Pop Christian and secular cultures distract from who God has called us to be

April 3, 2018

Pop Christian and secular cultures distract from who God has called us to be, says author of new book, Worthy

HARRISONBURG, Va.— Growing up as a preacher’s kid, Melanie Springer Mock often felt the strain of expectations to be perfect. Even though her mother told her that she needed to grow into her own person, Mock says, “For much of my life, I never truly believed my mom.”

Now a professor, author, and book reviewer, Mock takes on the cultural and religious messages that have formed her and many others in book just released from Herald Press, Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else.

 By plumbing Scripture and critiquing the ten-billion-dollar-a-year self-improvement industry, Mock offers life-giving reminders that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Set free from the anxiety to conform to others’ expectations, we are liberated to become who we are, created in God’s image. Accepting ourselves means “swimming against expectations that would tell us to be something, or someone, else,” Mock writes. “It’s about recognizing that embracing our inherent worthiness is much more than a self-help enterprise; instead, it is part of a justice movement that recognizes every person as an image-bearer of God, already, just as they are.”

Through lively and often humorous prose, the author challenges messages both from popular culture and the Christian marketplace, which Mock says “is flooded with self-improvement products that have a Jesus-flavored vibe.” She debunks ideals of Christian womanhood, dramatic conversion narratives, and what it means to be “blessed.” Worthy helps readers embrace their own unique, God-created selves rather than trying to live up to standards or molds set out by the world, Christian culture, or peer groups.

Shirley Showalter, author of Blush, calls Worthy a “beautiful, vulnerable book,” and writer Elrena Evans calls it a “must-read for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.” Carolyn Custis James, author of Half the Church and Malestrom, writes the foreword, and the book is accompanied by free downloadable reflection and discussion questions.

Mock’s work has appeared in Christianity Today Women, The Nation, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Christian Feminism Today, and she is the author or editor of five other books. Mock is a professor of English at George Fox University, and she and her husband and sons live in Dundee, Oregon. She also is a frequent book reviewer in Mennonite World Review.

Worthy is available from Herald Press for $16.99 (paperback) via 800‑245‑7894 and $13.99 (ebook) at the Herald Press webstore, www.HeraldPress.com, Amazon, and other online sources. Canadian customers can order from CommonWord (877‑846‑1593), Parasource (800‑263‑2664), and elsewhere.

To schedule an interview with Melanie Springer Mock, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or LeAnnH@mennomedia.org.

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