Dreams of a Woman by Sharon Jaynes

I have not actually read this entire book. Someone read it and gave me the information contained in this review. I took the book and verified the information only. That is why this review will be a facts based review and much less opinionated….

One current trend that I do disagree with is the regular use of pop-culture for support instead of the Bible. Jaynes assumes that her audience is familiar with movies such as “Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood (p. 96)� and “The Legend of Bagger Vance (pp. 184-86).� 2 Peter 1:3 proclaims that we can find everything that we need for life and godliness in Scripture. External sources can be useful as support, but not as the only proof. Particularly problematic from my point of view is the implicit understanding that theater attendance is fine for the Believer. Such attendance is marginal at best. Jaynes does use TV in a productive way (p. 15) as she describes the change in philosophy from “Leave It to Beaver� to the “Simpsons.� She uses Madonna as an example (p. 60) though I suspect that she could have chosen a better example. When Jaynes quotes John Eldredge’s Epic on page 43, she chose a great piece. Now, I understand why some Christians would find this offensive, but all in all, I found it quite interesting. Eldredge wrote about salvation in terms of the Cinderella story. He explains that Cinderella would never have made it out of the ash heap without the help of her fairy godmother. In a similar fashion, believers will never make it out of the trash heap of sin, until God draws us out by His power, changes us, and makes us fit to marry the Prince. Because of the nature of the Jaynes’ subject matter, which is dreams and fairy tale ideas from childhood, the allusions to fairy tales are used, but with taste.

I do disagree with her endorsements. She endorses Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) with Bob Carlisle’s song “Butterfly Kisses.� She follows that up with the lyrics of several other songs. Sadly, she does not reference the “weightier� texts of the Wesleys and Crosby. Even the Jars of Clay, with whom I would normally disagree, are returning to the older texts. They believe that the church today needs to remember the theology in the old songs. With her endorsements, Jaynes demonstrates support for Jill Briscoe (p. 126), Anne Graham Lotz (p. 139), Larry Crabb (p. 159), Billy Graham and Charles Stanley (p. 213) and Beth Moore repeatedly. On page 151, she endorses ecumenicalism.

Lest I be unfair, let me state that the book has some valid points in its favor. For starters, I do not disparage her approach to the subject. From a man’s perspective, it seems that many if not most women have had or do still have dreams of being a princess and living a fairytale life. Targeting that point brings an instant connection with her intended audience. The study guide has value for someone who is somewhat grounded in the Word of God. It could be used as a personal refresher in things that you have already learned. I believe that the book lacks substance in many areas. Often she raises questions without giving answers. Each chapter seems to be a collection of stories and thoughts on a certain common dream of women. Beyond that, it does not seem to answer much except to give a warm and fuzzy feeling.

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