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Eight Women of Faith

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With the majority of books about church history centering on the lives and accomplishments of men, it is easy for contemporary Christians to forget the vital role that women have played in the history of Christianity. Drawing from journal entries, personal letters, and other historical documents, historian Michael Haykin reminds Christians of women from previous generation With the majority of books about church history centering on the lives and accomplishments of men, it is easy for contemporary Christians to forget the vital role that women have played in the history of Christianity. Drawing from journal entries, personal letters, and other historical documents, historian Michael Haykin reminds Christians of women from previous generations who have helped shape the church. This book affords readers deep insights into how women such as Jane Austen, Sarah Edwards, and Anne Steele responded to challenges in society, came to embrace key doctrines, and made crucial contributions to the life of the church.


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With the majority of books about church history centering on the lives and accomplishments of men, it is easy for contemporary Christians to forget the vital role that women have played in the history of Christianity. Drawing from journal entries, personal letters, and other historical documents, historian Michael Haykin reminds Christians of women from previous generation With the majority of books about church history centering on the lives and accomplishments of men, it is easy for contemporary Christians to forget the vital role that women have played in the history of Christianity. Drawing from journal entries, personal letters, and other historical documents, historian Michael Haykin reminds Christians of women from previous generations who have helped shape the church. This book affords readers deep insights into how women such as Jane Austen, Sarah Edwards, and Anne Steele responded to challenges in society, came to embrace key doctrines, and made crucial contributions to the life of the church.

30 review for Eight Women of Faith

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel {bibliopals}

    Not so much about what they did that was so impactful, rather how these ladies were faithful to Christ in challenging times. Learned a few historical things that are helpful to remembering what was going on during these ladies' lifetime. Not so much about what they did that was so impactful, rather how these ladies were faithful to Christ in challenging times. Learned a few historical things that are helpful to remembering what was going on during these ladies' lifetime.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Teunie

    Perhaps I started reading this book with too high expectations, but when it promised to tell the story of women in a good way I did not expect to be reading so much about facts which are linked the women, but you do not necessarily need to know to get an impression of how they lived their lives. Specifically the comments on their physical appearance and a -way- to long explanation on the lives of authors that have influenced (especially in the part about Ann Judson). Overall it was interesting t Perhaps I started reading this book with too high expectations, but when it promised to tell the story of women in a good way I did not expect to be reading so much about facts which are linked the women, but you do not necessarily need to know to get an impression of how they lived their lives. Specifically the comments on their physical appearance and a -way- to long explanation on the lives of authors that have influenced (especially in the part about Ann Judson). Overall it was interesting to read and I learned some new things, but I'm still disappointed because it could have been so much better!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    Though the women that this book highlights are exemplary and inspiring, the organization and delivery of the book itself was somewhat awkward, dry, and disconnected. I still enjoyed reading it though. The chapters on Anne Steele and Ann Judson we're personally compelling. Though the women that this book highlights are exemplary and inspiring, the organization and delivery of the book itself was somewhat awkward, dry, and disconnected. I still enjoyed reading it though. The chapters on Anne Steele and Ann Judson we're personally compelling.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A wonderful collection of short biographies, highlighting women whose lives demonstrated their claim to faith.

  5. 4 out of 5

    LanaDwire

    The first chapter on Jane Grey was very interesting and gave me high hopes for the rest of the book, but most of the rest of the book was hard to get through.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marion

    This book is short and easy to read however the 8 chapters on the 8 different women are never pulled together. The stories read in a dry and factual way with some of them exploring more theology surrounding their husbands and fathers rather than the impact they themselves had on church history. Finishing it was a little underwhelming as I had been looking forward to the last chapter on Jane Austen. The last chapter could have been a summary from any source as it was retold with no emotion and li This book is short and easy to read however the 8 chapters on the 8 different women are never pulled together. The stories read in a dry and factual way with some of them exploring more theology surrounding their husbands and fathers rather than the impact they themselves had on church history. Finishing it was a little underwhelming as I had been looking forward to the last chapter on Jane Austen. The last chapter could have been a summary from any source as it was retold with no emotion and little explanation of context.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Manchester

