In a recent meeting with some younger guys in our church, I talked to them about the importance of reading diversely. In short, I emphasized the need to cultivate theological humility by reading people of other theological tribes, ethnicities, nationalities, and social statuses. And since these were young men, I took the opportunity to specifically hone in on the importance of learning from women in the church.
In my experience, conservative evangelical churches have done a poor job at raising up female leaders, and thus have stunted the spiritual growth of the men in the church. If women are always only teaching women, then the men of the church miss out on (at least) 50 percent of the wisdom God has given His church. This is not an argument about elders and deacons, but rather about the simple call for all believers to, “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Col. 3:16 CSB).
In light of that, I recommended a few female writers that every Christian man should read:
Jen is one of the best lay theologians I know—male or female. I’ve recommended her first book, Women of the Word, to men in my church on several occasions. There are a few female-specific illustrations here and there, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading it. The advice she gives on how and why to read the Bible are as good as any in print.
She has also just published two books on the doctrine of God, None Like Him and In His Image. If you can get over yourself and buy books with flowers on the cover, you’ll discover that these books are on the level of similar books by Arthur Pink and A. W. Tozer.
Hannah is a fantastic writer. Pure and simple, there are few evangelical writers today who write with the depth, wisdom, and clarity of Hannah. Humble Roots is the type of book that ends up a classic, and Made for More is one of the better simple introductions to our identity as God’s image-bearers. I’m looking forward to her forthcoming book, All That’s Good.
Lynn is my favorite female biblical scholar. She is the provost and a New Testament professor at Denver Seminary, with all of the academic credentials and none of the academic hubris. Her commentary on Philippians in The Story of God Bible Commentary series is a must-have volume for both pastors and laypeople. She has also done excellent work in the field of women in the early church, and I’d recommend checking out her latest book, Christian Women in the Patristic World.
Jasmine is a sleeping giant. She has been a blogger and writer for years, but her book-publishing days are quickly approaching. She writes on motherhood, race, theology, and all sorts of other topics—and she does so in a unique and helpful way. I’ve learned a ton about being a husband and father by reading her work. Her recent reflection on the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass is moving and inspiring, and I’ve read her piece on failed expectations in marriage numerous times. Keep an eye on Jasmine’s burgeoning writing career.
Like Lynn Cohick, Nancy has an academic brain but a humble heart. Our pastors and staff recently read through Love Thy Body together, and we all agree that it’s one of our favorite staff reads of the year. Nancy has the unique ability to take high-level thoughts and concepts and explain them in clear and effective ways, all the while not dumbing it down for her reader; she assumes her reader is not an idiot, while also making sure she is clear and precise in her words.