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Writing and Publishing: a random list of women

woman-writing-spiritual-memoir1Who are some Christian women of worth today? Here is a list of Christian woman writers (in excerpts):

Writing and Publishing

Ann Voskamp: Author and Blogger

As a Canadian farmer’s wife and homeschooling mother of six, Ann Voskamp presides over schoolwork and an unending pile of laundry. She also maintains a popular blog and contributes to Laity Lodge’s The High Calling site. In 2011, Zondervan released her first book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, which quickly became a New York Times best seller, with Publishers Weekly describing her as a “publishing phenom.”

Since then, Voskamp has been in demand in media and has appeared on television, radio, and the conference circuit, including Women of Faith. Her book and talks respond to the conundrum of the biblical injunction to “rejoice” in a broken world. Voskamp has found joy through gratitude, leading her readers into the practice of seeing and recording glimpses of God, “flaming bushes” in the everyday moments of life. Voskamp blends raw memoir with a contemplative, poetic style she calls “prosetry,” enriched with quotes from such notables as C. S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and Annie Dillard.

 “How do you rejoice in a world where babies die and diagnoses startle and your life can be upended in a moment?” Voskamp asks. “Where in the world, in all this world, do we find joy?” Voskamp’s own reflection on her meteoric and improbable fame reveals the humility that permeates her work and her presence. “When you know you are so broken and something is entirely in spite of you, it lays you right low,” she told CT in an e-mail.

Her followers on social media, numbering in the tens of thousands, describe her as “authentic,” “pure-hearted,” “tested by suffering,” “a gentle spirit.” In an age of acrimonious public discourse outside the church and much ego-driven sermonizing within, Voskamp quietly invites rather than incites. And as American women enter the fourth decade of (self-reported) declining levels of happiness, her invitation to practice eucharisteo, giving thanks, “right where you are,” provides a needed goad and balm.

To be sure, poetic writing that stretches some metaphors has created controversy in some quarters. But none can deny her growing influence.—Leslie Leyland Fields, editor, The Spirit of Food

Margaret Feinberg: Author and Speaker

Margaret Feinberg’s biblical knowledge, passion, quick wit, and turn of phrase have drawn in readers. And her emphasis on experiencing a personal relationship with God resonates with Christians from many persuasions. The Dallas Morning News has said, “She has a knack for leading us to an ‘aha’ insight or a reflective ‘hmmm.’ ”

Feinberg is a relational teacher who longs to connect with her audience and welcomes interaction and feedback through her books and Bible studies.

While researching for Scouting the Divine, the book that put her on the radar, Feinberg spent time with a beekeeper, a shepherdess, a farmer, and a vintner. She asked them to comment on biblical passages, not from a theological perspective, but as experts in their trade. Along the way, she gained insight about how Scripture applies to life today and discovered answers to puzzling questions: Do sheep really know their shepherd’s voice? How often does a grapevine need to be pruned? What does it mean for a land to be described as flowing with honey?

She writes of her experience feeling the first shearing, what a shepherdess considers the finest fleece. “For the first time in a long while, maybe ever, I had felt with my own hands what God desired from sacrifice,” she writes. “In asking for the first fleece, God isn’t asking for the biggest. He wants the smallest and the softest. He doesn’t want more. He wants the best.”

Feinberg turns exegesis into an art, delivering findings that invite the audience to touch, taste, smell, and see God’s handiwork throughout the Scriptures and in their own lives.—Ed Stetzer, president, LifeWay Research

 Rachel Held Evans: Author and Blogger

Since starting her blog in 2007, the Dayton, Tennessee, native has tackled religious pluralism, Love Wins, biblical literalism, biblical inerrancy (the word biblical, for that matter), the earth’s age, and gender (the focus of her second book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Thomas Nelson). Evans, who grew up in nondenominational churches in the South, regularly questions traditional evangelical stances. “We aren’t looking for a faith that provides all the answers,” Evans writes about fellow young Christians. “We’re looking for one in which we are free to ask the questions.”

“A period of intense doubt and questioning” led to her blog, a first book (Evolving in Monkey Town), and eventually leaving her local church, a decision Evans recounts in one of her most-read blog posts. (She and her husband tried unsuccessfully to start a house church last year.)

Evans’s contrarian approach treads the path of many other “post-evangelicals,” and her essays often read like Exhibit A for Barna Group’s unChristian. With 1.2 million unique visitors to her blog in the past year, Evans is clearly striking a chord.—Katelyn Beaty, associate editor, Christianity Today


Marilynne Robinson
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Gilead (Saint Martin’s Press), Marilynne Robinson is a famed novelist and essayist. Influenced by John Calvin, Emily Dickinson, and Henry David Thoreau, Robinson published her first novel, Housekeeping (Farrar, Straus Giroux), in 1980. Her 2008 novel, Home (Macmillan), won the Orange Prize for Fiction.

Elisabeth Elliot
The widow of martyred missionary Jim Elliot, Elisabeth Elliot has written what have become staple books in many evangelical homes. She is the author of over 20 books, including Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot (HarperCollins) and Passion and Purity (Revell).

Lauren Winner
A professor of Christian spirituality at Duke Divinity School, Lauren Winner writes and lectures widely on Christian practice, the history of Christianity in America, and Jewish-Christian relations. Her books include Real Sex (Brazos) and, most recently, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis (HarperOne).

Luci Shaw
Author of 10 volumes of poetry, Luci Shaw has been a writer in residence at Regent College (Vancouver) since 1988. She lectures on art and spirituality, the Christian imagination, poetry-writing, and journaling as an aid to artistic and spiritual growth. Her books include Breath for the Bones (Thomas Nelson) and The Genesis of It All (Paraclete). Shaw is poetry editor of quarterly journal Radix and poetry and fiction editor of Crux, a journal published by Regent.

Amy Julia Becker: Author and Speaker

At 34, Amy Julia Becker has stirred one of the great philosophical conversations of our time: “What does it really mean to be perfect?”

In 2011, she authored A Good and Perfect Gift (Bethany House), highlighting her struggles with perfectionism as she chronicled the months before and the years after learning that her firstborn daughter, Penny, has Down syndrome.

Becker’s book reminded readers that Jesus, though truly perfect, also had bodily limitations. Each of us, with our limitations and imperfections, has gifts to offer the church, in dependence on one another and on God.

“Penny is both created in God’s image and fallen from grace—like everyone else,” she wrote for CT. “By giving me a new understanding of God’s view of perfection, Penny has offered us a way to participate more fully in the body of Christ as we become more and more human and more whole.”

The Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary graduate juggles writing during the most time-consuming, energy-draining first years of rearing three young children. Becker is widely admired for balancing her various callings and responsibilities as mother, wife, and writer. “Being fully human implies understanding ourselves as creatures,” she wrote. “A major aspect of recognizing my humanity meant recognizing that I am vulnerable, needy, dependent, and limited. Just like my daughter.”—Gabe Lyons, founder, Q


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