    This book was short and sweet. It's worth reading especially since we Reformed people forget how God works and has worked through women. Sidenote: I never knew Jane Austin was a Christian, by her own confession. This book was short and sweet. It's worth reading especially since we Reformed people forget how God works and has worked through women. Sidenote: I never knew Jane Austin was a Christian, by her own confession.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

    3.75 rating.... an enjoyable read about 8 lives of faithful God honoring women. I really liked the variety of their life circumstances.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin O

    The author spends a lot of time not on the women themselves, but on the theology or happenings of people around them (their husbands, fathers, and other theologians alive during their time period).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Interesting to learn more about these women, so a good resource, but a little dryly written.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leilani Curtis

    I appreciated the content, but the presentation was dry with a difficult flow. I have heard the author speak wonderfully so will probably stick to listening to him rather than reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Stilley

    3.5 stars. Read with Ally. Some chapters were better than others.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Eight Women of Faith by Michael A. G. Haykin is a series of essays about different women of faith between 1537 and 1826 and how they ministered to the church in their time. Karen Swallow Prior asserts in her forward to the book that we tend to focus on the one thing that women cannot do and even use that to suppress them in other ways, instead of celebrating and encouraging the many things they can do, and this book is an attempt to highlight a few of the many ways women can be used by God. After Eight Women of Faith by Michael A. G. Haykin is a series of essays about different women of faith between 1537 and 1826 and how they ministered to the church in their time. Karen Swallow Prior asserts in her forward to the book that we tend to focus on the one thing that women cannot do and even use that to suppress them in other ways, instead of celebrating and encouraging the many things they can do, and this book is an attempt to highlight a few of the many ways women can be used by God. After a brief introduction of an abbreviated history of thought on what women were and were not allowed to do in the church and a bit of background into how the book came about, Haykin proceeds with his essays. The eight women he discusses are: Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554). The author details how Jane came to saving faith in Christ and the series of events in which Jane became queen for nine days (at her family and others’ direction, not her own ambition) until her disinherited cousin, Mary (of Bloody Mary fame) “marched on London with an army” (p. 26) and almost everyone turned to her, even those who had previously supported Jane. Jane was arrested and imprisoned, and Mary, a “die-hard Catholic,” sent one of her “most able chaplains” seasoned in debate (p. 21) to convert Jane to Catholicism. There are several pages of Jane’s record of the conversation, and it’s amazing that a teenager could be so firm in her faith and so ably answer this man from Scripture. My favorite part from this chapter is from a note Jane wrote shortly before she died to her sister: I have here sent you, good sister Katherine, a book, which, although it be not outwardly trimmed with gold, yet inwardly it is more worth than precious stones. It is the book, dear sister, of the Law of the Lord. It is his testament and last will, which he bequeathed to us wretches, which shall lead you to the path of eternal joy. And if you with a good mind read it, and with an earnest desire follow it, it shall bring you to an immortal and everlasting life. It will teach you to live and learn you to die (p. 33). Margaret Baxter (1636-1681) was the wife of esteemed Puritan pastor and writer Richard Baxter. In this chapter the author gives a brief history of opinions on marriage from early Christians through the Puritans. He gives some background information on both Richard and Margaret and how they came to trust in Christ and to marry. They were vastly different, in age, finances, and personality, and she struggled with anxiety after almost having died four times and witnessed a number of atrocities. But they appreciated each other’s gifts. He “freely admitted that Margaret was better than he at solving problems relating to financial and civil affairs” and “practical issues of the Christian life” (p. 48). A couple of favorite quotes of Baxter’s: My dear wife did look for more good in me than she found, especially lately in my weakness and decay. We are all like pictures that must not be looked at too near. They that come near us find more faults and badness in us than others at a distance know. When husband and wife take pleasure in each other, it uniteth them in duty, it helpeth them with ease to do their work, and bear their burdens; and it is not the least part of the comfort of the married state (p. 51). Anne Dutton (1692-1765) was a Calvinistic Baptist writer even though that profession was not encouraged for women at the time. She wrote “tracts and treatises,…sacred correspondence, and poems” and corresponded regularly with George Whitfield and Selina Hastings, the Countess of Huntingdon, and others (p. 57). The Puritans “splintered into three major groups: the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, and the Particular or Calvinistic Baptists” (p. 57), and Anne spent a lot of writing defending her beliefs, critiquing others’ teaching, and weighing in on controversies of the day. Sarah Edwards (1710-1758) was the wife of Jonathan Edwards, leading figure in the “Great Awakening.” After very little biographical information, the author spends much of the chapter on Edwards’ writing about his wife “as a model of a Spirit-filled person” as opposed to some of the fanaticism and excesses of the day (p. 68). Anne Steele (1717-1778) also came from a Calvinistic Baptist family, remained single on purpose, and wrote several hymns, and was known as “the Baptist equivalent of Isaac Watts” (p. 81). Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758) was the third daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, and the author concentrates her chapter on her writings about friendship. Ann Judson (1789-1826) and her husband Adoniram were America’s first missionaries. The author tells of her own conversion, Adoniram’s proposal, which not only included marriage but also life as missionaries in Asia, the voyage there, the struggles learning the language, and their first few years. Jane Austen (1775-1817) is, as I’m sure everyone knows, one of England’s most famous and most beloved novelists. A line in the notes and references at the end of the book says that “Religion to her was a private matter: to discuss it in a novel would have been a breach of good taste” (p. 148). But from her letters and what she does say in her novels, and especially a prayer she wrote, the author brings out strands of her beliefs. My thoughts: I was actually fairly frustrated with this book, but the primary reason for that was my own fault. I was expecting it to be more biographical, like When Others Shuddered: Eight Women Who Refused to Give Up, which I read recently. So I was dismayed to find out that the chapters were essays. They did, however, contain a good bit of biographical information. My secondary frustration had to do with Haykin’s choices of what he put in and left out. Granted, when you’re writing just a few pages of a life about which books have been written, you can’t include everything, and different authors would make different decisions about what to emphasize. Ann Judson and Sarah Edwards were the two with whom I was most familiar, having read a number of biographies of Ann in particular. The great bulk of the most interesting part of Ann’s life was summarized in the last paragraph of the chapter. The author spent a great deal of time on Adoniram and Ann’s study concerning infant baptism (paedobaptism). They came from a tradition of infant baptism, and as they studied, they began to question it, studied some more, and eventually came out on the side of believer’s baptism, being baptized after one has made a profession of faith. This incident is important for a number of reasons. It shows their character and concern for truth and fidelity to Scripture (which was the main theme of the chapter). They had not wanted to make this change: Ann “felt afraid [Adoniram] would become a Baptist, and frequently urged the unhappy consequences if he should. But he said his duty compelled him to satisfy his own mind, and embrace those sentiments which appeared most concordant with Scripture” (p. 108). Once it became clear to both of them, they felt they had no choice but to make it known and deal with the consequences, which included leaving the mission board that had just formed in order to send them out, seeking Baptist support, facing the dismay and even anger of their friends and colleagues. So, yes, for all those reasons this was important. But if you’re writing 14 pages of a person’s life, do you want to spend 5 pages on this? A good page and a half or so was spent on listing the books the Judsons studied on this issue and telling us about the authors: in my mind, these books and authors could have been a footnote or end note with much less detail. But aside from that, the book does share a lot of good information about these women and does meet its purpose in showing a variety of ways in which women have used their gifts to minister to others. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Lady Jane Grey. I knew her basic story and had read a fictional account of her life, but I appreciated learning more about her. I felt this chapter was the best written in the book, with a good blend of historical and biographical detail. I had read a magazine article on Margaret Baxter which made me want to read more about her, so I as glad to find more here. I had not heard of Anne Steele or Anne Dutton before. One of the main reasons I got this book, besides liking biographies and seeing it recommended by other bloggers I respect, was to find out more about Jane Austen’s faith. I had deduced that she was God-fearing in the sense that most of society in England was in those days, but I had wondered about her personal faith. I was a little disappointed in that there is just not much information available, especially with her feeling it was a private matter, and it’s not entirely certain that the lengthy prayer that was shared was hers. But I enjoyed the author’s tracing the way she dealt with preachers in her books. So…mixed emotions about this book. There were parts I did enjoy and learned from, but I don’t think I will be seeking out any more books by Haykin any time soon.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tim Franks

