Despite the title of Hannah Anderson's Made for More, the book is actually less about more and more about less. Anderson writes about stripping away the trappings of stereotypes and unbiblical constructs, tearing down the self-made idols of motherhood and husbandry. Her book is an invitation to live in God's image, setting a fairer table and finer feast than almost any book on gender I have read.

The first-time author begins by walking readers through creation—not the creation of man and woman, the imago dei, but the creation of a new believer, that tender sprout of life bursting within. She wrestles with issues of faith in tears and pain, only to find the birth of realization, the a ha! of salvation, continues as we wrest within our souls to discover who we are at our core. Anderson pushes beyond what physical attributes we bear or circumstantial constructs the world has given us to the actual core, to that deep and profound moment when we, like Adam, say, "At last!"

Sadly the "At last!" happens for fewer of us, and so Anderson makes it her aim throughout all of Made for More to draw readers' eyes back to the beauty of the image of God. It is not a book about biblical womanhood, nor a book about how to be a better wife, a more desirable woman, a more chaste single, or more of anything but an image bearer of the Most High. It is a book about humans flourishing under the great weight and light burden of God's design.

It doesn't take more than a cursory glance around the Internet—or in the church pews—to find the discussion on gender raising heated opinions everywhere. The problem though, it seems, is that no one is starting from a common place. Each person's story is so distinct and layered it makes it difficult to begin with empathy and understanding—so we join the cacophony of noise and no one hears anything.

Anderson's focus on the imago dei has the capability of drawing a hard stop to some of the voices around the echo chamber of Christian discussion on gender roles. It is a manifesto of sorts, a reminder that until the conversation on gender universally begins with a firm understanding of creation—even before created order—we will continue talking past one another.

Anderson is able to deconstruct where traditionally the weight has fallen on unbalanced scales, beginning with the questions, "Who am I?" and "What am I meant to do?" Furthermore, what do we do when who we are and what we feel we're meant to do seems to just create a mess? Where is our source and strength, and in whose image are we created, and why is it so hard to emulate him? Anderson writes:

The tragic irony is that the serpent tempted the woman with something that was already true—made in God's image, she already was like Him! She already radiated His majesty and glory; she already existed in perfection. But it was not enough. It was not enough to have His light pulsating through her; she wanted to be the light itself.

Anderson addresses, head on, the prevalence among all humankind the desire to be the pinnacle of creation, instead of the image bearers of the One worth all the glory.

She teases out the brokenness we feel as image bearers in a broken world. How do we reflect and emulate the God in whose image we are created, while still wrestling with all that life brings our way? Through him, she tells us again and again. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and only through him will we find that holistic joy.

Anderson writes of how ultimate worship begins with the understanding that though we bear God's image imperfectly, we are growing closer to the culmination of the kingdom and all things glorious.

You can wait in hope and patience because God is actively pursuing your transformation. His love is right now making you what you are meant to be. And it is a love itself so patient and faithful that "neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation" can separate us from Him.

Ultimately, Made For More is not a replacement for systematic theology on gender, and it will not address the theological outworking of gender within the church. It does not contain a historical understanding of the imago dei or how it has worked itself out for 2,000 years of church history. But it does provide a compelling focus on the image-bearing role that underscores today's ongoing conversations about gender and the church.

This is not a book for women alone, and I hope many men will read it. The mind of a woman is a beautifully nuanced thing—something the conservative church needs to value as equally as they traditionally value the nurturing and emotive qualities of women. What the mind of a woman brings to the conversation on gender represents half the church. Our half bears God's image as equally as the other—and Hannah Anderson makes me delighted to be the feminine half.

Lore Ferguson is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in Dallas, Texas. You can follow her on Twitter @loreferguson and read more of what she's saying at

Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God's Image
Our Rating
not rated  
Book Title
Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God's Image
Moody Publishers
Release Date
April 1, 2014
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