A Review Of Ruth A. Tucker. “Black And White Bible, Black And Blue Wife: My Story Of Finding Hope After Domestic Abuse.” Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. 208 Pp. $16.99 -- By: Mary A. Kassian

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 21:2 (Fall 2016)
Article: A Review Of Ruth A. Tucker. “Black And White Bible, Black And Blue Wife: My Story Of Finding Hope After Domestic Abuse.” Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. 208 Pp. $16.99
Author: Mary A. Kassian


A Review Of Ruth A. Tucker. “Black And White Bible, Black And Blue Wife: My Story Of Finding Hope After Domestic Abuse.” Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016. 208 Pp. $16.991

Mary Kassian

Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky

Author, Speaker
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

“Can we come together as a Christian community and recognize that the doctrine of male headship has sometimes been used as a cover to perpetrate violence against women?”

—Ruth Tucker

The problem of violence against women is one that I care about deeply.2 I’ve helped battered women get out of abusive relationships. Their stories are heart-wrenching. Disturbing. Frightening. I think of the woman whose face and arms were shredded by flying glass when her enraged husband pulled the china cabinet down. Or the husband who rolled up and immobilized his wife in their living room area rug, and then proceeded to beat her with a baseball bat. I could tell you accounts of women who were burned, punched, kicked, locked up . . . the heinous acts make my blood boil.

So it was with great interest that I read Ruth Tucker’s latest book, Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: My Story of Finding Hope after Domestic Abuse.

The title accurately portrays the two threads Ruth weaves together throughout. First, her personal story of domestic abuse, and second, her premise that the doctrine of male headship is to blame. The former is told for the purpose of proving the latter. According to Ruth, a Christian man who views the

Bible in “black-and-white” terms—thinking that it puts a God-given head-of-the-home responsibility on his shoulders—is far more likely to be a wife-beater.

Ruth’s Story

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife is a meandering narrative that is built on Ruth’s personal story, but moves back and forth fluidly between that story and her musings about abuse, legal issues, John Calvin’s theology, the ideas of various contemporary theologians, smatterings of the Bible, current events, and anecdotal accounts of other marriages. Ruth is an excellent writer, and does a masterful job of melding it all together.

Ruth and her future husband, whom I’ll call “Joe” (not his real name), meet at a Christian retreat. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and the only guy who can match Ruth in the “Quote-the-Bible-Verse” game.

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