    Very strong work on the eight women of faith within their own contexts and lives. It struck me with Karen Swallow Prior's introduction that we often talk about in conservative, reformed circles about what women can't do, we forget about the great work they have done for the faith, and will continue to do. After just reading Adoniram Judson's biography it was interesting to read more from Ann Judson's perspective in her chapter of this work. I feel that the author tried to stretch a little to mak Very strong work on the eight women of faith within their own contexts and lives. It struck me with Karen Swallow Prior's introduction that we often talk about in conservative, reformed circles about what women can't do, we forget about the great work they have done for the faith, and will continue to do. After just reading Adoniram Judson's biography it was interesting to read more from Ann Judson's perspective in her chapter of this work. I feel that the author tried to stretch a little to make Jane Austen fit into a box maybe she wasn't in at least for most of her life and writing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I really wanted to like this book, but it just never brought the women to life for me. The focus was more on evangelical doctrine than the day-to-day strength that faith can bring.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michele Morin

    A Different Kind of Woman A favorite Elisabeth Elliot quote comes to mind whenever I overhear fragments of the ongoing row about the role of women in the church: “I am not a different kind of Christian because I am a woman, but I am, most certainly, a different kind of woman because I am a Christian.” Since ten of the twenty-seven believers commended by Paul for faithfulness in the early church at Rome were women, it is no surprise that women continued to fulfill roles of influence and responsibili A Different Kind of Woman A favorite Elisabeth Elliot quote comes to mind whenever I overhear fragments of the ongoing row about the role of women in the church: “I am not a different kind of Christian because I am a woman, but I am, most certainly, a different kind of woman because I am a Christian.” Since ten of the twenty-seven believers commended by Paul for faithfulness in the early church at Rome were women, it is no surprise that women continued to fulfill roles of influence and responsibility throughout church history, whether recognized and appreciated — or overlooked and unsung. The individuals featured in Michael Haykin’s Eight Women of Faith span nearly three hundred of those years (1537-1817), and each of his subjects faced and overcame significant cultural obstacles. In his eight vignettes, Michael chronicles the way in which significant cultural changes in the 18th century impacted women of faith. Some were able to leave their own record of faith in their own words, while others are known to us only because they have been lauded in the writings of others. The Queen – “Faith Only Justifieth” The great niece of Henry VIII, Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554) was Queen of England for a little over a week, and she also did time in the Tower of London like so many of her royal relatives of that era. Condemned to death for her Protestantism by her devoutly Catholic cousin, Mary I (with the less-flattering name, “Bloody Mary”), Jane stood firm in her belief that faith alone justifies, and this along with her view of the Lord’s Supper show that she had clearly embraced the doctrines of the Reformation. A Woman of the Word to the end, she owned a Greek New Testament and recited Psalm 51 from memory before being executed. The Wife – “Ruled by Her Prudent Love in Many Things” Surprisingly, many of the church fathers held a very low and utilitarian view of marriage. The Reformers and the Puritans did their bit to put an end to that by their example and by their words, and we find in the writings of Richard Baxter a glowing report of the blessings of marriage. His wife, Margaret Charlton Baxter (1636-1681), was clearly the one to whom he opened his mind and communicated his concerns. Although they were childless, they were comrades in ministry during a turbulent period of English history under Charles I in which, for a time, Richard was banned from preaching or leading worship because of his Puritan views. In a faith formed by persecution, Margaret’s influence was formative for her husband and marked a turning point in the recognition that “a husband and wife must take delight in the love, and company, and converse of each other.” The Theologian – “The Glory of God, and the Good of Souls” Disregard for female authors persisted well into the eighteenth century. Therefore, Anne Dutton (1692-1765) would naturally have felt that it was necessary to defend herself whenever she shared her gift in the form of books, tracts, treatises, and poems. In spite of her critics, she was the most prolific female Baptist author of her time, reminding her readers that she wrote only for the glory of God. At the same time, she boldly critiqued