2023 Christianity Today Book Award of Merit for Christian Living & Spiritual Formation
Many Christian women and men carry heavy burdens. Much teaching on gender relations, roles, and rules binds the conscience beyond what Scripture actually teaches. Gender has become a battleground for power. But God created men and women not to compete for glory but to cooperate for his glory.
In Jesus and Gender, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher paint a new vision for gender—Christ’s gentle and lowly heart. The centrality of the gospel has been lost in gender debates. Our ultimate example is Jesus, our humble king, who used his power to serve others. So we must rethink our identities, roles, and relationships around him. Christ transformed enemies into family. Men and women are allies in God’s mission.
Drawing from Scripture and experience, Fitzpatrick and Schumacher show how Jesus’s example speaks to all areas of our lives as men and women, including vocation, marriage, parenting, friendships, and relating to each other as sisters and brothers in Christ. Real-life testimonies from a variety of Christians—including Christine Caine, Justin Holcomb, Karen Swallow Prior, and others—show a variety of men and women freed to pursue their gifts for God’s glory.
Fitzpatrick and Schumacher’s perspective untangles what God has said about gender from what he hasn’t. By coming to Jesus, women and men can find rest.
If you only ever read one book about God’s intention for female and male relationships, read this one.
—Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women
Powerful. Enlightening. Inspiring. … This book is a gift to all siblings in Christ.
—Derwin L. Gray, cofounder and lead pastor of Transformation Church; author of How To Heal Our Racial Divide
This book overflows with theological understanding, deep comfort, and wise insights.
—Justin S. Holcomb and Lindsey A. Holcomb, authors of God Made All of Me, God Made Me in His Image, Is It My Fault?, and Rid of My Disgrace
This is a refreshing read, especially for someone who is burned out on gender roles debates and is looking for a meaningful way to uphold and celebrate God's image in all our brothers and sisters.
—Barnabas Piper, pastor and author
Two distinct voices blend into one strong message that, if heeded, will bless and distinguish the body of Christ as a place of uncommon oneness.
—Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women and Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World
Jesus and Gender provides new insights and clarity to Christic masculinity and feminity and what our relationship with one another should look like.
—Hyepin Im, president, CEO, and founder of Faith and Community Empowerment
“In concert with Paul, we’re convinced that any perspective about either who we are as men and women or how we are to relate to men and women that is not based on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is not only futile, but it will also result in more and more conflict and resistance. That’s because rules without the assurance of love and forgiveness are powerless to make us love God and others. Indeed, love is the only power that is strong enough to transform us into humble, loving, and kind people.” (Page 14)
“The culture doesn’t need us to stand for or against conservative or liberal ideologies. The world around us is in desperate need of a Christian witness that says that all people, women and men, who have been created in God’s image can find true personhood and redemption through the blood of the humble incarnate Christ who loved his brothers and sisters and called them to lives of self-sacrifice and deep relationship and meaning.” (Page 194)
“We hope you’ve had a heart transplant. We hope you’ve been given the heartbeat of our Lord, a precious heartbeat that pulses with humility, surrendered authority, and love, and that your former heart’s question of, ‘Who gets to be in charge?’ has been replaced with, ‘How can I give away whatever power I believe I have for the sake of those without it?’” (Page 192)
“Rules about how to be biblical men and women won’t make us love each other. They can’t. They won’t make us willing to embrace our God-given identities or help us be willing to walk in humble obedience. They can’t because they don’t have the power to. No, what we need is Someone who will transform our hearts by his love and humility.” (Page 15)
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick is a bestselling author, national speaker, and ministry leader. She is director of Counsel from the Cross Ministries and author of over twenty-five books, including Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus and Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ. She also is coauthor, with Eric Schumacher, of Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women. She earned a MA in biblical counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary and has been married for more than forty years.
Eric Schumacher is associate pastor of Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Ames, Iowa, and coauthor, with Elyse Fitzpatrick, of Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women. He earned his MDiv from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been married for over a decade.