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Is your identity based on a role? Is it linked to a relationship? Do your achievements influence how you view yourself? What does your family say about you? Who are you as a woman? Honestly, these are not the right questions. The real question is, who are you as a person created in God's image? Until we see our identity in His, we're settling for seconds. And we were made for so much more...
Number of Pages: 144
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8 X 5.25 X .38 (inches)|
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Who are you, really?
In an uncertain world, we crave the security of knowing exactly who we are and where we belong. But too often as women, we try to find this safety in our roles and relationships, our professional accomplishments, or our picture-perfect homes. And as we do, our souls shrink smaller and smaller. It's because these things aren't made to hold us.
In Made for More, Hannah Anderson invites you to re-imagine yourself, not simply as a set of roles and categories, but as a person destined to live in the fullness of God Himself.
Starting with our first identity as image bearers, Hannah shows how Jesus Christ makes us people who can reflect His nature through our unique callings. She also explores how these deeper truths affect the practical realties that we face as womenhow does being an image bearer shape our pursuit of education, our work, and even our desire for holistic lives?
Because you are made in Gods image, you will only ever know yourselfonly ever be yourselfas you find your identity in Him. Find it now.
Hannah Anderson lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where she works alongside her husband in rural ministry, cares for their three young children, and scratches out odd moments to write. You can find more of her writing at her blog www.sometimesalight.com.
Virtually everyone is familiar with the idea of man having been created in Gods image, but how exactly does this relate to us as we sit in Monday morning traffic or sort through a tower of laundry? Hannah Andersons ability to connect the dots between the divine and our very recognizable human condition is where Made for More really shines. She does an exemplary job of addressing the divine spark that drives all of mankind to understand, "Who am I, and why am I here?" There are an untold number of self-help books that attempt to address these questions, but most fall short as they try to define how identity manifests itself without first answering where identity comes from. As the author explains, our tendency is to check boxes (gender, race, age) and look to categories (our profession, political party, marital status) in an effort to define ourselves, when in truth, we should be fixed upon a North Star.
Made for More could have come across as a very abstract book given its lofty topic, but Anderson has an engaging way of using personal stories and scripture to help the reader personally connect with the ideas being expressed. Its also a very well organized book, and the quality of writing is excellent. For example, Anderson uses the image of a diamond to illustrate the myriad waysor facets, so to speakthat we reflect Gods divinity. After all, a diamond in its natural state does very little to reflect light. As Anderson writes, true potential is revealed only when "God has painstakingly planned them and cut them so the light of His nature can bend and refract through you and come bursting forth in brilliant splendor." The image is immediately recognizable and beautiful, but more importantly, its one that's not easily forgotten. Through the power of good storytelling, Anderson gives us many other gems to help make our relationship with God appear gloriously relevant. Who we are and why were here are daunting questions to take on, but Anderson does a fine job of helping us answer them as we strive to find greater meaning in our daily lives. - Roxana Laing
Made for More explains how each of us is made in God's image, for purposes beyond what we can see. The more often we choose to live in God's image, the closer we come to trusting Him and letting go of our worries.
My family is adjusting to some new situations right now, and we will experience more changes in the coming months. This Spring I've been feeling in limbo... not where I'm accustomed, and not yet where I'll soon be. So far it's been emotionally difficult. I vacillate between sitting lazily on the couch ("I give up") and feeling restless... like there must be something more to these months of my life. I'm not meant to just sit around and wait for the next chapter, right?!
So I picked up Made for More. Reading it gave me an authoritative nudge to live each day in God's image. Helping others, doing mundane chores, loving my family, and working at my job outside the home all need to be done for God's glory and with my eyes on Him. Hannah Anderson explains that looking for ways we can glorify God in our CURRENT lives (yep, even my crazy limbo life) is the way to reflect God's image. And whenever we reflect God's image, we become more like Him.
I know I need to get off the couch. God put me here for much more than being a bystander to all his glorious world. Since I've been nudged, I will take more opportunities to serve Him and trust him throughout my day. Everyday. - Angela Tollis
"Anderson freely admits this book, while beneficial for men, is written primarily for women. The book targets women to discover their identity and how women live as a creation made in the image of God.
Anderson challenges current thinking about identity and roles, not just current but throughout modern history. It enables women to come to terms with the purposes God has appointed, while encouraging women to live in Gods image, trusting him, and setting aside the worries of the world.
Written in an easy to read style, this book gives examples and wisdom for the modern life. Highly Recommended for women wanting to discover their identity and purpose in life." Reviewed by Heath Henwood, Net Galley April 17, 2014
"Anderson strives in her book to tell us how important we are as images of God. We are made for more than we settle for. When we find identity as an image bearer means that we are made to live in dependent communion with God, learning to live in relationship with others, and stewarding creation. Anderson gives examples of our modern life and the wisdom we must seek. Recommended for public libraries and academic libraries with Christianity collections."
Rated 5 of 5 stars, Reviewed by Joan Brichacek Wilson, Net Galley April 6, 2014
Chris5 Stars Out Of 5A helpful re-framing of the discussion on women's identityJanuary 17, 2017ChrisQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Christian books available for women are legion. They cover a variety of topics and seasons of life. A good many of them deal with issues related to a womans identity and purpose. While some fall into unnecessary stereotypes and theological clichs, women need books filled with sound doctrine that takes the need of engaging the hearts and minds of women seriously. With Made for More, Hannah Anderson has provided such a resource. It addresses the questions concerning a womans identity, but does so in a substantial way.