the theology of John Wesley (among others) in their view that it was possible to live without sin on this planet. Like Lady Jane Grey, Anne also pondered the nature of the elements in communion, beautifully expositing Calvin’s view by describing the Supper as “communication.” The Lord “gives Himself . . . with all the benefits of his death, to the worthy receivers,” and so He is indeed present at the celebration of His Supper. Anne wrote and taught about her Lord until her death. The Friend of Revival – “A Wonderful Sweetness” A key figure in the First Great Awakening of the 18th century in the United States, Jonathan Edwards addressed the topic of revival from various angles. In an era that minimized the input of women, he, nonetheless, shared (anonymously) the account of his wife, Sarah Edwards’s (1710-1758), spiritual experience so that, although she was not a writer, we have rich insight into her life both from her husband and in the writings of Samuel Hopkins (who was tutored by Jonathan Edwards and lived in their home). Living with eleven children in the fishbowl of ministry during seasons of financial stress and her husband’s professional ups and downs, Sarah experienced an encounter with God that Jonathan recorded as “the soul . . . being swallowed up with light and love,” accompanied by “an extraordinary sense of the awful majesty and greatness of God” in which she lost all bodily strength. As a faithful wife and mother, Sarah had the additional honor of becoming a model of what a “true revival personality looks like.” The Hymnist – “The Tuneful Tongue that Sang Her Great Redeemer’s Praise” Described as “the Baptist equivalent of Isaac Watts,” Anne Steele (1717-1778) began writing hymns simply to express her personal devotion to God. As the daughter of a pastor, her creations soon found their way into worship services, and eventually were included in a hymnal. “Father of Mercies, in Thy Word” is still in use today, and beautifully expresses the rich theology and high view of Scripture that sustained her through a life of continual suffering from various illnesses. Father of mercies, in Thy word What endless glory shines! For ever be thy name adored For these celestial lines. The Daughter – “One of the Best Helps to Keep Up Religion in the Soul” Recently, reading in the book of I Chronicles, I found a treasure in the midst of the lists. Hushai the Arkite was immortalized in the pages of Scripture because he was “the king’s friend,” (I Chron. 27:33 NIV). We don’t value friendship in that way today, but the Bible provides glorious examples of deep friendship, and church history is also a rich source of illustrations. Esther Edward Burr (1732-1758), daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards, grew up during the Great Awakening and married a minister with the same “evangelical cast of mind” as her father. Homesick for New England, she began a correspondence with Sarah Prince which chronicles their deep devotion to one another, but, more importantly, serves as a record of a spiritual conversation from which we can learn much about Esther’s commitment to God. Thanks be to God that Jonathan Edwards saw the importance of educating his daughters! The Missionary – “Truth Compelled Us” Adoniram and Ann Judson (1789-1826), pioneer missionaries to Burma, were a key source of inspiration for the modern missionary movement. In addition to their stalwart service in a field that yielded much trouble and little fruit, the record of their commitment to expressing the truth of Scripture is inspiring. Ann’s letters document the struggle to learn Burmese, and her testimony of faithfulness ends with her final words on this earth begin spoken in Burmese. The Novelist – “The Value of that Holy Religion” With her books being made into movies, Jane Austen (1775-1817) has become a well-known literary figure, but few have documented the deep Christian convictions that lay behind her creative work. With a father, two brothers, and various other relatives employed as ministers, she was uniquely qualified to write with humor about the ridiculous Rev. Collins and to put words of wisdom about pastoral ministry into the mouth of Edmund of Mansfield Park who asserts that a minister: “has the charge of all that is of the first importance to mankind . . .” Jane did not consider herself an evangelical and was uncomfortable with overt displays of religion that characterized the ministry of Hannah More. Her private but sincere faith was expressed in written prayers and in the Christian virtues that were lauded by the characters in her novels. No matter what role women choose today — with all our glorious freedom of choice and our comfortable lifestyle to make it so — there is inspiration in Eight Women of Faith. In her foreword, Karen Swallow Prior describes Haykin’s eight portraits as a demonstration of “how their faith informed, shaped, and fulfilled their earthly callings.” Women of Faith, may it be so of us today! // This book was provided by Crossway in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tori Samar

