Final Thoughts on “Girl, Wash Your Face”

Sep 18, 2018 | Article, Uncategorized | 74 comments

Okay, I must level with you. I intended to write this review in four parts, because I felt the popularity of the book demanded a certain kind of careful attention.

Now that I have read the book I can see that I was incorrect.

And perhaps this might come across as hyperbolic, but there’s a much more likely chance that what I’m about to write is actually euphemistic.

Satan loves this book. I mean, for sure, if he reads it, he’d recommend it to you. And he would hope that you would follow it’s advice. Stick with me, please, because I care for your soul.

A lot of women will be picking up this book (and books like it) with the recognition that they have a lot of face-washing to do. And why do you wash your face? Well, it’s dirty, of course! Maybe it’s dirty from a long day with kids and many tears. You lost a relative, a job, a spouse, your keys (for the millionth time) and you didn’t buy waterproof mascara. There are any number of reasons why your face might need a good wash, and I’m not convinced that Hollis didn’t mean to write a book on her skincare routine and accidently started telling us about her UTI’s and “howler monkey” sex-life, misguidedly thinking that in sharing her foibles, she might be helping someone.

The thing is, Hollis gives us a book full of confessions about her uninhibited anxiety, depression, disorders, poor choices, and sins. The woman details her penchant for having passions that are completely unbridled and damaging. She talks about trauma and abuse. A suicide in the family. She details heartaches and horrific scenarios with whimsy. What is her advice if you are also in any similar situation, if you find yourself dying of thirst in the middle of the sahara? Well Hollis over here, she wouldn’t hand you a cup of water. No. She would hand you a cup of sand.

So sisters, we have to talk. There’s only one reason why self-professing Christian women are flocking to this book, and it’s because there are people out there who believe a Christ-less Christianity is possible. Rachel has not turned from her sins to find life in Christ. She has turned to therapy, to “self-love”, to self-deception, to never letting the patriarchy get her down. To getting a tattoo so her pastor-dad couldn’t make her feel “small” anymore. Her “solutions” are not solutions—they are coping mechanisms for hopeless people. The Christianity she claims to believe is an add-on, a prop. It has nothing to do with how she views herself, her marriage, her children, or her “god”.

I intended to go chapter by chapter, but there’s nothing in this book’s pages that you can’t get from any lifestyle blog written by any pagan masking their paganism in the occasional Christianese with a wink. Her advice includes such brilliant, eye-opening, new sage advice like: wait as long as you can to have babies. Travel. Borrow someone else’s kids in case you’re feeling like maybe having one yourself. You can’t binge watch shows or spend 6 hours in Target anymore once you have them, so enjoy the good ole days! The enneagram is the best and will really help you understand your spouse. No matter how angry, downtrodden, lazy, or self-obsessed you are, it’s totally fine and normal. Just remember, you’re a beautiful jellyfish. Or something. God wants you to live your best life now! Go to church, or go to a yoga class, same difference. Befriend Muslims and Jedi’s (no, seriously, she said that) because all paths lead to God.

Ladies, you are being enticed. You are being tempted. Hollis’s life looks sparkly because sparkling things are meant to be attractive, but when glitter begins to peel, it’s just a nuisance. It stains. It ruins. It never, ever gets free from whatever it is stuck to. And here’s the thing, the thing that Rachel either doesn’t yet know or knew doesn’t sell well: slaves to sin cannot be free people. You are either a slave to sin, or you are a slave of Christ. If you spend your life chasing your own personal high, your next therapy appointment, your personal wish list of goals, you are not chasing Christ.

As my friend Cody Libolt said, “If your goal is to reach the world with a message of truth, then hedging on essentials will only slow you down and dilute your efforts.” But Hollis isn’t on the bestseller list because her book shares any great insight, wisdom, or truth. It’s because Hollis’s advice is wisdom to the world. It’s the best the world can offer. Here’s some therapy. Here’s a pill. Here’s some pretendy-God-talk. Feel better about yourself.

God has something to say about what kind of woman you are. What kind of mom you are. What kind of goal-achiever you should be. He says that you must lay down your life, take up your cross, and follow Him. God requires our obedience, and that is a truth that Hollis has not bowed down to.

In this path of life, there is fullness of joy. Joy for the brokenhearted, the wounded. The struggling wives and moms and single women. Joy for the sexually broken. Healing for the abused. Don’t turn to the wisdom of the world for fleeting joys that require a marathon-runner-like endurance to maintain day after day. That is what this book is. Rachel offers a sparkly works-righteousness that does not save. Don’t listen to Rachel. Your best self, your best life now is found on the wide road to hell. The message of the cross is foolishness to the world. Come, repent, and believe. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Okay, I must level with you. I intended to write this review in four parts, because I felt the popularity of the book demanded a certain kind of careful attention.

Now that I have read the book I can see that I was incorrect.

And perhaps this might come across as hyperbolic, but there’s a much more likely chance that what I’m about to write is actually euphemistic.

Satan loves this book. I mean, for sure, if he reads it, he’d recommend it to you. And he would hope that you would follow it’s advice. Stick with me, please, because I care for your soul.

A lot of women will be picking up this book (and books like it) with the recognition that they have a lot of face-washing to do. And why do you wash your face? Well, it’s dirty, of course! Maybe it’s dirty from a long day with kids and many tears. You lost a relative, a job, a spouse, your keys (for the millionth time) and you didn’t buy waterproof mascara. There are any number of reasons why your face might need a good wash, and I’m not convinced that Hollis didn’t mean to write a book on her skincare routine and accidently started telling us about her UTI’s and “howler monkey” sex-life, misguidedly thinking that in sharing her foibles, she might be helping someone.

