October 5, 2009

Sacred Friendships- A Book Review

A voice to the voiceless.

Throughout the history of the church, men have most often been the voice of church movement, change, and progression. We read about the greats such as Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Edwards, Whitfield, and the Wesley brothers…to name a few. Volumes are written about their lives and ministry, theologies are formed around their sermons, and whole denominations are based on their teachings concerning the roles and functions of the church.

Yet behind every strong voice there must lay a strong heart.

Beneath the sermons there must rest a loving soul.

And beside the resounding mesh of corporate change there must stand a mindful, individual ministry.

And this is where we have silenced the heart, soul, and mind of over half of our venerable ecclesiology…the voice of women in the history of soul care and spiritual direction.

The noble task of giving back a voice is the heart and soul of Dr. Bob Kellemen and Susan Ellis’ new book Sacred Friendships. Their work has over 50 stories of historical women of the faith, who practiced the art of counseling both the suffering and the sinning in ways that are still echoing through the annals of time. Sacred Friendships does more than simply teach on the role of women in historical counseling, it also helps us train our ears to hear the beautiful narratives of brave souls and learn from their ministries of grace and truth.

God designed both men and women in His image and likeness. Within their core gender distinctives, He has placed a picture of who He is and what He is about. We call this the imago dei. Too often, the church has relied on only the male personalities and perspectives to express the Divine Personhood. The imago dei has been shackled and chained to only show the masculine image, while excluding the feminine proclamation of the nature and character of God in the process.

Through the exposition of these women heroes of the faith, Kellemen and Ellis have shown how the image of God is displayed in the unique and distinctive ways that only the feminine ministry of soul care and spiritual direction can show. They have started bridging the gap of history and reality by including a whole other section of our “great cloud of witnesses,” and have given them a voice.

These women have stood upon the stage of history for centuries with a message and a model. They have watched from the gates of heaven for generation after generation in eager anticipation, ready to proclaim again the beauty of God through the retelling of their stories. And now, we are here to look upon their platform and learn from their ministry.

What Kellemen and Ellis have done is to simply turn the lights on, to shine the spotlight on these women heroes, and most importantly…to switch on the megaphone for these women to shout to our modern era the glory of God through their testimonies and ministry to the hurting, the sinning, and the helpless.

They have been given their voice back.

Will you listen to their stories?

Dr. Kellemen can be reached at: rpm.ministries@gmail.com
A free sample chapter of Sacred Friendships is available at:
Sacred Friendships is on sale at 40% off for $12.99 at:
To learn more about RPM Ministries, please visit:


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