cover image Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict

Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict

Tara Klena Barthel, Judy Dabler. Baker Books, $16.99 (348pp) ISBN 978-0-8010-6495-1

As professional Christian conciliators, Barthel and Dabler have seen individuals struggle with addiction, friendship and sexual sin; they've seen churches on the verge of schism, looming lawsuits and businesses gone awry. Now they apply principles of reconciliation and peace specifically to women because ""many Christian women today are not at peace."" They urge women to become ""true peacemakers through repentance, faith, and rightful worship of God alone."" Readers will find information on resolving conflicts with God first, then others, then themselves. The authors address the areas of marriage, family and the church, as well as conflicts arising from idolatry, suffering, shame, depression and fear. They use the Bible as the authority on resolving conflict, offering broad biblical concepts in place of how-to lists and step-by-step instruction. Each chapter includes questions for reflection and a resource list, and real-life examples appear throughout, including the authors' own conflicts in writing the book. It is, however, a long-winded, back-door approach to the subject that seems to struggle with what it really is: a book about conflict resolution or a book about taking that resolution one step further to become proactive, peace-making women. There is plenty of good information about conflict, and a sound biblical foundation, but not enough specifics on how women can live in peace day by day.