Red Lip Theology by Candice Marie BenbowRed Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who've Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn't Enough by Candice Marie Benbow
Published by Convergent Books on January 18, 2022
Source: Purchased
Genres: Memoir, Religion & Spirituality
Pages: 208
Format: eBook
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A moving essay collection promoting freedom, self-love, and divine wholeness for Black women and opening new levels of understanding and ideological transformation for non-Black women and allies

Blurring the boundaries of righteous and irreverent, Red Lip Theology invites us to discover freedom in a progressive Christian faith that incorporates activism, feminism, and radical authenticity. Essayist and theologian Candice Marie Benbow’s essays explore universal themes like heartache, loss, forgiveness, and sexuality, and she unflinchingly empowers women who struggle with feeling loved and nurtured by church culture.

Benbow writes powerfully about experiences at the heart of her Black womanhood. In honoring her single mother’s love and triumphs—and mourning her unexpected passing—she finds herself forced to shed restrictions she’d been taught to place on her faith practice. And by embracing alternative spirituality and womanist theology, and confronting staid attitudes on body positivity and LGBTQ+ rights, Benbow challenges religious institutions, faith leaders, and communities to reimagine how faith can be a tool of liberation and transformation for women and girls.

Red Lip Theology, part memoir and part theological discussion, is honest, raw, and unapologetic. Candice walks us through her life- the good, the bad, and the ugly- tying all of it to the development of her theology. She has a clear voice and she tells her story with wisdom, wit, and humor.

Several of Candice’s essays revolve around her mother, a single mom who brought Candice up in the church. A church that shamed her mom for not being married and her by extension. She talks about the strength and faith her mom gave her, how she encouraged her and loved her. She talks about her grief when her mom died and the impact it had on her life and academic career.

Candice talks about the choices she’s made and how they all made her who she is today. She talks about how the church and pastors let her down time and again, but she also talks about her “spiritual care squad” and how important they are to her life.

I don’t see the world from the same viewpoint as Candice does, but this was such a good read for me, both encouraging and challenging. I won’t agree with all of her conclusions, but that’s not what she’s asking. I think she’s asking us to reevaluate how we see and relate to God and each other and hopefully grow in the process.

I believe what God wants from us is to create a world where all are free to thrive. Anything less doesn’t represent God’s heart and what God wants for us.

About Candice Marie Benbow

Candice Marie Benbow is a theologian, essayist, columnist, baker, and educator whose work gives voice to Black women’s shared experiences of faith, healing, and wholeness. Named by Sojourners as one of “10 Christian Women Shaping the Church in 2020,” she has written for EssenceGlamourThe RootVICEShondalandMadame Noire, and the Me Too Movement. Candice created the “Lemonade Syllabus” social media campaign, founded the media boutique Zion Hill Media Group, and, in memory of her mother, established The LouiseMarie Foundation to support HBCU nursing students and community mental health projects. A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Candice holds degrees from Tennessee State University, North Carolina Central University, and Duke Divinity School.

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