In her book, Anderson re-frames the discussion on womens identity and purpose and sees the fundamental component to be the imago Dei (being made in the image of God). This vital doctrine concerning a womans humanity is the ground-level, the foundation even, of all other discussions of roles, responsibilities, and purpose. It simply must be grounded in women being created in the image of God. She wants women to recover an understanding of ourselves that is more basic than our gender. Its a call to recover the image of God in our lives to re-imagine not simply what it means to be a woman but what it means to be a person made in the very likeness of God Himself (11, emphasis in original). She further explains her purpose in this book as she calls women to understand that we are defined, not by our categories, but by being made in the image of God and that our ultimate identity is to reflect and represent Him on this earth[This] is not a call to abandon labels or categories, but it is a call to step back in order to law a solid foundation before we build those categories (12-13).
Before setting forth her theological trajectory, Anderson gives a historical survey in chapter 1 of what the mothers and grandmothers of todays women struggled with themselves as they sought to understand their identity. For these past generation of women, the influence of Freudian psychology saw them being encouraged to find their fulfillment in domestic duties and being a wife and mother. Further, the problem was exacerbated by them being told to look to their husbands and children for their fundamental source of identity (22). Thus, the push back from these gender stereotypes, among many other things, led to the rise of second-wave feminism. This movement believed that in order to discover full identity, women simply needed to be freed from the bondage of biological roles; personal fulfillment was found in autonomy whether that means sexual autonomy in the form of birth control and abortion or economic autonomy through education and a career path (22). Anderson further notes while there were serious social paradigms that needed to be challenged, second-wave feminism no more successfully answered the underlying question of personal identity than the previous generation had. Instead of defining themselves by their homes and family, women were now compelled to define themselves by their education, professional accomplishments, and independence from men (23). Both groups of women failed to ask the questions of where identity came from and simply focused on how it manifested itself.
Anderson suggests in chapter 2, in light of these historical realities, women must first began with God in shaping their identity, not simply a movement or cultural expectations. But in order to do so, they must accept God on His own terms, [allowing] Him to penetrate your defensestear down your preconceived notions[and] allow Him to be simply who He is (27). Furthermore, grounding ones identity not just in God, but also in the imago Dei means three things, the author notes. It means you are made to live in dependent communion with God, learning to live in relationship with other human beings, and stewarding creation the way God does (34-40). This wonderful calling, however, is deeply frustrated by humanitys brokenness caused by sin and the brokenness in the world around us from the effects of the Fall. And yet, this is not the end of the story.
While living in a fallen world, we are prone to ground our identity in an innumerable about of things, but our identity is deeply flawed by sins effects. Thus, the only place we can truly ground our identity a find life is in Christ. As she shows throughout the third and fourth chapters, The paradox of personal identity, writes Anderson, is that once we accept that we are not what we should be, we are finally in a place to be made what we could be. Once we acknowledge that we are dead apart from God, we are finally able to live in Him. Once we admit the inadequacy of our lives, we are finally able to discover the sufficiency of His (60). In other words, we will never be more truly ourselves than as we are conformed to Gods nature through Christ (64). The rest of her book is spent teasing out and unpacking more of this idea and its relationship to a womans identity.
Launching off from the work of James K. A. Smith, in chapter 5 Anderson argues that instead of primarily being shaped by what you think, we are shaped by what we love. We are naturally born as lovers. As St. Thomas Aquinas (whom she quotes) tells us, The things that we love tell us what we are (72). So as women look to live in Him, they will begin to love like He loves and love what He loves. Their affections, in effect, will be transformed and, consequently, will begin to desire the right kinds of things. To say it another way, living as an image bearer means learning to love properly.
In chapter 6, Anderson focuses on grace and how women being made in the image of God is itself a gift of grace because God is sharing His identity with us (88). Ultimately, however, the biggest gift of grace God gives is through his Son, Jesus, through whom women can find their identity as image bearers and learn to live with a disposition of graciousness towards others, for holding grudges is to live inconsistently with being an image bearer (89).
In the remaining chapters, Anderson shows how living as an image bearer affects the way one pursues knowledge and wisdom (ch. 7), a womans gifts and work (ch. 8), a holistic approach to womens complex personhood and responsibilities (ch. 9), and a womans calling (ch. 10), recognizing this all is part of a lifetime process (ch. 11) as all believers await with eager expectation in future fulfillment of our hope as image bearers (ch. 12).
I found this book to be a helpful breath of fresh air. As evangelical literature regarding men and women can often be written in shallow, unrealistic ways on one hand and grounded in cultural gender stereotypes on the other, it was encouraging to see a theologian seek to ground a womans identity in the imago Dei and Gods activity in Christ. I can see this being so healing for women who have so unfairly been viewed by many aspects of society, including the church, in ways which fail to take the imago Dei seriously. Regardless of what ones theology of gender is, Anderson reminds us of the importance of seeing both men and women, not only created in the image of God, but human beings given a grand calling in which we need each other. Men simply cannot fulfill all that God has called humanity to do without women alongside them, bearing so much wisdom, strength, and courage which can easily go unnoticed. As a man, it convicted me concerning ways I have failed to encourage women in the various callings God has given them to pursue and admonished me to be more intentional about learning from all the wise and skilled women God has placed in my life.
Hannah Andersons Made for More is a wonderful example of the kinds of books needed in the Christian womens market. We must do away with the fluff and bad theology and provide women with golden resources which to feed their minds, warm their affections, and empower their hands and feet. I highly recommend this book and would love to see it in the hands of more women, as they seek to understand their identity in light of Christ and the imago Dei.