Man—Matthew
CHAPTER 7: Gender Role Reversal—Joseph
CHAPTER 8: The Manhood of Jesus
        Liberating Men from the Malestrom—Paul


AFTERWORD:  Frank A. James III

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS with each chapter


Christianity Today 2016 Book of the Year—Her.meneutics Category

“For all the progress we’ve made in valuing women, in our society and our churches, a portion of the population still suffers silently: men. Whether they are falling victim to unrealistic stereotypes of masculinity, suffering from a ‘father wound,’ or feeling marginalized by the riptides of culture, men need the loving guidance and support of God’s people. Without a doubt, Malestrom will encourage men and women alike to value and promote a healthy, biblical view of manhood.”

Jamie A. Hughes, managing editor of In Touch Magazine

Missio Alliance—Best 10 Books of 2015


“Women aren’t the only ones bombarded with conflicting and harmful messages about their identities. More than ever men face an onslaught of expectations, both from the culture and the church, about what it means to be a ‘real man.’ Through this treacherous landscape, Carolyn Custis James proves a trustworthy guide. With her characteristic warmth and wisdom, she examines manhood through the lens of Jesus Christ and offers a better way forward for men, a way characterized by partnership, joy, and humility. There are few writers who bring as much clarity and conviction to their work as Carolyn Custis James. This book is biblically faithful, immensely timely, and delightfully readable. Every last page is charged with healing power.”

Rachel Held Evans, author of

“This is the book I’ve been waiting for—as a wife, as a mother of a son, as a woman committed to the Blessed Alliance God intended between men and women. This book will be healing and restorative for so many. It’s a beautiful invitation to manhood in the Kingdom of God.”

Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts

“God’s intention for the appropriate flourishing of human life has been severely thwarted by culturally captive expressions of masculinity that have oppressed both women and men. Malestrom offers us a reminder from Scripture that God’s intention for men was not for a dysfunctional masculinity that devastates the image of God within us. Thank you, Carolyn Custis James, for your historical and theological insights that will reshape how I live out my faith in the world. Thank you for a book that benefits both my son and my daughter.”

—Soong-Chan Rah, Ph.D.,
Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism,
Northwestern Seminary and
“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, Ph.D., Abram S. Clemens Professor of Biblical Studies,
Eastern University (St. Davids, PA);

Read more endorsements here and here


Henk-Jan van der Klis Review
David Swartz Review: Dissecting Patriarchy and Biblical Manhood
Life is Story—Josh Olds

JesusCreed—Scot McKnight Series:
“Caught in the Malestrom?”
“Is our world a man’s world? “
“Targeting Gender”
“Patriarchy Matters”
“The Rise of Women”

TO ORDER:  Malestrom: How Jesus Dismantles Patriarchy and Redefines Manhood