    A readable little series of vignettes about eight Christian women—Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter, Anne Dutton, Sarah Edwards, Anne Steele, Esther Edwards Burr, Ann Judson, and Jane Austen—who lived and left their mark on the world during the 16th to 19th centuries. Although his chapters are short, Haykin is generous in scope, picking women with varying roles and vocations, such as queen, wife, hymn writer, author, and missionary. I'd call this a good place to start if you want a basic overview of wh A readable little series of vignettes about eight Christian women—Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter, Anne Dutton, Sarah Edwards, Anne Steele, Esther Edwards Burr, Ann Judson, and Jane Austen—who lived and left their mark on the world during the 16th to 19th centuries. Although his chapters are short, Haykin is generous in scope, picking women with varying roles and vocations, such as queen, wife, hymn writer, author, and missionary. I'd call this a good place to start if you want a basic overview of who these women were and what they are remembered for. Admittedly though, this book wasn't nearly long enough for me. I'd be happy to read a full-length biography on any of these women, I think! I should also mention that I'm still on the fence about Haykin's inclusion of Jane Austen. The best thing he can give us to demonstrate her faith is a prayer that she wrote. Sure, it uses plenty of the right theological jargon, but the closest she gets to any discussion of salvation or the gospel is with the phrase "the redemption of the world" (?). There's no mention anywhere of Jesus Christ, the cross, grace, faith, etc. So, in my opinion at least, I'm not comfortable saying, "Yes, Jane Austen was a genuine Christian." (Read for the 2017 Tim Challies Christian Reading Challenge: A book published by Crossway)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Becky B

    Short biographies of eight women from the 1500s-1800s who left legacies of Christian faith in their conduct, writings, or writings of others. Each chapter looks at the woman, gives a quick overview of her life, and then looks at primary sources that indicate an area in which she left a great legacy as a Christian woman whether it be as an apologist like Jane Grey or hymn writer like Anne Steele. The women included are: Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter, Anne Dutton, Sarah Edwards, Anne Steele, Esther E Short biographies of eight women from the 1500s-1800s who left legacies of Christian faith in their conduct, writings, or writings of others. Each chapter looks at the woman, gives a quick overview of her life, and then looks at primary sources that indicate an area in which she left a great legacy as a Christian woman whether it be as an apologist like Jane Grey or hymn writer like Anne Steele. The women included are: Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter, Anne Dutton, Sarah Edwards, Anne Steele, Esther Edwards Burr, Ann Judson, and Jane Austen. This is a little more scholarly in writing style than most Christian biographies, so it isn't the easiest read. Also, when you have primary source quotes from the 1500s it helps to have read broadly and know archaic meanings of words like meet. It is uncommon to read biographies of women from this long ago, so I found each of the reads fascinating and informative. Especially learning about Christian life in the 1500s and 1600s in England was eye-opening. It's a good read, but not necessarily an easy one. Notes on content: No language or sexual content. Some deaths from disease and Jane Grey's beheading somewhat described but not gorily.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shell