The thing is, Hollis gives us a book full of confessions about her uninhibited anxiety, depression, disorders, poor choices, and sins. The woman details her penchant for having passions that are completely unbridled and damaging. She talks about trauma and abuse. A suicide in the family. She details heartaches and horrific scenarios with whimsy. What is her advice if you are also in any similar situation, if you find yourself dying of thirst in the middle of the sahara? Well Hollis over here, she wouldn’t hand you a cup of water. No. She would hand you a cup of sand.

So sisters, we have to talk. There’s only one reason why self-professing Christian women are flocking to this book, and it’s because there are people out there who believe a Christ-less Christianity is possible. Rachel has not turned from her sins to find life in Christ. She has turned to therapy, to “self-love”, to self-deception, to never letting the patriarchy get her down. To getting a tattoo so her pastor-dad couldn’t make her feel “small” anymore. Her “solutions” are not solutions—they are coping mechanisms for hopeless people. The Christianity she claims to believe is an add-on, a prop. It has nothing to do with how she views herself, her marriage, her children, or her “god”.

I intended to go chapter by chapter, but there’s nothing in this book’s pages that you can’t get from any lifestyle blog written by any pagan masking their paganism in the occasional Christianese with a wink. Her advice includes such brilliant, eye-opening, new sage advice like: wait as long as you can to have babies. Travel. Borrow someone else’s kids in case you’re feeling like maybe having one yourself. You can’t binge watch shows or spend 6 hours in Target anymore once you have them, so enjoy the good ole days! The enneagram is the best and will really help you understand your spouse. No matter how angry, downtrodden, lazy, or self-obsessed you are, it’s totally fine and normal. Just remember, you’re a beautiful jellyfish. Or something. God wants you to live your best life now! Go to church, or go to a yoga class, same difference. Befriend Muslims and Jedi’s (no, seriously, she said that) because all paths lead to God.

Ladies, you are being enticed. You are being tempted. Hollis’s life looks sparkly because sparkling things are meant to be attractive, but when glitter begins to peel, it’s just a nuisance. It stains. It ruins. It never, ever gets free from whatever it is stuck to. And here’s the thing, the thing that Rachel either doesn’t yet know or knew doesn’t sell well: slaves to sin cannot be free people. You are either a slave to sin, or you are a slave of Christ. If you spend your life chasing your own personal high, your next therapy appointment, your personal wish list of goals, you are not chasing Christ.

As my friend Cody Libolt said, “If your goal is to reach the world with a message of truth, then hedging on essentials will only slow you down and dilute your efforts.” But Hollis isn’t on the bestseller list because her book shares any great insight, wisdom, or truth. It’s because Hollis’s advice is wisdom to the world. It’s the best the world can offer. Here’s some therapy. Here’s a pill. Here’s some pretendy-God-talk. Feel better about yourself.

God has something to say about what kind of woman you are. What kind of mom you are. What kind of goal-achiever you should be. He says that you must lay down your life, take up your cross, and follow Him. God requires our obedience, and that is a truth that Hollis has not bowed down to.

In this path of life, there is fullness of joy. Joy for the brokenhearted, the wounded. The struggling wives and moms and single women. Joy for the sexually broken. Healing for the abused. Don’t turn to the wisdom of the world for fleeting joys that require a marathon-runner-like endurance to maintain day after day. That is what this book is. Rachel offers a sparkly works-righteousness that does not save. Don’t listen to Rachel. Your best self, your best life now is found on the wide road to hell. The message of the cross is foolishness to the world. Come, repent, and believe. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

SUMMER JAEGER

Summer Jaeger is the wife to one excellent man and a homeschooling mother of four. When she is not blogging or podcasting, she is perfecting the art of the slow-cooked meal and wishing she was taking long-ish walks on the beach.

@SummrWrites Facebook sheologiansblog@gmail.com

74 Comments

  1. Daniel Burton

    To be fair, I haven’t read the book (due to I am not the target market for this book). But it looks like it falls into the basic trap that humanity is mostly good and just needs a bit of cleaning from the yucky sin. The whole of the Gospel speaks to we are dead in our sin and need a Savior to take the burden of our sin and death upon Himself and give us a new heart, a new mind, and make us a new creation.

    Also, loved your point about joy. It seems like this book trades joy, which surpasses situation and roots itself in the saving grace of God, for happiness, which is largely situational and fleeting.

    I guess “Girl, You Are Totally Depraved” wouldn’t publish as well?

    Thanks for this! I know a few people who are considering going through this book and I will be sure and pass it on.

    Reply
  2. Elizabeth

    Thank you for taking the time to review this! I do have a hunger for reading Christian women’s books that address today’s issues, such as Rebekah Merkle’ s ‘Eve in Exile.’ Do you have any book or blog reccomends for Women’s encouragement and testimony (or even books dealing with the women of the bible and how better to understand their stories in scripture!) that are not just feministic and just plain pagan? Thanks 😊

    Reply
    • Jerica

      12 extraordinary women by John MacArthur is a great one!

      Reply
    • Rae

      I highly recommend Francine Rivers’ “Lineage of Grace”

      Reply
    • Carla

      My favorite Female Authors with Depth and understanding Mary Kassian, Nancy Pearcy, and especially Rosaria Butterfield.

