On My Shelf helps you get to know several writers via a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives as readers.

I asked Abigail Dodds—graduate student at Bethlehem College and Seminary and author of (A)Common Lady: Cost-free, Complete, and Named in Christ (study TGC’s critique)—about what’s on her nightstand, her favored fiction, books that have most influenced her considering about gender, and far more.


What books are on your nightstand?

I at the moment do not have a nightstand, but if you want to know what books pile up at the finish of my bed these days, it is largely all reading for the master’s plan I’m in at Bethlehem College and Seminary. That indicates:

I’m definitely enjoying the New Testament theology book––the Greek, a tiny much less so. More than the final couple of months some of the standouts have been:

And of course the best of the list is the Bible. We study the Old Testament in eight weeks final semester and are now reading the New in nine weeks. It is been a gigantic blessing to be assigned that pace of reading God’s Word.

What are your favored fiction books?

Largely children’s books:

These get inside of me and stick about. I’ve listened to The Chronicles with my little ones dozens of occasions.

Dostoevsky’s The Idiot is poignant and my favored Russian novel. Adam Bede and Middlemarch by Mary Anne Evans (who wrote below the pen name George Eliot) are outstanding operates that I’ve returned to generally more than the years. I’m a Jane Austen fan––Eleanor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility is my favored character of Austen’s. The Kristin Lavransdatter Trilogy by Sigrid Undset is a lesser-recognized collection I study in college, and I’m glad I did. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Frankenstein by Mary Shelly, and Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift are all significant books that sharpen and enable you to dig for truth. I’m confident I’m missing some significant favorites, but that is a smattering.

What books have most influenced your considering about gender?

This is a difficult query. Some of the books that influenced my considering did so in a damaging sense. I will not give you a list of them. But right here is the most significant optimistic a single: Colossians. It is not a book about gender per se it is about Christ’s supremacy. But it entirely re-oriented my view of gender, mainly because I began seeing gender as from and for Christ. It created me rethink the standard method of beginning in Genesis to recognize male and female, with the emphasis on finding back to what need to have been. With out Christ at the heart of our understanding of male and female, we’ll know what we ought to be, but we’ll be powerless to be what we ought. We have to have Christ and the renewed eyes he provides us just before we can make suitable sense of Genesis and suitable sense of the telos of male and female. Colossians helped me move previous attempting to recreate “what need to have been” for human flourishing to what is and what will be, which is not specifically the similar as what was.

With out Christ at the heart of our understanding of male and female, we’ll know what we ought to be, but we’ll be powerless to be what we ought.

The fictional characters of Lucy, Susan, and Polly in The Chronicles of Narnia, as properly as Leeli and specially Nia in The Wingfeather Saga, painted valuable portraits for me. Along these lines, biblical narratives about females remind me that females are place in incredibly distinctive situations in life. That indicates we apply the similar Christlike principles to distinctive situations, and we finish up with females who are undertaking incredibly distinctive issues (eg., Jael with the tent peg, Priscilla instructing Apollos alongside her husband, Abigail interceding to undo the foolishness of her wicked husband, Sarah obeying Abraham, the midwives disobeying Pharaoh).

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs and The History of Mary Prince are each significant historical operates that I’ve returned to. They remind me, like the Scriptures, that we do not chose our situations in life and that if our gospel does not transcend circumstances––if it only applies to wealthy females in the West––it is no gospel at all.

Elisabeth Elliot’s Let Me Be a Lady is incisive and characteristically straight-shooting, as are all her other books. She models what becoming a robust Christian lady appears like. Very same with Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Spot and lots of missionary biographies.

What’s the final good book you study?

That word “great” is tripping me up a bit, mainly because I automatically consider of time-tested classics. But the final good present book I study was Joe Rigney’s Lewis on the Christian Life. There’s a chapter in there on “the choice” that is worth the cost of admission. It created me want to study far more Lewis and be far more totally human like Christ.

What’s a single book you want each and every pastor study?

I want each and every pastor would be forced to study a single of the women’s bestsellers in the “Christian” book category (which might imply they’re buying a coloring book). I want each and every pastor had a firsthand taste of what passes for women’s Christian books in the broader evangelical culture and realized how lots of females in their congregation are reading these books—the similar females who are coaching up the subsequent generation to trust and obey Christ. And I want they’d recognize what these of us laboring amongst females are definitely up against—it’s a nasty dragon of false teaching that tells females to adhere to their sickly hearts and chase their anemic worldly dreams rather than losing their lives and gaining Christ and, along with him, all the things (Rom. eight:32).

What are you finding out about life and following Jesus?

I’m finding out that becoming Christ’s ambassador indicates producing definitely confident I’m saying what he would have me say, and not what I would say in my flesh or merely providing my opinion. And I’m finding out that I’m prone each to cowardice (refusing to speak the truth mainly because I’m afraid men and women will not like what I say) and also to ramming the truth down people’s throats (speaking without having really like compelling me). He’s teaching me that living for the approval of men and women is essentially living to please self.

But when we reside to please God, we stroll in accurate freedom. In other words, he’s teaching me what he’s often been teaching me: to trust him far more. Trust him with my youngsters, my life, my trials, my hopes, my words, all the things. Trust that his methods are often much better than the pathetic and deadly inclinations of sin. Trust that he is functioning when I cannot see it. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be satisfied in Jesus but to trust and obey.”