Why Made For More?

Made For More by Hannah AndersonIf you're a regular reader of Sometimes A Light, you probably know that I have my first book coming out soon. I'm not sure how you could miss it given the constant stream of Twitter and Facebook updates and the fact that my mother has actually replaced her Facebook profile with an image of the book. (Thanks, Mom!)  Entering this process, my three biggest fears were:

  1. Starting a book that I would not be able to finish.
  2. Writing a book that even I would not want to read.
  3. Writing a book that would end up in The Dollar Tree.

We’ll have to see what happens with #3, but as far as the first two, let me say that God has been faithful. I. actually. wrote. a. book. And not just any book but a book about a topic I love: How does the truth of being made in God’s image change our daily lives?

As excited as I am, a funny thing has happened. When you spend this much time with a subject, it’s easy to forget that others haven’t. When you become so familiar with your book, it’s easy to forget that very few people have even read it yet. Your own paradigm has shifted and you actually begin to forget why you wrote it in the first place.

But recently I read several blog posts that reminded me why I did. 

The posts themselves weren’t in any way earth-shattering. They were basic defenses of conservative positions about gender and marriage. In one post, the writer rooted his arguments in Genesis 2, and not surprisingly, those who disagreed with him were quick to point to other Scripture that seemed to contradict his applications. It’s the kind of debate that has dominated the church for decades, and with the advent of the internet, has been multiplied thousands of times over.

So what was significant about these conversations? These conversations reminded of how quickly we all—conservatives and progressives alike—miss the big picture. They reminded me of how quickly we give lip service toimago dei but then root our definitions of human flourishing in very secular notions of personhood, calling, and identity. They reminded me of how essential it is to start at the beginning.

I am convinced that we cannot understand the lives we lead and the choices we make if we do not first understand what it means to be image bearers. Simply put, we cannot understand what is happening in Genesis 2 (or any other text) if we don’t first unpack Genesis 1. To do this, imago dei must become more than a caveat or a starting point.Imago dei must become the paradigm by which we understand the entirety of the human experience.

>Think about how the conversation would change if a woman’s calling were not defined primarily by a man's identity but by God’s identity.

>Think about how the conversation would change if the ability to give birth were not simply about producing offspring but about sacrificing our bodies to produce new life—the same way Jesus Christ did.

>Think about how the conversation would change if we realized that all work is defined by working like God does, whether that happens in an office, a school cafeteria, or a subdivision.

>Think about how the conversation would change if education became less about preparing for a career (whether it be mothering or accounting) and more about being image bearers of the divine Logos, the source of all thought and wisdom Himself!

Next Tuesday, Moody Publishers will release Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image. Made for More is not a theological treatise. It is not a defense of a specific position on womanhood or family structure. It is, in fact, not even an academic book. Instead, Made for More is for those of us who have been caught in the middle, those of us who feel like the current conversations miss the larger point--even if we don't always know what that is.

It is for the mama who’s lost herself in the midst of dishes and diapers. It is for the single woman who doubts her worth because she isn’t married or a mother. It is for pastors and counselors who are guiding the rest of us to the abundant life in Christ. And it is for my brothers who, whether they realize it or not, have an invested stake in the lives of their fellow image bearers.

In this sense, Made for More is an invitation to fundamentally change the way we think about ourselves.

Over the next several weeks, I hope to write more about it. If you’d like to join the conversation, please comment here, share these posts, or write your own! (File under #madeformore.) If you’d like to review Made for More or host a giveaway, contact me at hannah(dot)anderson(at)live(dot)com. It's also available on Net Galley for review.

So why Made for More? Well, I'll let the book speak for itself:

"If we are to find any lasting stability in this life, if we are to really answer the question: "Who am I and why am I here?" we must move past these categories--we must stop talking simply in terms of home vs. career; we must dig deeper than biology or gifting. We must find something more stable, more fixed, more permanent on which to base our sense of self. We must find a North Star. And not simply because our circumstances change, but because we ourselves are more than the roles we play in this present world. We are large, deep, eternal beings, and only something larger and deeper and more eternal will satisfy the questions in our souls."

We are made for more.