      Reply
    • Rebekah

      Women Encouraged podcast is a Word-based resource that’s been an encouragement to me. If the blog is anything like the podcast, it should be good also.

      https://womenencouraged.ca/blog/

      Reply
      • Bethany

        Thanks for sharing, Rebekah. We really do want to faithfully point women to the Lord and encourage them to be shaped by his Word. Grateful for the work of Sheologians in this regard, as well. 🙂

        Reply
    • Jeannette

      Eight women of faith from the Old Testament, published by the good book company, is a Bible study rather than just a book, but it’s a great way to learn about them yourself.

      Reply
  3. Samantha Goldenberg

    This, yes this is so good!! Thank you so much Summer, appreciate you standing up for the gospel truths.

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    I have enjoyed your review of this book. Thank you for the bold honesty here. There is an epidemic of these types of books out there, and it is so concerning to me. Blessings to y’all!

    Reply
  5. Jennifer DeFrates

    I am so thankful for how boldly you’ve proclaimed these truths. So many women are arguing about how beneficial this book is, but all I see is how deceptive it is and how contra-Christ the messages are. Thank you for standing up for truth!

    Reply
  6. Brandalyn

    Amen and amen and amen. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Susan

    I LOVE how you boiled this down so succinctly —-and aptly drilled through to peel back the lies that are being showcased as “truth”. Praying eyes are **opened** to the actual Truth. Thanks for this review.

    Reply
  8. Meghan Prescott

    See, there’s this character we meet in the Bible that’s sparkly, shiny, and appears to be full of light. He was the most beautiful angel, and then he decided he should be in charge. He now roams around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour. But he’s tricksy in his ways, and this stuff is the kind of deception he uses in our day. We live in a time when discernment is frowned upon, and seen as legalism, predjudice, or judgementalism. Christless Christianity indeed. God have mercy on us, and open the eyes of the blind.

    Biblical wisdom is out of fashion in churchianity today. People just want their ears tickled, and to feel good about themselves and their choices. It’s worldly wisdom that will lead to death. Thanks for reading this drivel so we don’t have to.

    Reply
    • Sharon Wang

      **Like** your comment! @Meghan Prescott

      Reply
      • Darren

        “Stolen Jesus” by Jami Amerine

        Reply
  9. Rob Copeland

    Spot on. I had been seeing her(Hollis) popping up in various feeds all of a sudden. Having never heard of her I started digging around, and after one video on YouTube I whispered, “Oh no” to myself. She is deceiving so many of my sisters and so many more “almost Christians.” Thank you for your gospel centered denouncement.

    Reply
  10. Kate

    I’m pretty sure the only time she references Jesus is to take his name in vain.

    I can’t help but thing that the one or two statements on persistence (if I’m trying to strip mine this book for something) are only pertinent for people who would be ultravulnerable to the lies about identity.

    People are desperate for shake in your boots hard teaching, but the closest she gets is her title. And when she finally has a moment of straight talk (I think in the substance abuse section) , she negates herself to say the giant disclaimer of “you’re good where you’re at and accepted where you are.”

    The ear tickling is getting worse as books like this become more acclaimed. The acclaim itself is a hint something is wrong. :/

    Reply
  11. karen

    Thank you for speaking out the Truth!

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    YES YES YES. Absolutely yes. I loved your first review, and this one too. Jesus said “Repent! The kingdom is at hand.” We ought to emulate that ourselves. Anything less is silly. Bravo!

    Reply
  13. Florence Wright

    Wow, I thought my book reviews were rough and honest 🙂 Thank you for your honesty, there is WAAAAAY too much drivel out there disguising itself as Christian writing. (I have to admit, I do choose books that I don’t think will be THAT bad on purpose, to keep my blood pressure down. But occasionally I challenge myself, hoping it won’t be too bad, but alas …. it can be that bad 🙁

    Reply
  14. Lacey Ketelsen

    As a fairly new (almost 3yrs saved) Christian, I really struggle with the “His yoke is easy and His burden light” part. I know that God’s Word is true. I know that I’ve read that verse. But I still reside on the earth in this body with ~29 years of conditioning to believe I have to “achieve” and “strive to be ever-improving” and all the rest of the “perfectionist” disorder that I battle every single minute of every single day. I constantly feel like I’m not doing enough, like I’m not doing things right, and what DOES God want me to be doing, anyway? How do I know I’m not totally off track? I read my Bible. I pray constantly throughout he day to be used by Him. My husband and I study together. What does taking up my cross LOOK LIKE, from a practical standpoint? I WANT to be living in accordance with God’s will. I have repented and I’ve seen many sins eradicated from my life, and yet I feel more and more confused. I’m recently unemployed for the first time in my adult life, have applied for 40+ jobs, have had exactly zero responses or interviews, so maybe God wants me to be home and focus on sorting through this baggage and confusion?? I don’t know, but one thing I do know is that in my personal experience, the more I seek God and the more I intentionally focus on Christ, the more inadequate and unworthy I feel. My husband tells me that feelings are liars. He’s right. But that doesn’t make them go away. I say all of that to say that the burden feels heavy. Heavier and heavier every day.

    Reply
    • Katie Marvel

      You’re refreshingly honest. I feel this way, as well. You’re not alone. You asked, “What does God want me to be doing?” Following God’s will for your life means obeying His Word; follow Jesus and strive to be like Him. I’m sorry you are unable to find work. We are in a similar season–the full-time job my husband has isn’t sufficient to cover all our expenses, so he has taken a weekend job, which is challenging for our family. I must constantly remind myself that God will provide. We are called to not be anxious and to have faith in Him and His provision–both for our salvation and for our earthly needs. I encourage you to get involved in your church and look for a small group. Participating in a group has been encouraging and provides perspective. God is good and faithful.

      Reply
      • Lacey Ketelsen

        Katie, I’m sorry you’re also going through difficult times. I’m actually starting a small group tomorrow morning and really looking forward to it!!

