Kelly Ladd Bishop

Exploring issues of faith, culture, and spirituality with a focus on women in the church and world

A Review of Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife by Ruth A. Tucker

A Review of Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife by Ruth A. Tucker


Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife is Dr. Ruth Tucker’s story of living in, and escaping from domestic violence.

Dr. Tucker recounts her story of living in the prison of domestic violence and abuse, but this book is so much more than just her personal story. She begins with a call to move beyond debates about scriptural interpretation, and to allow people’s stories to speak wisdom and truth into the discussion. And that is exactly what this book does.

Dr. Tucker tells, not only her own story, but she weaves in those of many other women and men along the way, using these stories to speak to the theological debate. I can’t help but be reminded of Jesus teaching through parables, as Dr. Tucker walks through the real life examples of the effects of male headship theology on the lives of many.

She isn’t afraid to look at the historical church, to examine cultural influences, and to wade through the murky gray areas, and she does so with grace. She is never heavy handed, she just honestly questions, studies, and relates the impact of male headship on women in the church.

This book highlights the tactics of abusers, the way theology can be used to manipulate and control women, and the way churches have failed time and time again to respond correctly.

But it is not hopeless.

Ultimately it is a book about finding hope, healing, and the strength and beauty of mutuality.

I hope that any person in an abusive marriage or an abusive church situation would take wisdom and strength from this book, and seek help from trained caring and supportive professionals.

To anyone in an abusive situation, this is my personal plea to you: Get help. In the U.S. there is The National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you fear your browser history is being tracked, you can call them at 1-800-799-7233. Find a local women’s shelter. Tell a trusted friend. Just get help. And if anyone counsels you to pray through it or to submit to the abuse in anyway, walk away from that person and get help elsewhere. Because this is not what God wants for you.

Ruth Tucker gives us all strength through her strength, and gives us wisdom through the wisdom of her story. Her honesty is not only eye opening, but helpful. I hope many women are freed and strengthened by this book, and that it opens the eyes of those in the church who are tacitly supporting this systemic abuse of women. May it be a force for truth and freedom in Christ.





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