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|Title: No Place for Abuse: Biblical & Practical Resources to Counteract Domestic Violence|
By: Catherine Clark Kroeger, Nancy Nason-Clark
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)|
Weight: 12 ounces
Stock No: WW838387
Domestic violence is a leading cause of injury and death to women worldwide. Nearly one in four women around the globe is physically or sexually abused in her lifetime, and gender violence causes more death and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents or war. Regrettably, the church is not immune to this problem. Numerous studies suggest that incident rates among active churchgoers are nearly the same as those among the general populace. In this thoroughly revised and updated edition, Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark share with readers a further ten years of experience in listening to the voices of women from around the world and especially to those within the church. They help us hear their cries and find concrete ways to respond so that no home will be a place of abuse. In this immensely helpful guide you'll find
Here is a book for all who want to make a difference in women's lives.
Catherine Clark Kroeger is adjunct professor of classical and ministry studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. With James Beck, she edited Women, Abuse and the Bible and Healing the Hurting, and with Mary J. Evans she edited The IVP Women's Bible Commentary and The Women's Study Bible.
Nancy Nason-Clark is professor of sociology at University of New Brunswick, Canada. Her books include Refuge from Abuse (with Catherine Clark Kroeger) and The Battered Wife: How Christians Confront Family Violence. She is the creator of the RAVE (Religion and Violence e-Learning) Project website.
“When abuse strikes, there is no home.”
So say Catherine Clark Kroeger and Nancy Nason-Clark in their book, No Place for Abuse. This quote struck me, as I grew up in a fundamentalist church where mentioning some personal abuse brought blame to me and sympathy to my father. This book is refreshing in its directness as it addresses the ticklish issue of how churches have traditionally dealt with abuse.
According to Kroeger and Clark’s sources, 22.1 percent of women in the United States have been abused in a relationship. That number is large enough to include at least a small percentage of women who attend church regularly.
In their 13-chapter book, the authors explain how men rationalize and justify abuse, and how often churches have sided with men. They point out on page 43 that “evangelicals feel very passionate about the family and speak warmly and enthusiastically about the importance of ‘family values.’” The longevity of a marriage may seem of greater importance than the health of its members.
The main thrust of their message is love, and expressing the heart of God through relationships. “When we love people, we too will weep for them,” they say on page 53. This attitude is important, because when an abused woman cannot turn to her church for support, she can feel that her life is next to worthless.
The authors handle abuse with respect and sensitivity, while bringing up the lack of support in churches in a straightforward way. On page 68, one victim said her congregation is “not a safe place to come . . . because nobody knows what to do with you.” Women like these are brave enough to remind us that “keeping the family together is not the highest goal of the Christian faith” (page 100).
Kroeger and Clark challenge spiritual shepherds to acknowledge that violence in families is a problem and then offer help and healing for victims. Kroeger and Clark include checklists of healthy and unhealthy ways churches may respond to physical or emotional abuse in families.
In Chapter 5, “Searching the Scriptures,” the authors provide scriptural references that condemn patterns of abuse, stalking and harassment, abusive speech and more. The authors also include references showing how God responds to violence against women and children.
I especially appreciated their view of communion in marriage and the interaction between men and women. In Chapter 6, “Man and Woman,” they say, “A wife who is considered less than her husband cannot bring her full self to the marital union, nor can the husband know the joy of full communion” (page 87). Their emphasis was on each person’s dignity and the growth of trust rather than gender roles. Yielding to God was their main concern.
No Place for Abuse brings the focus of relationships where it needs to be: on our Lord. God created women and men in his image, and we should look to him for guidelines on how to treat each other. As the authors say on page 98: “Women must answer to God and not to their husband, their relatives or their faith community . . . God calls husband and wife, as coheirs, to live joyfully with respect and love for each other.”
---by Kriss Erickson
---Used with permission from Christians for Biblical Equality
"Thorough, engaging, and relevant, this book presents clear teaching on God's attitude toward abuse and describes the necessary components for effective ministry to victims."-- Kathleen Samuelson, CBA Retailers + Resources, December 2010
"The authors of No Place for Abuse demonstrate that the problem of domestic violence in the church is more pervasive than most Christians would like to believe. Nancy Nason-Clark, a trained sociologist, and Catherine Clark Kroeger, a biblical scholar, confront the issue with both objectivity and compassion. With their no-nonsense approach, Kroeger and Nason-Clark take time at the outset to document the problem of abuse worldwide and call the Church to combat this evil no matter where it occurs. They suggest that concealment of such sin in the church does more damage than facing the truth. A major strength of the book is its practical side. The authors give practical tools to pastors and other counselors for interviewing abuse victims and perpetrators and offer alternatives victims may consider instead of continuing to endure a threatening environment. Another valuable contribution the authors make is their caution against the misrepresentation of Scripture in ways that fail to protect abuse victims. This thought-provoking book has the potential to open the eyes of many believers who don't understand the prevalence of violence in many evangelical homes. It will be particularly useful to pastors and counselors, but will offer guidance to any Christian who has encountered such situations."-- Christian Retailing, May 7, 2001
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