        Reply
    • Moria

      Lacy,

      I just wanted to make sure you know that your feelings are not abnormal-you are not alone. Your post and the pure honesty behind it is like reading a post I would write currently. It sounds like we have similar testimonies as far as being new Christians in our adult lives. Even though I came to know Christ when I was 21 I still feel like a baby Christian. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t pretend to be perfect, but one thing I know is that believing in him doesn’t take away the hard stuff. More than once I’ve been angry with him, confused and frustrated. Doing everything “right” and feeling like he has left. I’m also in a huge season of waiting and one verse that keeps popping up is Exodus 14:14. “The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” He doesn’t want us to control everything, he wants us to trust he’s got everything under control. I’m trying not to let this reply get too long!

      Reply
      • Lacey Ketelsen

        Thank you, Moria! I’ll add that to my morning devotion tomorrow and be praying for you. Being still is something I don’t do well. I never have. Having scripture to fight the lies in my head will certainly help. I appreciate it!!

        Reply
    • Summer Jaeger

      Hi Lacey!

      Praise God that you have a husband who loves you and sounds like he is shepherding you! I am sorry to hear about the trials you are going through and I will be praying for you.

      You asked an EXCELLENT question: “What does taking up my cross look like?” I just want to recommend a few things. 1) Be sure that you are a part of a bible-preaching church that is discipling its people. Speak with your elders. Get involved. And 2) I highly recommend this sermon by Paul Washer because he talks about what it looks like to “abide in Christ.” I think it answers your question really well and is very encouraging 🙂 https://youtu.be/1UuYLsDO08Y

      Reply
      • Lacey Ketelsen

        Thank you, Summer! I sincerely appreciate it!

        Reply
    • Kate

      Lacey, this is why Christ puts us into community. To bear with another in love. The focus of God is just inward. It’s outward. Jesus told us that 2 greatest commandments are to love God and love people. Praying for you to find strength in weakness and beauty in your inadequacies.

      Reply
    • Janet Nix

      Lacey,

      I read your comment and feel your frustration because I have been where you are. You are trying desperately to do it right for God. The problem is that He never intended you to try and try and always feel like you don’t quite measure up. Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation now for those that are in Christ Jesus!” That is why Jesus had to die on that cross because we could never ever measure up. In taking up Christ’s yoke, God wants you to learn to be rather than to do, if that makes sense. Focus less on your behavior and more on your relationship with God. Read God’s Word not to see how you should act but read it to see how God feels about you and how scripture describes God. Notice all the promises in God’s Word. Start pondering these promises and think how they apply to you. Hebrews 13:5 says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful because He can’t deny Himself.” God’s faithfulness to you is not dependent on how well you perform. God wants you to get to know Him and His Word and over time as your relationship with Him grows, your walk will be from the overflow of your heart. I would suggest reading Psalms for a while. Over and over you read where David cries out to God and then he remembers who God is and how much God loves Him. God loves you unconditionally, Lacey. You can’t do anything to make him love you more or less. Jesus paid the price for your sins so that you can live free.

      Reply
    • Jessie

      Hey Lacey! Good news! You are exactly where you are suppose to be. You really are. God is 100% sovereign which means everything is happening within His Will. Nothing can stop Him. Psalm 135:6 “The LORD does whatever he pleases in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths.” and another, a portion of Daniel 4:35 “…he does what he wants with the army of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth. There is no one who can block his hand…”. All is working to glorify His Name.

      Ironically, it is a lot of work to rest in Him because our sinful nature really wants to believe we control so much more than we actually do. The Spirit is in every believer and as you read His Word and pray (our part) the Spirit works within you to renew and sanctify you. He makes you useful for God’s purpose for you, trust that. This is our job: rest. It’s a very loaded rest. It’s a more mental and heart job than anything. To capture every lie and every thought of anger, resentment, selfishness, and pride (my personal biggie) and then surrender it to His truth that He is in control and to keep faith that all is working to His glory and to the joy of all who love Him. As the Spirit helps us to do all this, the more we see the eternal value in, the goodness in, and desire to happen what is going to happen, His Will. The problem with trying to intruct how to practically abide in Christ is that in so many instances, you don’t do anything different than your daily tasks. It’s the heart with which you do it that makes it different (1 Corinthians 13). I can cook dinner for my family like every other wife in the world but because I do it with a prayerful, worshipful and loving heart is what makes it different. I make dinner as in making dinner for the Lord. The Spirit helps us see that. Every morning we have the opportunity to do our day with love and praise in our minds and hearts or with grumbling, complaining and bitterness. Love for God turns all your everyday activities into worship and holy work even if it looks not much more special than sweeping the floor. I hope this encourages you!

      Reply
    • Betsie Z

      Hi Lacey! I have found great practical counsel over the years from reading the writings of Elisabeth Elliot. She is now with the Lord, but her encouraging and godly words live on in her books and devotionals and recordings of her Gateway to Joy radio program. As an “older woman,” I suggest you do a search online to check her out. Also, keep up the prayer and scripture reading daily!

      Reply
    • Nicoke

      You’re doing everything right. If you are reading your Bible, praying throughout the day, and studying with your husband, then your focus is on God. That IS taking up your cross (because I’m sure you’re sacrificing other “fun” things to spend time with God). When there’s more He wants you to do, God will make it clear to you. In the meantime, carry on spending time with God and growing in the knowledge of His word. And those thoughts? Remember that when you follow God, you will be under spiritual attack. There’s nothing the powers of darkness want more than to sterilize a true follower of Christ so they don’t feel worthy of working for the kingdom. Read Ephesians 6.

