Book Review: “Nice Churchy Patriarchy”

Book Review: “Nice Churchy Patriarchy” July 8, 2024

Nice Churchy Patriarchy book cover

Let’s cut to the chase—Liz Cooledge Jenkins’s Nice Churchy Patriarchy: Reclaiming Women’s Humanity from Evangelicalism is a wrecking ball swinging at the fragility of the Evangelical patriarchy. It’s a book I wish my wife and I had 20 years ago in ministry. It’s easy to rage against the patriarchy, but this book is wrapped in scholarly research and personal experiences. This isn’t just a read; it’s a call to arms for anyone tangled up at the messy crossroads of faith and feminism.

Deep Dive into the Patriarchal Rabbit Hole

What Jenkins serves up isn’t your garden-variety critique of overt sexism. No, she’s after the sneaky kind—the type that’s baked into “polite” evangelical traditions, theology, and those dangerously deceptive acts of ‘kindness.’ It’s the kind of patriarchy that whispers rather than shouts.

Jenkins isn’t just throwing stones from the outside. As an ordained minister and a seminary graduate, she’s got the cred to dissect these issues with the precision of someone who’s been there. Her personal journey injects a raw, authentic urgency into the continued state of Christian misogyny.

Spotlight on the Sins of Misogyny

This book doesn’t just talk at you. It grabs you by the collar and drags you through the muck of subordination where women’s leadership is stifled, and those moments when women’s roles are reduced to mere tokens. Jenkins exposes how women in the church are often boxed into demeaning roles, underappreciated, and overexploited.

Jenkins shines a light on the systemic hurdles and silencing tactics that women face—not because they lack anything to offer, but because the patriarchal playbook says so. It’s a powerful, uncomfortable mirror held up to the evangelical community.

Blueprint for a Better Church

But Jenkins doesn’t just diagnose the disease; she offers a cure. In the latter parts of her book, she moves from critiquing to rebuilding. She calls for scrubbing the scriptures clean of male bias and blowing the dust off theological frameworks to make room for gender equality.

I absolutely loved her rallying cry to celebrate the often-ignored contributions of women in Christian history because it not only spotlights overlooked figures but also inspires a richer, more diverse understanding of our faith’s narrative.

Why This Book Matters

Nice Churchy Patriarchy is a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of faith, fused with the relentless pursuit of justice. Jenkins acknowledges the resistance such transformative ideas might face but meets them head-on with actionable steps and a vision of hope.

For those weary of the same old narratives about women’s roles in the church, Jenkins offers fresh perspectives and enlightened insights. This book is a crucial conversation starter for anyone committed to unraveling the knotty issues of faith, gender, and justice.

In a world quick to argue but slow to listen, Nice Churchy Patriarchy stands out as a reasoned, passionate call for a future where evangelicalism doesn’t just change but transforms. Read it, reflect on it, and join the movement towards a more equitable church and society.

For more on Liz Cooledge Jenkins:

Get the book now on Amazon! 

For more Snarky Faith, check out the podcast interview with Liz Cooledge Jenkins:

About Stuart Delony
I'm Stuart Delony, your companion on this exploratory journey. As a former pastor now podcast host, I've shifted from sermons to conversations with Snarky Faith, promoting meaningful discussions about life, culture, spirituality. Disheartened by the state of institutionalized Christianity, my aim is to rekindle its foundational principles: love, compassion, and dignity. If you're yearning for change or questioning your faith, you've found a refuge here. You can read more about the author here.
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Book Review: “Nice Churchy Patriarchy”
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Book Review: “Nice Churchy Patriarchy”
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Book Review: “Nice Churchy Patriarchy”

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