Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Book Review: So Much More, by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
When this book was published several years back, I knew it was a good one. Besides being a "follower" of Vision Forum and their ministry, I had serious interests in this book for apparent reasons. Though some may claim it is geared solely for ladies, I was still very interested in this book that, to me, looked like an excellent anti-feminism work.
Now that I've finally gotten around to reading it, what I got was...well, sorry to sound so cliche, but it really was "so much more"!
First, before continuing, I'd like to encourage (No, exhort!) every single reader here to go and get this book and read it. This is not merely a book for little girls, or perhaps mothers. This is a book for them, yes, but it is also a book for all ladies, and even all men. This is a book for every single Christian who wishes to change the culture, inside out, and who wishes to subdue the Earth to the majesty of our King, Jesus Christ.
The book itself was extremely well-written, organized in chapters by subject, with related topics discussed in sections inside these chapters. At the end of the book, we have an excellent interview with the Botkin girls and their father, Geoff (I enjoyed this immensely, as it gave us a direct manly view of the book's purpose and thrust), and another highlight is a section of damning quotes straight from the mouths of feminist leaders. (I would remind everyone that this is not a book dealing only with feminism--it deals with the whole issue of how young ladies are to live biblically. It isn't a defensive book, it's a direct offense, and this is exactly the kind of stuff we need, ladies and gentleman!)
Covering topics ranging from marriage, courtship and chastity, fathers and the family, male headship and authority, work, education, problems with today's culture and even our churches, and a host of other issues, one would not err in calling this a manual for a young Christian woman. It's really very difficult for me to describe this book without saying, "Read it for yourself, read it, read it, read it!"
It is true: reading this book tempts one to hold the position that the Botkin sisters must be some of the most Godly young ladies on the face of this earth, but no, this book is not meant to make people feel "bad" or somehow lesser. While, of course, following our Heavenly Father in righteousness will sometimes be associated with guilt as we leave our sinful ways (and therefore only because of sin), the brightness of the future should overshadow and overcome this. (Also, solutions are provided for girls who have led previous lives without Christian purity, and at least some ideas are provided for dealing with fathers who forsake their daughters--father/daughter relationships being the forefront topic here. Also of interest was the proposition that, if a suitable father figure was not available either by physical lack or complete abdication on the part of the biological father, a responsible brother could "take the place" of the father, or perhaps another father figure, or even an entire family if the girl is completely kinless.)
Let's make one thing clear right here: if you aren't willing to be challenged, to have your mind work like mad, or you aren't willing to shed the comfortable blanket of worldliness, you won't like this book. This book will seriously, seriously challenge you, more than likely (as it did somewhat for me in places, I'll admit). While I believe in what the Botkins, and of course publisher Vision Forum, believes (deeply so), I would not have anyone take the position that I'm passing this book off as anything akin to inspired Scripture. As any work penned by the hand of man, we must be willing to acknowledge shortcomings in even our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. That somewhat unnecessarily said, I didn't have any direct conflict with the beliefs of these ladies (of course having become a "follower of the movement" already, so-to-speak). If anything, a tiny handful of comments made me at least think through things a little bit (and I don't think I'm bound by some great law to agree to every single tiny little comment), but to be fair they were more comments than points, and they must've been very, very insignificant as I can't seem to remember a single one of them!
As to manliness, I have to say, I really want guys to read this book as well! While upon completion of this work I was very enthusiastic about the need for a direct man's "version" of this book, young men can still benefit enormously from So Much More. This book acknowledges that God designed men as leaders, protectors, and warriors (in fact it would seem that the Botkin sisters understand the role of manhood far better than the vast majority of males out there today). I found I could easily change perspectives and follow the points and discussions from a masculine point of view. (The one thing I would add to all of this, however, is that as protectors of our women, this also means that we are to protect them physically, and with lethal force if necessary. Translated into Spencer-ese: This means that we blow bullet holes into the skulls of anyone that even thinks of touching our ladies. *halo* :-D)
This book has attained a popularity inside our small "circle" that is well deserved! (I'm incredibly interested in seeing their film now, as well as checking out the soundtrack!) As you can tell, I can't recommend it enough. It is not my purpose here to recap all the points and positions made in the book; it is merely my purpose to give a truthful review (Which can only lead me to grant an official endorsement!), and in turn this of course means I am feeling that this is a very inadequate analysis I am providing here for you.
Now, I will offer my readers three different ways to go out and purchase this book.
1) from Vision Forum's website
2) from my Amazon store
3) by donating to Jennie Chancey's Ladies Against Feminism (which is where I obtained this copy)
4) from the Botkin sisters' own website, Visionarydaughters.com
5) or, as a last resort, if you honestly cannot afford to purchase the book at the moment, leave me a comment with your email address (which I will keep private) and I will get you a copy myself
Like Deborah (the real Deborah, not the feminized poster girl of today), the Botkin sisters are hard at work, exhorting the leaders to war with all courage and righteousness. You read about great revivals in your history books and you think it's just in the past? In the name of Jesus Christ, Lord, Savior and King, and semper reformanda, it is time to change the world.
If you're ready for a book that will bring you into the fight, that will give you a great vision for Christ, and may just be lifechanging for you, then you had better read So Much More. It's time we left the culture of worldly, college de-educated, sexualized, global citizen thinking and Godless womanhood behind. Our ladies were designed for something something more...so much more.