Item description for Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home by Jonalyn Grace Fincher...
Overview In Ruby Slippers, Jonalyn Grace Fincher explores the essence of femininity. She examines what a soul is, what is meant by ?feminine,? and how those two things unite into a picture of God on Earth that is both similar and distinctive from men.
Publishers Description Jonalyn Fincher wants to show that women can be both fully human and fully feminine. Traditionally, femininity has been a role women play, a role defined by culture and simplistic sermons. The author encourages women to look at the feminine roles or boxes that pinch their souls: mother, fashion devotee, working wife, intellectual. Does God treat femininity as a role, a curse, or a gift? And when Jesus redeemed women, what was it exactly that he redeemed? Even after Eden, Fincher points out, God planned to redeem both men and women. But for centuries, women have been taught to devalue the very aspects of their souls that are unique and irreplaceable. Femininity itself runs deeper than aprons, frills, or romance. It begins with feminine souls who are living cameos of the triune God. In Ruby Slippers, Fincher takes a fresh, direct look at the challenges she faced on her search for the feminine soul. She goes step by step through what it means to be a woman and how to cultivate her soul, choosing not to shy away from psychology, theology or personal transparency. In her journey she discovers an understanding of femininity that is timeless and groundbreaking. The roles melt away into something like Dorothy s ruby slippers, something women have always had---the souls to walk today with freedom and femininity."
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Jonalyn Grace Fincher offers a distinctive voice as a female apologist. Holding a master's degree in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology, as well as double bachelor's degrees in English and history from the University of Virginia, she is one half of Soulation (www.soulation.org), a husband/wife apologetics team. For the last three years Jonalyn has been lecturing, speaking and writing on how women are distinctly and fully made in God's image. Her work has appeared in Radiant, Fullfill and UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity. She regularly updates her blog (www.jonalynfincher.com) sharing her insights about womanhood and the soul. Jonalyn and Dale love to take walks with their three Welsh Corgis in their new hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ruby Slippers-Softcover?
You must read this book. Jan 22, 2009
This book is so stunning, freeing, insightful, humorous, thoughtful and wonderful. If you have not read this book...please do...for yourself and for all of the women who surround you. This book is great for both genders to read and it will only enrich your understanding of what it means to be a human...a free, wonderful, exciting, living, breathing: child of God.
Free to be me! Nov 29, 2008
The ultimate ascent to the freedom of being who God made a woman to be - Female. We are made in the image of God. God created them male and female. He called His creation "good". It is good to be fully feminine.
A Welcome Breath of Fresh Air Jun 21, 2008
Talk about a breath of fresh air.
I ordered Jonalyn Grace Fincher's Ruby Slippers with some misgiving, especially when I noted the subtitle: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home. I hoped this book wasn't another worn-out rehash of "the Proverbs 31 woman" or a trip down the "yellow brick road" equating Christian femininity with Suzy Homemaker, June Cleaver, and "married with children." It isn't. Carefully integrating philosophy, psychology, theology, history, women's studies and "my own walk with Christ into a primer on the woman's soul" (p. 193), Ruby Slippers is a much-needed and long overdue look at God's ideas about womanhood. It shows how women are unique bearers of the imago dei and celebrates the soul of a woman within a thoroughly sound context of biblical truth.
Intelligent and incisive, Ruby Slippers is alert, agile, and penetrating without being pompous or trite. It avoids strait-jacketed "Christian stereotypes" and clears the way of narrow definitions, presumptions and prejudices to find out what makes women different and precious. Through careful biblical exegesis, meticulous research, thoughtful analysis and a well-rounded philosophical approach, Fincher shows us the real soul of a woman and its inestimable worth as a unique reflection of God's nature.
Early on, Fincher issues "one important caveat: I am not claiming to have the final words on women" or "an exhaustive index on femininity or the only biblical model for Christian womanhood," leaving the door open for further discussion. She also provides "Soul Care" questions at the end of each chapter for further thought.
In terms of writing style, Fincher's is generally tight, crisp, and lean. She shares personal anecdotes and experiences and analyzes vast quantities of data through a biblical grid. The author also brings an essential that's often lacking in many "women's ministry" paradigms and "women's Bible study" authors: demonstrable expertise and impeccable educational credentials. She's done her homework and has the background and qualifications to give this book gravitas. (Fincher holds a double Bachelor's degree in English and history from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology, my alma mater.)