      Reply
    • Elle Rogers

      I have learned a lot going through some really tough stuff w teenage children. We sometimes have to remember that life is like a gym. God is having us work out our spiritual muscles. God’s perspective is that we grow form Glory to Glory spiritually and it doesn’t look like what we think. There are many examples of that in scripture. When you remember Job or Joseph or Esther. These are People like you and me who walked through incredible situations but continued to turn to God’s promises never really knowing what would come next. So I am not here to say stop hurting. It hurts. Only you know the pain you are in no one else. But God. Jesus was punched square in the face spit on and died a brutal death on the cross because our sin is great and a great price had to be paid. This life is tough and people hurt all the time. Do keep turning to God because Jesus the God of the universe cared for you to the point of the cross. His promises are true and He is Faithful to His children. God sees everything He will direct your steps. I have learned to Pray and Act. And when you have to wait just wait.

      Reply
    • Tracy Schultz

      Lacey, dont give up hope! Yes, our burden is light, but that is our spiritual burden. This life is hard! Honor God, honor your husband, and live the life you are meant to live, whether that is in the workforce or at home. Maybe God will have you ministering and serving your community on these days. Maybe you can join a Bible study at your church or one nearby.
      The human condition is our bondage to sin without God. Our yoke is light with Christ. There are many times throughout life that we feel we are in a holding pattern. Those are great times to reflect on what God has saved you from. You are a new Christian. How was your life before Christ? Sometimes we have to really look for ways to be thankful for Christ having saved us from what could have been, or for redeeming our life.
      I recommend on these tougher days, to start a gratefulness journal or have little reminders of scripture around your home. Reading the Psalms is wonderful. Even David, especially David, when he was being pursued by Saul, ran to the Father not knowing what to do. He never left it at not knowing what to do, but instead prayed that God’s will be done even in David’s time of uncertainty. Both Psalms and the character of God are great to read about and study in times of uncertainty.
      I wish you the best, my sister!

      Reply
    • Regina Hershey

      Lacey, God’s blessing to you as you keep seeking Him. The christian life is a never ending of learning and learning more, never give up but always keep reading and learning. I’ve lived for many years ever striving to do/be better, always feeling guilty for messing up. Recently I have learned I can never be good enough, no matter how hard I try. When I became saved, I was declared righteous. There is nothing I can do to improve that righteousness, how freeing that is for me. That doesn’t mean I can live as I want to. But I walk in obedience to God to the best of my knowledge, and know that God’s grace over looks my imperfections. So with that understanding, His yoke is easy, cause I walk with Him daily in loving obedience and not as a slave cringing at His wrath. God is more concerned about our hearts being in tune and seeking after Him, then He is about us doing right things for Him. Doing for Him will happen, but it will be a out pouring from our hearts in obedience to Him. Two books that I would recommend for you to read is, A Gospel Primer for Christians by Milton Vincent and The Lies Women Believe by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.

      Reply
  15. Eva

    Thank you Summer for this review on the book.
    It breaks my heart that so many women are being dooped into believing these temporary self fulfilling lies.

    Reply
  16. RebeccaLynn

    I am so thankful Christian women with discerning hearts and minds are seeing through this book — and writing about it!

    Reply
  17. Suzette Maddox

    Yes, yes, and sooo many more yesses!! My heart is so broken for the flocks of sheep that are being herded in to the lies being told by women that know just enough “Christianese” to completely wreck a soul by leading them down the wide path.

    Reply
  18. Karen

    Right on!

    Reply
  19. Leila Brooks

    Thank you. Just thank you.

    Reply
  20. Jess

    Borrowing other people’s children? Are you referring to fostering? Is fostering wrong?

    Reply
    • Jen

      No, not at all. Summer was referring to advice given by Hollis in her book. That you can “borrow” other people’s children (babysitting perhaps?) to see how much work they are and remind you that you actually want to be selfish instead of have and care for your own children. That’s shamefully the world we live in. Blessings.

      Reply
    • Adam S

      She’s referring to babysitting, not fostering. Fostering children is not sin and Summer isn’t saying that it is.

      Reply
    • Leigh

      Hollis is not referring to fostering. She’s saying to “borrow” a friend’s kid for a few hours to be reminded how awful and limiting it is. And then give the kid back and rejoice. 🙁

      Reply
    • Kathy

      I wondered the same thing. My first thought when she said to borrow other people’s children was that she was referring to foster care. This review is ugly. If you don’t agree with the book, fine, but many things are taken out of context here or just misquoted and misrepresented. Would you talk like this to her face? Would you stand on a stage in front of a group of women and speak so harshly? I don’t agree with everything in the book or in Rachel Hollis’s life, but her life is not my business and her book is not my Gospel. It’s a self help book and I believe she is trying to get people to remove clutter from their lives so they then can fully live up to what they should be doing in their life—I believe what God is calling them to do.

      Reply
      • Mallory LeDuc

        All I’m here to say is that Summer would absolutely stand up in front of a group of women and speak these exact words because they are truth. And she would speak this truth to Rachel Hollis’ face too, because she would care about her knowing the truth as well. The book is the ugly one.

        Reply
  21. Beth Stoneburner

    What troubles me more than the content of this book (which I haven’t read) is how threatened people seem by it! If your faith is strong and you really have a grasp on The Truth, then really, how can a *book* threaten it? The world is filled with all kinds of ideas you won’t agree with. If your solution is to censor everything and live in an echo chamber, then your faith sounds like a house of cards.

    Let’s also not be so naive as to think that every piece of our theology is perfect. Rachel Hollis might get things wrong, but so do all of us. Having “correct” theology is not what Christianity is about.