    18. A book that's a journal/memoir - 8 Women of Faith - Michael A. G. Haykin I was really looking forward to this book but was overall underwhelmed. Instead of reading like a book it was more like a collection of essays (which was actually the author's intention and is fine of course) I just didn't like it. It made the book feel disjointed and the women had no real common theme apart for the fact they were all christian (and women) What are you trying to say about Christian women throughout out t 18. A book that's a journal/memoir - 8 Women of Faith - Michael A. G. Haykin I was really looking forward to this book but was overall underwhelmed. Instead of reading like a book it was more like a collection of essays (which was actually the author's intention and is fine of course) I just didn't like it. It made the book feel disjointed and the women had no real common theme apart for the fact they were all christian (and women) What are you trying to say about Christian women throughout out the ages? Are you making a point about what impact these women have?... etc Each was a stand alone rather than a contributing factor in the authors point in the book. The most disjointing thing was that the essays are written in different styles, I assume due to what information was available about that person. A few of the the women were defiantly more interesting than others to read about, Jane Grey, Ann Judson and Jane Austen. Others were cringe worthy, just their husband's accounts of them, it felt like the author was struggling to come up with 8 different women.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Crouch

    This is quite an interesting little book presenting the stories of 8 women of faith and their affect on History. Included are Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter (wife of Richard Baxter), Anne Dutton (Author), Sarah Edwards (wife of Jonathan Edwards), Anne Steele (Hymn Writer), Esther Edwards Burr (daughter of Jonathan Edwards), Ann Judson (missionary and wife of Adoniram Judson) and Jane Austen (renowned novelist). What makes the stories even more fascinating is that they are throughout the 16th to This is quite an interesting little book presenting the stories of 8 women of faith and their affect on History. Included are Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Baxter (wife of Richard Baxter), Anne Dutton (Author), Sarah Edwards (wife of Jonathan Edwards), Anne Steele (Hymn Writer), Esther Edwards Burr (daughter of Jonathan Edwards), Ann Judson (missionary and wife of Adoniram Judson) and Jane Austen (renowned novelist). What makes the stories even more fascinating is that they are throughout the 16th to 18th Centuries - not eras known for their opportunities for women, and sadly neither are the histories of women readily available. So this was quite an enjoyable if somewhat brief journey into the lives of 8 women of long, but not that long, ago.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Jones

    A great look into some wonderful godly women of history. Each chapter serves as a mini-biography. I won’t lie, the first chapter was a tearjerker for me, and made me question why the author would put the most compelling chapter at the front of the book. Regardless, the other chapters are good if less emotionally relatable. The author tries to arrange the book around a specific attribute of each woman, but I found that the chapters about Anne Steele, which was supposed to be about her hymn writin A great look into some wonderful godly women of history. Each chapter serves as a mini-biography. I won’t lie, the first chapter was a tearjerker for me, and made me question why the author would put the most compelling chapter at the front of the book. Regardless, the other chapters are good if less emotionally relatable. The author tries to arrange the book around a specific attribute of each woman, but I found that the chapters about Anne Steele, which was supposed to be about her hymn writing, and Esther Edwards Burr, focusing on her “biblical friendship,” were not as focused as the other chapters and ended of being seemingly a bunch of facts about each woman thrown together.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    A book of this nature, biographical sketches of several people in one volume, is difficult to review. Some chapters are better-written and more informative than others. For example, the story of Lady Jane Grey was very interesting and encouraging. Other chapters, such as Sarah Edwards and Ann Judson, spent almost as much time discussing the men who influenced the lady's life as actually telling about the subject of the chapter! For this, Michael Haykin loses two stars; but it's still worth readi A book of this nature, biographical sketches of several people in one volume, is difficult to review. Some chapters are better-written and more informative than others. For example, the story of Lady Jane Grey was very interesting and encouraging. Other chapters, such as Sarah Edwards and Ann Judson, spent almost as much time discussing the men who influenced the lady's life as actually telling about the subject of the chapter! For this, Michael Haykin loses two stars; but it's still worth reading this book. P.S. The chapter on Jane Austen contains at least one factual inaccuracy.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Norm Konzelman

