In her three previous books James laid the Biblical foundation for a better understanding of God’s vision for women. In Half the Church, she continues in that vein but also shifts her focus so that her mission has now become twofold.
First, she aims to widen the reader’s scope of understanding from a primarily middle class Western worldview to a much broader international view. To do so she takes the reader through snapshots of the lives of individual girls and women identifying each by name and describing her circumstances in light of the societal context in which she lives. Although she spares the reader of some details too horrific to repeat, there remains enough information to cause the reader to be sickened by the knowledge that events so tragic happen in epidemic proportions in the 21st century.
Second, James draws from the Biblical foundations spelled out in her previous body of work to bring to the attention of the reader, whether male or female, God’s explicit call on women to join alongside her brothers as ezer-warriors. To illustrate how both men and women benefit when the sexes join together to battle the enemy, James retells events that happened in the lives of great ezer-warriors both in scripture and in more recent history. Once the reader has gained that understanding and has heard the cries of the helpless, the author shifts her focus to call “half the church” to arise and go forth into their destinies.
The book is well structured. James’s research and writing point readers to the bigger picture of the church’s mission. She intentionally does not take sides on troublesome issues debated by Biblical scholars. Rather, she urges readers to dig deeper into God for answers on those passages of scripture. The topic is certainly thought-provoking and worthy of self-reflection. Through her writing, James seeks to awaken the sleeping giantess one reader at a time.
NOTE: I requested and received a copy of this title via NetGalley.com but made no commitment to review it.