Book Review: Women Who Move Mountains

Women Who Move Mountains:  Praying With Confidence, Boldness, And Grace, by Sue Detweiler

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishers.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

This book, for better or worse, is yet another book that I was able to relate to a great deal despite not being part of its target audience, an experience I find greatly frustrating and alienating.  The author herself comes from a conservative Mennonite background but felt compelled to seek a ministry alongside that of her husband, putting her odds with many who do not believe women can and should be ordained into the preaching ministry.  The book itself is one that is written by a woman about women for women [1], and specifically its target audience are women who struggle with pasts that include sexual abuse or who struggle with anxiety, a native sense of timidity, and perfectionist tendencies.  There was, needless to say, plenty I was able to relate to despite being a gentleman, and I find books like this somewhat irritating in that they assume that only women struggle with these sorts of issues.  It would be good, especially as these books are marketed to a wide range of reviewers, for publishers and authors to be more sensitive to the fact that these books are read by at least a few men who dislike having their own perspective marginalized and ignored on a consistent basis when it comes to reading books like this.

In terms of its structure, this book is highly unconventional, but at the same time very well organized.  The book consists of two disparate but related parts.  The first part of the book consists of alternating chapters that discuss a truth about the spiritual relationship between believers and Jesus Christ on odd chapters and on even chapters provide questions and biblical passages for thought and reflection and group study.  And so we have an opening chapter on belief followed by a chapter on learning how to pray with faith, a chapter on being chosen followed by one on learning how to pray with conviction, a chapter on being healed followed by one on learning how to pray with healing prayers, and so on and so forth.  Throughout the book the author uses her own experience as well as some very painful experiences from other women.  The second part of the book, in contrast, consists of a short outline for a 21-day spiritual breakthrough as well as notes that give guidance to spiritual retreats as well as the sorts of fasting that one can do over the course of a three-week period.

Despite my own irritation with the framing of the book, I find this book very worthy of recommending to women in particular, whether they are reading this book alone or in groups with others.  I can see this book being the source of a great deal of cathartic weeping as the readers examine passages, read the personal and biblical stories included here, and wrestle with their own burdens and struggles over the course of life.  There are a great many men (and at least a few men) who struggle to feel loved by God in the face of the horrors this world has inflicted, and the author does not shy away from the ugly details of such stories, nor with the redemptive scope of how such struggles can make us into more compassionate and understanding people.  There is clearly a very large niche for books like this encouraging healing and growth for those who consider themselves, and may be considered by others, to be somewhat damaged people as a result of their backgrounds and experiences.  The book combines stories and narratives with reflection and practical aims at adopting spiritual disciplines to help with personal spiritual growth, and as such is a book I can warmly recommend to the distaff side of my readers.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Book Reviews, Christianity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Book Review: Women Who Move Mountains

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