black and white

Evangelicals, Abuse, and Other Issues I Don’t Want to Think About

“Are conservative evangelical men more likely to abuse their wives?”

The question was printed on a padded manila envelope, containing a book the publisher hoped I would review. Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife. I’ll admit, I was not particularly happy to receive it. “This is the sort of happy mail I get,” I grumbled, as I opened the envelope and scanned the cover. I understood why they sent it to me—I have done a good deal of research and writing on the topic of abuse in Christian contexts, and I even knew the nuanced answer to the question on the envelope—but thinking about it just made me weary. I set it aside to deal with later, when I had the energy to dive into the cesspool of “ianity”—Christianity that seems devoid of Christ.

Somehow, I missed the name on the cover. I must have seen it, of course, but it didn’t register with me. Which I think says a lot about how the Christian community, and society in general, thinks about the issue of domestic violence. Abuse is something that happens in trailer courts and tenement buildings; something that happens to high school dropouts who don’t know how to stand up for themselves, or silly women who make poor life choices.

Only that’s a bunch of nonsense. Abuse happens in every facet of society, and survivors come from all walks of life. I know this, and still the name didn’t strike me until yesterday, when I saw a review of the book on Scot McKnight’s blog.

Ruth A. Tucker.

The missiologist Ruth A. Tucker.

The Ruth A. Tucker whose other books line my shelves, filled with markings and chicken-scratch notes.

Full stop.

Can you see me blushing through the internet? I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ashamed of myself or just plain old mad that this sort of nonsense happens.

I haven’t read the book yet, but I am going to. You should too. I can say that, because I know that Ruth A. Tucker is a brilliant scholar and compelling author. A brilliant scholar, a compelling author, and a survivor of domestic violence.

Oh, church. We have work to do.

2 Responses to Evangelicals, Abuse, and Other Issues I Don’t Want to Think About

  1. Tim March 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

    I had not heard of Ruth Tucker until this book, and only then because Kelly Bishop tweeted that I am mentioned in the book (she cites a blog post I wrote on modern complementarian/patriarchal courtship practices). The reason I will probably read it has nothing to do with that mention, though it is what first alerted me to it. The reason I am keeping my eyes peeled for it is that you and others speak so highly of Tucker and her writing.

  2. Joe March 26, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    I am not an evangelical as such but appreciate good writing, stories and thought.

    This book has all three. This is my first experience reading Ruth A. Tucker.

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