I attended the Missio Alliance National Conference, where men and women gathered to consider what it means to be #TrulyHuman. Author Carolyn Custis James introduced the book to that audience and shared her continued hope and vision for men and women living as a blessed alliance of image bearers in the kingdom of God.
Who Should Read Malestrom:
Carolyn typically writes for a female audience, yet this book in particular is an important consideration for men and specifically for male leaders in the church.
What’s In Store for You:
When addressing the dangers of patriarchy and the issues of violence in the world, Carolyn does a cultural and social analysis. From the start, it is helpful for the reader to have a clear definition regarding maelstrom: “The malestrom is the particular ways in which the fall impacts the male of the human species—causing a man to lose himself, his identity and purpose as a man, and above all to lose sight of God’s original vision for his sons.”
In the forward, Dr. Frank James wrote, “The maelstrom produces schizophrenic males.” The author continues, “The malestrom is one of the Enemy’s single most ingenious and successful strategies.”
If you were to visit my dad’s modest apartment, one of the first things you would notice is the curio in his living room. This curio is not filled with nice china or collector’s items. It includes every honor or award presented to me during high school. The shelves are filled with plaques representing every athletic, musical, and academic award earned over the course of four years. My father is proud. I am his oldest, and when I was a little girl, he loved telling everyone about his daughter. To him, this curio represents fond memories, a treasured history, and proof that all of his stories are true. I understand.
I have intentionally been on this journey to reconciliation for a little more than eight years. It began with a simple decision of convenience. I was serving on active duty in the military, my husband had a job that required a lot of driving, we had a new baby, and were without a church home. The last thing I wanted to do on Sunday mornings was drive any distance to attend worship service. We visited a Bible-teaching church five minutes from our home and stayed. The congregation was made up of middle aged to elderly white people and we were on a very short list of racial and ethnic minority church members.
This scenario may strike some people as a surprise but being in the minority was not much different than any other college or work experience I had in all of my adult life until that point. You show up, take care of business, and go back home. Nobody talked about race or injustice. We sat in that place of worship where the Bible was preached with no connection to the community concerns and no relevance for the pressing issues of the day. During that time, I actually had more sacred worship experiences at work.