    Reply
    • Melva Melendez

      Beth Stoneburner… No one is advocating censorship.

      Reply
    • Katana Anders

      Agreed. I read this review and thought, oh good… a human who wants to judge other humans personal relationship with God based on a book they may or may not enjoy because the judger feels somehow righteous and superior. Sigh… I believe it was Ghandi who said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.” Wonder why.

      Reply
    • Laura

      Hi, Beth. I’d suggest reading the book. This isn’t a disagreement about theology; it literally tells the reader that God is not the hero of our story – we are. That is the climax of the book. It’s wrong, and it’s deceiving.

      Also, I need to address your last comment. Paul instructs believers regularly to uphold the Gospel, to avoid those who sew lies into the fabric of believers, and to admonish any believer who leads others away from the very truth of Christ. Right theology *IS* right Christianity – what you know and believe about God is the backbone to your verbal and nonverbal witness to the world.

      What Hollis has written in her book is effectively telling the world, especially Christian women who are effusive about this book, that having your best life in this world is NOT done through God, but done through self. And Christian women, who have Jesus as their Lord and Savior, are eating this up.

      Reply
    • Nicole

      Amen!!!!

      Reply
    • Tiffani Garza

      Amen! Thank you, this is the first comment I’ve seen, and I scrolled down a ways, that challenges the writers nature of attach here. She is facetious and not representing Gods love. I don’t agree with the new age Christianity that a lot of women are proclaiming, but I’m more than halfway through the audio version of this book, and I hold Christ dear in my heart and in my life decisions, and I don’t feel that Hollis’ book is that of a …. for lack of a better word at the moment, I don’t feel this book was written with the intent of teaching women to satisfy themselves before satisfying Christ’s will.. it’s more about, loving urself so that u can BE ur best self, BECAUSE Christ didn’t die for us to be worries and haters on ourselves or each other!

      Reply
  22. Lydia Schaible

    Amen. This is both poignant and beautiful. There is no compassion in letting women walk wholesale to the slaughter of their soul because they’re seduced by a trendy, ear-tickling, new best seller. Thank you for your boldness, and true compassion in sharing truth with women.
    I secretly just want to be your all best friend because I love everything you write and Podcast. Do not grow weary in doing good!

    Reply
  23. Tina

    I read this book and at first thought, “Hmmm, ok, this could be ok” which quickly turned into, “Oh, no.” When she said her best friend was a lesbian I wondered if she actually ministered to her friend or said, “God loves you just the way you are.” When did Christianity become a faith of accepting all sin because it’s hip? So disappointing.

    Reply
  24. Mrs H

    Bravo Summer! I’m astounded at the women in my life who have read this book.
    You put it into better words than I. I just want to shake these women, cause I KNOW
    they know better! And they are pleased they read it!

    Reply
  25. Sarah Acedera

    100% YES. I caught a lot of criticism for my similar interpretation of her work. I addressed it on Rachel’s FB page, and then on my personal timeline when I described how it made me feel, and how disappointed I was. Thank you. It is so comforting to know that there are people like me out there, who see her work for what it is. I’ve lately been enjoying some Scott Hahn, and am grateful for people like you and I who wanna keep it real, and encourage women that just because it sounds good, doesn’t mean it is good. God Bless You. What books (truly Christian based) do you enjoy? Looking for more suggestions and ways to contemplate the Word, and apply it to my life. My email is below for when you have time. Thanks again!

    Reply
  26. Melissa Simon

    I guess my opinion of her article I can agree to some of what she says but at the same time I can’t completely agree. I agree that the book could lead a Christ follower to seek man thoughts and therapy. But, if anyone who is in Christ then they are a new creation~ that’s taken from scripture but I can’t remember the reference off the top right now. But, I have to say for me personally I put this book into the motivation/self help genre just as it is labeled and not into the Christian Doctrine genre that this lady is trying to portray it to be. I don’t believe that it was the author Rachel Hollis intention to write this book to sway women to believe her words over the Bible. In my opinion Hollis is using her words as a tool to help women who may have grown up in a hell fire and brimstone church to see that there is a more Graceful way to approach our sisters with being motivated to be their personal best! Personally, I was sinking into a dark place, depressed before I picked up this book. Since I picked it up and began reading I found myself 2 part time jobs, I’m accomplishing things for my family, I struggle with social anxiety and when I started working at the school a few weeks ago I thought the other 2 ladies were talking about me. But, they were not it was just the anxiety. Because of this book the voice in my head now says “Girl, they’re opinion of me is none of my business” and turns out I’m a better person from this book and not further from Christ. I know where my Faith stands and this book didn’t put sinking sand where my rock stands!!

    Reply
  27. Dee Wagner

    I’m betting you – and/or many on here – don’t have as harsh of words for our 45th president.
    I’m going to let that just sit there….

    Reply
    • Emma

      Good grief, this isn’t the place. No politics here please!

      Reply
    • Daniel Gutfeld

      HAHAHA!!! You clearly haven’t listened to the podcast much have you?…

      Reply
  28. William

    This was a very interesting post and the comments have been good as well. Regardless of how you feel about Hollis’ assertions in her book, it at least helps me to take the long view. There is nothing in this book that is going to last the test of time. As time marches on, the little relevancy in this book will become even less relevant. The Bible on the other hand, will continue to be relevant and truthful as we move forward.

