It’s an odd feeling to know that a stranger is going to narrate an audio version of your words.
As the release of Worthy approached, we knew that the audiobook version would accompany the trade edition. But we didn’t know anything about who would narrate it. I didn’t know if it would be a man, a woman, a Christian, or an unbeliever. And, if it were a Christian, whether they would be sympathetic to what they were vocalizing. I didn’t know if they would care the least bit about my labor of love.
So, I started praying. I prayed that God would use the words of the book to work in the heart of the narrator (or narrators). I prayed that they would come away with stirred faith in Jesus Christ and a renewed appreciation for the value for the image of God in their female neighbors.
I was delighted to see that Blackstone audio selected a man and a woman to narrate the book. I purchased it as soon as it was available. (Apparently, authors don’t get copies of audiobooks…) The narration was fantastic, with a man reading my portions and a woman reading Elyse’s contributions. I thoroughly enjoyed the listen! And I continued to pray for the narrators.
I was beyond excited when, a month ago, we received a letter from one of the narrators, Matthew McAuliffe, describing the positive impact that reading Worthy had on him. What a blessing it is to meet a brother in Christ and make a new friend!
He recently posted a review on-line. Here’s his full review:
I take great pleasure in drawing attention to a recent addition to the works treating the roles and dynamics of women in Christian ministry, especially in those venues characterized by the view known as “complementarianism” (the balance point between blind egalitarianism and patriarchal domination).
Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Eric Schumacher (Bethany House, 2020) offers a careful exposition of both the Scriptural foundation for a godly outworking of women in ministry as well as a disappointingly rich narrative of the Church’s long struggle to attain that ideal. It is an issue that a disciple of Jesus Christ should consider well, in thought and prayer.
Ms. Fitzpatrick, though acknowledging the Church’s historical leadership in resisting the ubiquitous misogyny so prevalent in world cultures, offers a litany of haunting failures in the Body of Christ’s efforts to honor the Imago Dei in women. Her visceral and emotive narrative makes clear that our understanding of this issue is both incomplete and all too often misguided in its “real-life” application. Pastor Schumacher’s exegesis makes systematically clear the collaborative harmony purposed by God in creating man and woman, as well as the vindication of that purpose by His most faithful servants from Moses to Paul. It is a paradigm less familiar to our thinking than we’d imagined.
I found this book exhilarating, sorrowful, joyful, and challenging—and was more than a little relieved by the faithful fidelity that these two authors applied in navigating such a vital and combustible area of study without caving-in to the pressures of progressive humanism. If you are a believer in Christ, somewhat frustrated and confused by the tenor of opportunities and support available to women in ministry, or a minster vaguely aware of some incipient tension in your understanding of God’s will towards women, especially in Kingdom labors, I would urge you, in love and faith, to give this book a read …you won’t be sorry you did.
Matthew W. McAuliffe MABT
Pastor emeritus: Trail Christian Fellowship (Eagle Point, OR)
Administrator & Instructor: Pacific Bible College (Medford, OR)
June 12, 2020