Book Review: “Some Men Are Our Heroes” By KeumJu Jewel Hyun and Cynthia Davis Lathrop (Wipf & Stock, 2010) -- By: Matthew D. Kim
Book Review: “Some Men Are Our Heroes”
By KeumJu Jewel Hyun and Cynthia Davis Lathrop (Wipf & Stock, 2010)
Matthew D. Kim (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is Assistant Professor of Preaching and Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts. He is the author of Preaching to Second Generation Korean Americans (Peter Lang, 2007) and 7 Lessons for New Pastors (Chalice Press, 2011).
As we journey through life, many of us will be able to recount key individuals who noticed our God-given gifts and potential. Those same individuals not only showed an interest from the sidelines, but they also took proactive measures to mentor us and abet us in pursuing God’s dreams for our lives. In Some Men Are Our Heroes, editors KeumJu Jewel Hyun and Cynthia Davis Lathrop have assembled a uniquely talented group of evangelical women from across the globe—South Africa, Kenya, Congo, Germany, Ireland, Dominican Republic, the United States, and South Korea—to share their testimonies about the male figures in their lives who have had a significant hand in helping them become the women of influence that they are today. Included are reflections from Alice Mathews, William David Spencer, and John Lathrop.
In the foreword, Mathews sums up the central message that the editors seek to promote through the release of this important work. She writes, “God expects women as well as men to use the gifts he gives them (xi).” However, oftentimes, especially in evangelical denominations and churches, female congregants have been limited in terms of the influence and contributions they can make to the wider church. That is, many congregations prohibit women from teaching and preaching God’s word and serving the church in leadership capacities as pastors and elders. Women are told they are equal in value, but different with respect to gender roles in the church. This constraint in ecclesial contexts has forced copious women to question their worth, identity, intellectual prowess, leadership abilities, and the impact they could have on others’ lives for the sake of Jesus Christ.
What we have in Some Men Are Our Heroes is the antithesis of this common ecclesial problem that numerous female Christians encounter in evangelical congregations today. In each heartfelt chapter, KeumJu Jewel Hyun, Médine Moussounga Keener, Judy Mbugua, Nancy Hudson, Gwendolyn Joy Dewey, Elke Werner, Cynthia Davis Lathrop, and Aída Besançon Spencer name and present real-life examples of men who spotted tremendous gifting in them, unearthed those veiled talents, and spurred them on to exercise those gifts for the benefit of God’s kingdom.
Many of the influential men written about in this book are grandfathers, fathers, pastors, church leaders, ...
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