    Also as I tend to see people talk about this book, we tend to think it’s “all” women that are talking about it and that’s not what I am seeing. I am seeing a certain age of woman (25-40ish) that are flocking to this book. I think that is reaction that these younger/middle aged women are lacking a true source of wisdom in their life and they are replacing (or worse yet, equating) a fabulous/attractive/glitzy/easy lifestyle as wisdom. That’s a hard bridge for most believers to cross.

    I was struck by what one commenter asked about what does “carrying the cross” look like. To me, it looks like taking the ultimate responsibility for your life. It means recognizing that in life there is going to be frustration and disappointment and pain. Some of those circumstances are inflicted upon you. But much of the pain are the result of the things we do to ourselves. Carrying the Cross means recognize that there will be pain, but move forward anyway. Take responsibility. Challenge yourself to a better version of yourself tomorrow than you are today. Stop doing the stupid things you know you do. Quit mortgaging your future just because something feels good today.

    Reply
  29. Jennifer

    Sooooo.
    I tried to fond the author of this review. Their biblical background and a little insight in their knowledge of doctrinal issues.

    Since i could find nothing i May assume that this person is not solidly grounded and or not has a grasp for principles of biblical knowledge.

    So if you choose to persuade a Culture to think against a book and to encourage women, i suggest you reveal yourself and what gives you permission or a license to publish twisted and even lie about what the book said.

    There are points you made and are misleading people that have not been written in the book! Therefore deception, lies, and slander.

    People read it for yourselves and do not embellish or twist. Are you all that gullible to believe someone you do not know?

    typically we all filter these things through our knowledge attained in any area.

    So i believe this person has elementary knowledge at best and no knowledge of biblical principles are worst

    Reply
    • Summer Jaeger

      My name is Summer Jaeger, and I have around 120 hours of audio you can listen to on this very website if you want to know what I believe. Welcome to my website.

      In order to righteously accuse someone of slander, you must be able to document it. Can you document where I committed slander in my review?

      Reply
      • Daniel Gutfeld

        Mic Drop…

        *clearly never doesn’t know mrs. Jaeger’s dad… or simple search tools?*

        Reply
  30. Woman who thinks you need to go suck one

    I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many perfect folks!
    None of you have crazy lives, and profess to be such perfect Christians that you judge a book that isn’t even listed as Christian. It’s self help.

    Unfortunately, I am not perfect, and I take great appreciation in Hollis not being a self righteous vindicated a-hole (as seen here).
    It’s refreshing, thoughtful, and actually takes into account people of other religions (gasp! A Christian who accepts people and doesn’t judge people?!). Also, really, you’re upset at sex?! The reason you exist?!

    If you wish to slander and slam a book who has helped hundreds of thousands of women, go for it.
    If you think you’re such a know it all, go for it.

    I, myself, am not so vindicated to judge or even attempt to sound like my life is perfect.

    The only thing you have suck-cessfully managed to do is sound like a pompous wind bag who thinks everything is evil.

    I have tattoos. Premarital sex? Check.
    Colored hair
    Pants
    I drink
    I occasionally cuss

    But overall, I am a decent human, and so is Hollis and we don’t need your self righteous crap.

    Reply
    • Lori

      Sex outside of marriage is a sin. I committed that sin, as well. And God in Christ has forgiven me for it, and I am a new creation.

      Calling out sin as sin doesn’t mean you think you are perfect. It’s the opposite. By acknowledging my sin as sin—rather than pretending it’s just no-big-deal messiness that makes me more real and that doesn’t keep me from being a pretty great person anyway—I’m saying that I’m not only not perfect, I’m a wretched sinner in need of salvation.

      Nobody is pointing to their own perfection, because Christians know we have no righteousness in ourselves. It’s the perfect life and sacrifice of Jesus that we boast in, and only that. And it’s available to everyone, right now. You just have to come to him acknowledging your need.

      Reply
    • Jennifer

      “Decent human” does not equal “Christian”. There are plenty of atheists who are “decent humans”.

      This book should not have been categorized as a “Christian” book written by a “Christian” author.

      It should be found in the self-help section.

      Reply
  31. Kelly

    Hm… I didn’t get most of this out of listening to the book. Tempted to respond now but there are parts of the book I missed and I’m listening again. I may edit this or reply again after doing so.

    Reply
  32. Brook

    I am interested in reading this book, and since I have yet to do so, I cannot comment on the book itself. What I am commenting on is the point of view represented here. Paul said “I am crucified with Christ, therefore I no longer live, but Jesus Christ now lives in me.” So when you say we are either slaves to sin or slaves to Christ, the truth is, as believers we are not His slaves. He has made us His heirs and we are now living with Him inside, in our spirit! That’s not a slave master. That’s a good Father. And that gives believers a totally different life than one of slavery! Also, Christ suffered on the cross for all of us. When he says to take up our cross, it means to walk our life’s path with Him, it doesn’t mean to try and do what He has already done. Many Christians cannot stand to believe good things about themselves, and to those who do, they say “How dare you!?” They then point out all the things that person struggles with or all the sins they are guilty of and say “See!! You shouldn’t feel good, you should feel bad!” And then they say something about having joy. (Seems contradictory to me.) Well….let’s check the scripture- 1. We were made in the image of God 2. He has put His own spirit inside our human bodies as believers in Christ
    3. We are redeemed and forgiven. I think there are 3 things to “feel good about” right there! God forbid she should tell us to befriend a Muslim- that is just crazy talk! Or…maybe it’s exactly what Jesus wants us to do….🤔Books and fads come and go, but hurtful words spoken against a child of God, a person of worth, who BTW is worth more than just her behavior- that can endure. She may read a review like this and say “Well….I guess Christianity just isn’t for me after all.” Words have power. Jesus loves her just as much as he loves you, me, or someone who keeps all the religious rules you are quick to point out she has broken.

