A Review Of Jim Henderson. “The Resignation Of Eve: What If Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing To Be The Church’s Backbone?” -- By: Courtney Reissig

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 18:1 (Spring 2013)
Article: A Review Of Jim Henderson. “The Resignation Of Eve: What If Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing To Be The Church’s Backbone?”
Author: Courtney Reissig


A Review Of Jim Henderson. “The Resignation Of Eve:
What If Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing To Be The Church’s Backbone?”

Ventura, CA: Barna Books, 2012.

Courtney Reissig

Pastor’s wife, freelance writer, and blogger
Little Rock, Arkansas

We’re often reminded that women make up more than half of those who attend church regularly. This is not surprising as women often outnumber men today in places like academia and other professional settings. So why doesn’t the church reflect these numbers by advancing women in leadership positions? Even some of the more liberal Protestant denominations have fewer women than men filling the pulpits of larger congregations. Speaker, author, and producer Jim Henderson sees this as a big problem.1

In his book The Resignation of Eve: What if Adam’s Rib Is No Longer Willing to Be the Church’s Backbone? Henderson concludes that many women are running the show in every aspect of church life but the most coveted—the pulpit. Viewing this disparity as a form of gender inequality, he sets out to present a variety of women who have been refused from leadership in the church and have thus “resigned” in one way or another. The book reports on the state of women within (and outside of) the church. It is divided into three sections based on the degree of resignation, and each section concludes with data, comments, and survey results from more women who are simply contributing their two cents to the topic.

Three Faces Of Resignation

In chapter 1 Henderson sets out to define the “three faces of resignation”: resigning to, resigning from, and re-signed. He asserts that women, especially younger ones, are leaving the church in droves, either emotionally or physically, because they simply feel disillusioned with church and the lack of opportunity for ministry (7).

Each chapter introduces a new woman on the spectrum of “resignation.” Women who are “resigned to” have put little thought into the gender debate and accept their conservative churches’ teachings. Women are called to submit, men are called to lead, end of debate (31). If they have thought about this role and disagree, the women in these chapters are willing to wait out change or accept this role without fight or discussion (112). Women who are “resigned from” and “re-signed” tell different stories, some of which are simply heartbreaking. From women who have left church and the faith, to women who have been abused and mistreated by other Christians, these stories cannot be ignored. This is perhaps the book’s greatest strength. While we take issue with Henderson’s conclusions, hearing of a woman...

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