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Preaching That Speaks to Women [Paperback]

By Alice P. Mathews (Author) & Haddon Robinson (Foreword by)
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Item description for Preaching That Speaks to Women by Alice P. Mathews & Haddon Robinson...

Mathews invites preachers to consider how gender affects the way sermons are understood and calls them to preaching that relates to the entire congregation.

Publishers Description
In most twenty-first century congregations, women outnumber men by as much as fifty percent or more. Unfortunately, masculine anecdotes and a lack of understanding of the different ways women and men listen, learn, and perceive ideas of leadership and power leave many women feeling detached from the messages conveyed from the pulpit.
How can a pastor effectively minister to both men and women? How do the ways in which women understand sermons differ from those of men? Preaching That Speaks to Women invites preachers to consider how gender affects the way sermons are understood and calls them to preaching that relates to the entire congregation.
Drawing from her experience as a teacher of ministry students, as well as her experience as a missionary, conference speaker, and radio Bible teacher, Alice Mathews explores both the myths and legitimate boundaries for speaking about women as listeners. She considers the ways women think about themselves, make ethical decisions, handle stress, learn, and view leadership and power and applies the results to the task of preaching. Mathews advocates effective preaching that does not ignore women or merely typecast women in narrowly defined roles.

Awards and Recognitions
Preaching That Speaks to Women by Alice P. Mathews & Haddon Robinson has received the following awards and recognitions -
  • Christianity Today Book Award - 2004 Award of Merit - Church/Pastoral Leaders category

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Baker Academic
Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.01" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 5, 2012
Publisher   Baker Academic
Edition  New  
ISBN  080102367X  
ISBN13  9780801023675  

Availability  137 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 12:00.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Alice P. Mathews & Haddon Robinson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alice P. Mathews (Ph.D., Iliff School of Theology and University of Denver) is Lois W. Bennett Distinguished Associate Professor of Educational Ministries and Women's Ministries at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Previously, Alice served as a missionary in Europe for seventeen years, taught at Denver Seminary, and was dean of the Seminary of the East (Philadelphia Center). She is widely known as co-host (with Haddon Robinson) of the daily Bible-teaching radio program Discover the Word. She is the author of A Woman God Can Lead, A Woman Jesus Can Teach, and A Woman God Can Use.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Womens Issues
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > Preaching

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Reviews - What do customers think about Preaching That Speaks to Women?

Balanced and informative  Apr 19, 2007
Alice Mathews has written an excellent book on homiletics. This book helps new and experienced preachers to hone their skills.

While the text of the book follows with the title and regularly directs itself to the issues of preaching to women, the scope is much broader and with minor modifications would be more aptly titled Preaching to the Whole Congregation, and could serve as the core text in any homiletics course for its usefulness to preaching in general. We, who are entrusted to preach the Word, must answer the key questions about audience, meaning and application every time

(By the way this site, there is only one "t" in Mathews, look at the cover.)
Helping Pastors Minister the Word to BOTH Genders  Apr 26, 2005
Although this site presents this book as written by Haddon Robinson, don't believe it! Robinson wrote only the introduction. The book was written by Alice Matthews, a respeced Christian woman of God who has been associated with Radio Bible Class, for example.

Alice Matthews fills a void among conservative evangelical pastors: communicating and considering the women in the congregation when it comes to preaching the Word. While she does not address the other side of the equation, namely, to make Christianity acceptable as a masculine faith, she presents the female perspective.

This book varies in quality from chapter to chapter. Some chapters are tremendous, others scrape bottom, reflecting a sort of "1975" mentality. Yet the good chapters are so excellent that I must rate it with five stars.

The first chapter, "Is It True That Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?" downplays the differences between the genders. Matthews takes a moderate position that differences exist but are often exaggerated. Unfortunately, she avoids crucial information, such as the physical differences in male and female brains. The tendency to minimize heredity and maximize the effects of environment evidences the author's viewpoint (that's part of what I mean by a "1975" mentality; even Dobson now says that over 60% of our personal behavior is heredity).

The second chapter, "Preaching for Moral Decision-Making" is worth the price of the book. She demonstrates how women are more prone to make decisions based on their effect upon others (looking for win-win situations), while men are more concerned about following the rules (no matter what the consequences). She demonstrates that God sometimes addressed matters one way (the male way) while other times taking the more feminine approach (emphasizing right-relatedness). Good thought provoking insights.

Chapter three was the book's low point. Relying on antiquated studies, the author implies that the reason more Christian women seek psychological counseling is because preaching is not addressing their needs (bottom of p. 47, top of 48). Matthews gives too much credit to preaching and too little credit to the nature of dysfunctional people. She additionally quotes the politically correct reports that blame marriage for female depression, despite recent studies that show married women are happier than single women. This section is filled with assumptions and logical fallacies. In this bleak section, there are a few good insights (p. 53 is an example) where many men are said to look at people as those who fill needs whereas women focus more on the individuals than their roles. There is an awful lot of subtle male bashing in chapter 3. But don't let this chapter turn you off to the whole book.

Chapters 4 and 5 are out of this world. We leave the 1970's mentality behind here, and we look at epistemology ("How Do We Know") and "Modern and Post Modern Listening." These chapters talk about the different mentalities women may have. Although the author admits the difficulty of preaching in a way that addresses ALL these mentalities simultaneously, the information found here is very useful. Fascinating material here.

Chapter 6, "Women, Spirituality, and Issues of Faith" explain a lot of what I have observed in over 25 years of pastoral ministry. "Subjective Knowers," for example, have always gotten on my nerves. The reason: they do not consider themselves obligated to follow any external authority. On the other hand, I relate best to procedural learners because they think in ways more consistent with my thinking. Explains much.

Chapter 7, "Women and Issues of Power" not only helps us to understand female views of power, but it also challenges the perspective of many (not all) men. In chapter 7, one is left with the impression that the female viewpoint about power is the better viewpoint in a church context. Whereas men often feel they are losing power if they share it, women tend to think that power is increased as it is shared. Of course there have always been men who were into sharing power, and some women are power gluttons (the author acknowledges she is speaking in generalities). So many men NEED this chapter!

Chapter 8 on leadership is pretty weak. Chapter 9 on "Women, Roles, and Identity" is mixed. On the one hand, Matthews argues reasonably that we need to respect single women. Yet we see some of the jumps and assumptions here that plague the book. For example, "American women grow up of thinking of motherhood as central..." Is this really an American phenomenon? How about maternal instinct? The brain? Genes? Again, the author buys into the 1975 view that we are mostly products of environment.
I would argue that it is natural in ANY society for women to want to one day be mothers. It is unnatural when such is not the case.

Chapter 10 closes with some good practical advice. I especially appreciate this statement: "How a preacher feels about non-Christians, economic issues, or people of a different race or social status comes through (consciously or otherwise) in the metaphors and illustrations used in a message. That also holds true for a minister's attitudes toward women..." I am convinced of that!

So, all in all, a book worth getting that will help male pastors better understand the women in the congregation. The bigger problem might be that the men who need this most are least likely to read it!

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