By Elizabeth Prata
The week that was. I’d reviewed a popular book called “Girl, Wash Your Face“ last week. It is an extremely popular book, sold as a How/To and published by an allegedly Christian writer, Rachel Hollis.
Speak to doctrinal or biblical living expectations, and the hits are low. Speak against a hugely popular “Christian celebrity” and the hits are high. But that is OK, because if any woman learns something that crosses the line for her, biblically, and avoids yet another Christian-ish celebrity author, than I’m happy. Essay views for the day before and after I’d reviewed Girl, Wash Your Face:
Rachel Hollis’s writing is great and her stories are affecting, but that’s often the issue. Engaging and skillful writers who connect with an audience over a slim veneer of Christianity are rife these days, to the detriment of women who need and want depth of scripture for life’s issues.
Sadly, many of Hollis’s ideas are not based on a strong Christian foundation. Thus, her book and its advice fails to rely on the atoning work of Jesus on the cross for our sins, and instead promotes a secular worldview of self-sufficiency. It’s about raising our self-esteem, which I am good and plenty sick of reading about from supposed Christian authors. The book is mainly grrrrrl power self-bootstraps advice, so I gave the book a thumbs-down.
Hollis’s theology should give you all you need to know about whether to take her advice in Girl:
Tim Challies reviewed the book, saying it is not only not good, but is antithetical to the Bible. Read more here.
Sheologians writer Summer White Jaeger published a review of the book. One thing I like to do when I write, or speak, or come to believe something based on my faith is to check it against the word, of course. But I also like to check against what other Christians are saying. I don’t exist in a vacuum, and I always need to ensure that my narrow center line of life & doctrine is still on the center line, not varying to the left or right.
I was pleased to see that Jaeger’s concerns in part 1 of the review were similar to mine. She noted that Hollis is giving out life advice to the general Christian female world from her vantage point of all of 35 years old. She noticed Hollis doesn’t mention much about sin. And so on. Read part 1 here and Jaeger’s part 2 is here. Final thoughts here.
Also: Katie at Uncomfortable Grace (on Facebook) wrote a short review, also, here
Alisa Childers writes What Rachel Hollis Gets Right…and Wrong.Alisa’s review here, reminds us, against Hollis’s advice to chase money and fulfill ambition, that,
Jesus never called us to chase after power, money, and fame (and He actually had quite a bit to say about those things). He called us to lay our pursuit of all that stuff down and follow Him. He said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
The Theology Gals reviewed Girl, Wash Your Face and spoke of Hollis’s faith in general from a discernment aspect, here.
Michelle Lesley reviewed it here in a larger essay that recommends or doesn’t recommend various teachers.
Rebekah Womble at Wise in His Eyes reviewed Hollis’s book. She held it to the light of scripture and found it lacking, as did the other reviewers. I love how the different women raise different issues, though, but all of them compared the book to scripture and find it fails the test. I liked Womble’s review quite a bit.Womble wrote:
I want to start by acknowledging that Rachel does have some good things to say in the book. In particular, she shares poignant episodes from her life that brought me to empathize with the trials she has endured, and I could appreciate her speaking out of her own personal experiences.
But unfortunately, much of Girl, Wash Your Face is fraught with contradictory statements. Since most of what Rachel writes are her own ideas and opinions—not originating in the Bible as the objective standard of truth—this is to be expected. As fallen human beings, each one of us is prone to accept as true only what we want to believe.
Here are some examples of the book’s antithetical creeds:
I wrote 2 companion pieces to my book review of Girl, Wash Your Face, about the problem of and solution to Christian Celebrity Moms like Hollis, here-
Many Christian Celebrity Moms are Distorting Biblical Motherhood; Part 1
Many Christian Celebrity Moms are Distorting Biblical Motherhood; Part 2