book review: fiction/non-fiction re: women in the Bible

I would like to highly recommend both of these books.

Non-fiction: Jerram Barrs, professor at the Francis Shaffer Institute, rises to the challenge in Through His Eyes: God's Perspective on Women in the Bible, re-examining multiple female characters in the Bible within their inspired contexts. He doesn't shy away from the tough topics--individuals like Tamar and Rahab, for example, and the prophecy that the young women would prophesy. Both intensely devotional and down-to-earth practical, Barrs' book challenged me to return to Scripture with a refreshed perspective on faith and the great mercy of our God. Probably my favorite book of the year, Through His Eyes is one I plan to reread again and again.

Fiction: Francine Rivers , accomplished author, evidences (once again) in-depth biblical research and a gifted imagination. First published as five novellas, A Lineage of Grace recounts a believable fleshing out of the stories of the five women whom God chose to specifically include in the genealogy of His Son Jesus, recorded in Matthew 1. Unveiled is intense and shows the daring faith of the woman Tamar; Unashamed reveals the dramatic redemption of the harlot Rahab; Unshaken shows the rewarding love of the faithful convert Ruth; Unspoken, the mercy of God in the life of David and Bathsheba; and Unafraid, the humbling humanity of the woman who would bear the Messiah, Mary. Francine masterfully weaves realistic human experience together with throughly biblical research. It may or may not have happened as she sees it--she would say the same--and there were times I thought, Hm, I've never thought that about that particular character, but her brave attempt allows us to realize the reality: these were real people, not mere storybook characters. Somehow fiction does that: it gives us a greater understanding of non-fiction, what's imagined reveals a deeper conceptualization of truth. I love that.

Thank you, Dr. Barrs. Thank you, Mrs. Rivers. The combination of your books read closely together intensified the truths of the greatest Book in my heart.

I am so thankful for God's great love for me as a woman, and I pray these books are an encouragement to you as well. Sincerely, michelle

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