Sumptuously sprinkled throughout the main text are relevant observations from such Christian luminaries as C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, G.K. Chesterton and Dorothy Sayers, to name a few. The material bogs down momentarily in Chapter 2, Uncorking the Soul, with a somewhat overlong discussion of soul and spirit, but it picks up steam thereafter. The discussion on The Same Planet in Chapter 3 regarding "gender roles", "equal without being identical" and "similar though not the same" is delicious.
Further on, Fincher masterfully deconstructs John Gray's "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" mythology, and the inadequate, incomplete "helper" rendering of Genesis 2, among others: "... contrary to popular pagan myths, contrary to Goddess Earth myths, and contrary to much Churchianity, God makes Woman to provide and offer the hope, the ezer for Man."
Other myths put to rest include: "East of Eden" femininity, "godly submission," "the weaker vessel" and "boutique form(s) of gnosticism and neo-paganism" which glories "fertile, female bodies over female souls."
More stand-out sections include Prescription Lists, Corsets and Slippers that Don't Fit (pp. 14 - 18), Why the Trinity Dignifies Women (pp. 156 -158), Natural Femininity (pp. 102 -140), Learning from Women (pp. 159 - 164) and Jesus in Female Form (pp. 185 -186).
As beautifully and as nimbly crafted as the Emerald City, Ruby Slippers is a ground-breaking work with much to offer in the on-going discussion of gender theory, cultural stereotypes and authentic Christian femininity. This fine work is perhaps best summarized in Fincher's own words: "I am becoming more free. Not free to live out my dominations or check off my lists or squeeze into a corset. But free to be more like the triune God, the way he has redeemed me: fully female, fully human."
Indeed, these Slippers are as welcome as Glinda's "Toto, too." Five stars.
Good read May 13, 2008
This was a good book. I liked Fincher's writing style a lot and it is giving me something to think back on. Though her book isn't at all difficult to read, it isn't necessarily light either. It's something that needs to be digested so to speak. I had never thought of God technically not having a gender since he's not physical as we are. She presents a good case for women created in God's image, which is a nice contrast to women always being inferior to men. Her idea of corsets and naming the book Ruby Slippers was a great way to go and provided great imagery whenever they came into play. Recommended. When I'm done mulling this book over, and caught up with other reading, I think I will I will benefit from another reading of it.
An important and groundbreaking work Feb 13, 2008
I just finished Ruby Slippers last night, and wow! I think I need to read it a couple more times to grasp it all, but it's one of the best books I've ever read. This book stands-out from the rest of the popular Christian books on women/femininity/roles in that it doesn't give one-dimensional answers and a stereotypical grid through which to see what women can and can't do, how we should act, how we are a spin-off of men, how we like romance and flowers, etc... Fincher tackles the usually ignored issue of the woman's soul in its essence. What does it mean to be a woman, what was the picture of femininity God created in the Garden before the Fall, how did Jesus redeem that, how is our picture of who we are women so distorted from what the Gospel has called us to? I have never read another work that goes to the heart of the issue of what it actually means to be a woman created in the image of God, and it seems so logical that this is the first step in determining a basis for gender discussion. By uncovering the glory of the image of God in a woman, Ruby Slippers offers a beautiful, redeeming, healing, and honoring picture of what Christ sees when He looks at woman. Fincher does a great job at integrating philosophy, theology, spiritual formation, and psychology. There is SO much information in this book, I was overwhelmed with the depth of research and the honesty of her own personal journey. Rarely do you find a work that is scholastic yet intimate. Fincher goes a step beyond most writing as she challenges and guides the reader to open their heart before God and explore personal implications in their own lives, as she shares those in her own. She has an understanding many authors lack in that she knows it's not just about accumulating information, but creating a space to allow God to transform your heart through the truth of the information. The questions and guided meditation she provides at the end of each chapter are much much more than typical content-driven "Sunday-School" questions...they encourage the reader to go the next step beyond information gathering, to open the heart and uncover false beliefs and understanding, and allow the truth to water the soul. Ruby Slippers is a very unique work, and although very deep, it is also a fun read. The women in my small group at church meet for breakfast and discussion of a chapter on Saturday mornings, and it has been a great springboard for discussion, learning and laughter. I'm reccomending this book to everyone I know---Buy it!!!