    Seemed like well written short reports on the lives of 8 remarkable women, as opposed to the hearing you wish for that would allow you to know them in a way. I almost quit reading this book at the introduction. The author strongly injects (it seemed to me), the deceptive heresy of feminism. Though he claims a Southern Baptist heritage, this feminism is not addressed biblically and could well lead away from the will of God. If the women written about are of interest to you, and they should be, you Seemed like well written short reports on the lives of 8 remarkable women, as opposed to the hearing you wish for that would allow you to know them in a way. I almost quit reading this book at the introduction. The author strongly injects (it seemed to me), the deceptive heresy of feminism. Though he claims a Southern Baptist heritage, this feminism is not addressed biblically and could well lead away from the will of God. If the women written about are of interest to you, and they should be, you can find much fuller and better sources elsewhere.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Norman

    I bought this book because of a podcast recommendation. I was excited to learn about early women in the faith. I should have listened to the reviews I read before buying. This book was dry. Some parts were interesting, and I learned but it seemed so many women were described in the shadow of their husbands. I did appreciate Ann Judson being the one who first began a translation of the Bible into one of the Thai languages and the chapter on Jane Austen was interesting. But outside of a seminary c I bought this book because of a podcast recommendation. I was excited to learn about early women in the faith. I should have listened to the reviews I read before buying. This book was dry. Some parts were interesting, and I learned but it seemed so many women were described in the shadow of their husbands. I did appreciate Ann Judson being the one who first began a translation of the Bible into one of the Thai languages and the chapter on Jane Austen was interesting. But outside of a seminary class where your learning church history I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I enjoyed this book a lot and it made me want to read more biographies. I was especially fascinated reading about Margaret Baxter, as there are some parallels between her life and mine. I appreciated how the author wove historical context into each woman's story. The only downside was the author's strong Baptist bias in the chapter on Ann Judson (and since I'm Reformed Presbyterian, I obviously differ with him). I enjoyed this book a lot and it made me want to read more biographies. I was especially fascinated reading about Margaret Baxter, as there are some parallels between her life and mine. I appreciated how the author wove historical context into each woman's story. The only downside was the author's strong Baptist bias in the chapter on Ann Judson (and since I'm Reformed Presbyterian, I obviously differ with him).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    Haykin's novel was a quick and inspirational read that concisely shows the lives of 8 women. The selection of quotes was well balanced with other material. The historical context comprised about half of each woman's section with the second half being primarily devoted to their faith. While by no means intensive, the book is a quick and easy to read insight into these women's lives. Haykin's novel was a quick and inspirational read that concisely shows the lives of 8 women. The selection of quotes was well balanced with other material. The historical context comprised about half of each woman's section with the second half being primarily devoted to their faith. While by no means intensive, the book is a quick and easy to read insight into these women's lives.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was disappointed in this book. I appreciate the topic but it was such a dry presentation. How in the world does one allow any of these women to appear boring, especially Jane Grey and Jane Austen? I have read many historical books that I had to practically speed-read to get to the end, although I knew the conclusion before I picked up the book This book is boring!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruthe Turner

    I love to read Christian biographies and to grow in my faith as I learn their stories. But for me, there were too many long quotes in this book and not enough biographical information - for example, Ann Judson's story seemed more about convincing us of the merits of Baptism by immersion than writing about the life and sacrifices of this amazing pioneer missionary. I love to read Christian biographies and to grow in my faith as I learn their stories. But for me, there were too many long quotes in this book and not enough biographical information - for example, Ann Judson's story seemed more about convincing us of the merits of Baptism by immersion than writing about the life and sacrifices of this amazing pioneer missionary.

  29. 5 out of 5

    HEATHER WILKINS

    I haven't studied a lot of history, so I learnt plenty from this book. I enjoyed the first chapter the most. I was fascinated by Jane Grey's story. I loved the way she clearly outlined fundamental truths we now take for granted. I haven't studied a lot of history, so I learnt plenty from this book. I enjoyed the first chapter the most. I was fascinated by Jane Grey's story. I loved the way she clearly outlined fundamental truths we now take for granted.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abby D. Jones

    Another wonderful set of biographies of christian women serving the church with their gifts. Lady Jane Gray was probably my favorite, and Jane Austin...and Anne Steele. It was nice to read about Esther Edwards Burr again. Excellent for any woman of any age.

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