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      ^THIS. This is the perspective that appears to be missing from both this review and the book itself, although I also have not read it. Thank you, Brook.

      Reply
  33. Jeff Patterson

    Have y’all read SACRED MUNDANE by Kari Patterson?
    I’m clearly biased yet think this Gospel-centered book on “how to find freedom, purpose, and joy” gives the truth readers need but won’t find in Girl, Wash Your Face.
    What if a book written to get people “unstuck” pointed them to Christ and His worth, words, and work, rather than looking inside one’s self?

    (A few months ago during a sermon I mentioned I had talked through today’s Scripture with my “sheologian” (my wise wife Kari!), and afterward one woman leader in in the church asked if I read the Sheologian blog or knew about the podcast? That was my introduction to your writing, and have been following along since.)

    Reply
  34. Chrystaljoyb

    Wow, where do I begin….First of all, just because Hollis openly talks about her mistakes and her sins and her current and past struggles doesnt mean she is spewing false doctrine or that this is a book that Satan wants us to read. God calls us to confess our sins and that is what she is doing. Would any of you be open to sharing your deepest, private sins with the public. I dont think she paints a glitzy, fabulous, or easy lifestyle at all. Having babies and peeing on yourself in public isn’t really glitzy in my opinion. Being hurt and rejected over and over(in relationships and her professional career) and failing continually while working toward a goal doesnt sound easy. Most of the disciples in the bible suffered from the same struggles she has(anxiety/depression/trauma/addiction/abuse), isn’t that why God chose them & not the perfect priests that were supposedly the most holy. He wanted us to know that even though we have these struggles and make these mistakes He can still use us for His purpose. Are you you really putting that limit on God, that He cant use this book for His glory because some people might take some things she said the wrong way?

    I think the last paragraph William^^ wrote about what it looks like to carry your cross is exactly what Hollis does in her book. She is taking responsibility for the sins and mistakes she has made in her life. She is recognizing that there will be pain and struggles but encourages her readers to push through them. She is challenging her readers to be a better version of themselves every day. We can all do better every day. Its a choice. God doesnt just wave a magic wand and make us follow his word. He gave US the choice. WE choose to obey and follow Him. WE choose to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. He cant just do it for us. God guides our steps but He gives us choices, so in a sense, we DO have the power to make our lives better, it just depends on the choices WE make. As godly women, I feel like we often forget that we have power. We are so focused on submitting ourselves to God and our husbands and people we look up to as godly leaders that we forget that God does speak to each of us as individuals. What God has in mind as right for you may be completely different than what He says is right for me. That is what I think she was trying to say…not that whatever you think is right, is right & there are no wrongs. Thats just silly….Its like 2 people reading the same exact passage in the bible, but God giving 2 different meanings to them through that passage. Just because they didnt get the same interpretation of that passage doesnt mean that one of them is wrong and one of them is right. Thats what makes the Bible a LIVING word. The Spirit speaks to each individual through the word.

    && for goodness sake, what is wrong with therapy? Are you all so perfect that you have no sin in your life that you can cast the first stone? We are all sinners. Does God not give us tools and resources such as therapy to help us? I’m not saying just go to anyone but there are great Christian therapists out there. Getting another perspective on something doesnt mean you’re not trusting God. Maybe God has something else to show you that He uses a therapist to help reveal. Aren’t our pastors also therapists if they are who you go to, to talk about your struggles and how to overcome them? This article and these comments made me sick. This is why people turn away from God and the church, not because of a book(that doesnt claim to be christian doctrine in the first place). One of the greatest attacks from the enemy is on the mind(anxiety/depression) & I think Hollis does a great job at helping women combat the lies & the attacks of the devil on the mind and our thoughts. As women of God we are called to rise up. God gave us power, love, and a sound mind, the devil is the one who gets in our heads and causes us to doubt that & I feel like this article is one of those forms of attack-its picking apart things in this book and making anyone who may have benefitted from it start to doubt themselves again.. If you are a Christian woman reading this book then I feel like you should know the best way to combat these lies & those that Hollis lists, is by replacing them with Gods truth. God says we are enough and we are worthy. For non-believers they may not have anyone telling them they are enough so I think Hollis wrote it in a neutral way to be beneficial to the masses. Sharing her sins and struggles helps people who are far from God, who think they will never be worthy of His love, have a glimpse into what its like to hear His truth about them from someone who may seem ‘fabulous’ in the public eye but after reading can see that she sins too and God still loves her & her life isn’t over because of the mistakes she’s made. This article or review or whatever this is, is crazy. It makes me sad to think this is how christians are spending their time and energy instead of coming up with ways that they themselves can go out into the world and spread the gospel & make disciples instead of tearing someone else down for doing what they feel like they were called to do. Is picking apart this book and the life of someone who claims to be a christian and yet sins what God has called you to do? How does that make any one want to follow Him more? I am not trying to attack you either, friend. I’m truly curious. It just hurts my heart for those who dont know any better who read this and think this is how Christians speak of one another when they have different views.

    Reply
  35. Taylor Gilman

    Summer, THANK YOU so much for sacrificially reading this book and writing this three-part review on it. My heart is so grieved by Hollis’ message and those clinging to it, somehow believing there is anything Christian about it. Yet this doesn’t surprise me at all based on what the Word says about false gods/gospels and the masses who flock to them, and based on those on my social media feeds who love this godless book. I can’t thank you enough for your ministry. I praise God for His work in and through you and Joey 😉 He has richly gifted you both, and I feel so privileged to glean from His faithfulness through you both, week in and week out.

    Reply

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