Peoria Journal Star runs series of articles on Passionate Housewives book

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by our local newspaper to comment on the book review I did for on Stacy McDonald’s book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.

Today there were three articles that ran in the PJS, one on Stacy’s book, one on James McDonald’s church, and one that addressed my negative book review.

Since my blog address was given in the newspaper, I thought it might be helpful for those who have come here for the first time to have the links handy where many of us who have read the book have attempted to ask straightforward questions of Stacy regarding what she has referred to as “misunderstandings.” It is also important for readers here to understand that she invited herself to be interviewed by me on a podcast and when, instead, I called for people to ask their questions of Stacy here and have even offered her the space to do so, I have yet, months later, to receive so much as a private e-mail response from her.

I would encourage others to ask these questions, especially if you came here after reading the PJS articles and wonder, as one commenter on the PJS forum site did, why the “obsession” over this book and these teachings. Any thoughtful and honest reader of this book will obviously see the inconsistencies (many call them hypocrisies) that are abundant as you compare them with other Vision Forum writings, the personal information give by Stacy, and other essays, blogs, and books by the same authors. Since this author lives in my own neck of the woods, it is especially important for me to be sure that homeschooling moms in this area understand the genuine teachings and agenda behind this book and to seek clarification, publicly, whenever possible.

questions on being a keeper at home

understanding white washed feminists

questions for Stacy on Tim Bayly

questions from Stacy on Christian decorum

more questions on white-washed feminism

Here is the list of links to the PJS articles on keep and share.

Faithful Homemaker

McDonald Oversees Growth

Campbell Book Review

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  1. basketohearts says

    Karen, you are a lot braver than me. I hope that your thoughtful analysis of these teachings will help home school moms and dads think critically about their faith.

  2. says


    I think it’s interesting to note that someone posted this previous comment on my website when several people were online there. One was James and/or McDonald in Glasford, IL. How curious!

    The same link is also posted on True Womanhood also.

    How typically passive aggressive for the patriarch crowd.

  3. says

    Good for you, Karen.

    I left it up on my website because it’s just so telling regarding the backhanded tactics that are employed against the critics of patriarchy. It makes them look like avoidant fools.

  4. Gail says


    The links to the articles in the Peoria Star Journal no longer work. Does anyone have a copies of these articles?

    I’d like to get information out to our local homeschool coop about the McDonalds, since they are scheduled to speak at the TPA Conference in Wichita, Kansas this year.

  5. says

    I was going through my old emails and found a copy of two pdf files of the posting of two of the three stories that the Peoria paper wrote on the mcdonald as they appeared on the website. They both show a little bit of commentary that someone was able to snag before they started deleting so many of the critical comments.

    I then realized that I had not classified that folder as a public one on Keep and Share, but it is open and the download should work.

    Go to this link and select the article you want.

    Sorry! But it should be working now.

  6. says

    Hi, it’s my first time here and agree that we need to be like the Bereans. However, I enjoyed Stacy’s book immensely and gained some wonderful insights from the book; in the same way you gained insights from a secular femininist, Ms. Joyce.

    I believe God calls the women to be keepers of their home. I Peter 3; Titus 2, etc., but I also believe that God will do what He wants to do for His glory. There are situations, sadly, that may call a woman out of the home for a time, such as the death of the spouse, but she should never stop praying to come back home. Home is her glory. I Tim 5 speaks of the older and younger widow. The widow who has been left alone is never to stop praying for her present situation. The younger widow is encouraged to remarry and bear children.

    I agree that God is the center of the home and not man; my spirit grieves when I see militant men taking the place of God. But I do not believe this is the case with Mike and Debi Pearl or Doug Phillips. I believe they are God-fearing men who are diligently trying to pursue God’s truth – and making an incredible difference in our society. Debi Pearl does not look like a miserable woman to me. She is productive and fruitful – so are her children – which is a testament to God and – yes – Michael Pearl.

    I understand that no man holds the entire truth in their teaching of God. I also know that man in all his glory is fallable, but in your review of Desparate Housewives you did not quote any scriptures to back up your points. However, you quoted a secular feminist as one we should read.

    You are treading on dangerous ground when you encourage a younger, more vunerable woman to read such a book. Titus 2 is clear on what the older woman should be teaching the younger or less mature woman.

    Of course, this is my opinion – and you are certainly welcome to disagree as I disagree with you.

    Thank you for the opportunity to place my comment.

  7. says

    Hello to Far Above Rubies….not sure which contributor you might be! Thanks for leaving your comment and I welcome this discussion with you.

    Since it had been a while and your comment left me a bit puzzled as to what I actually had written in those two reviews, I went back and reread them this morning.

    First of all, as I stated in my review, I found Joyce’s assessment of many aspects of what I call the patriocentric movement to be spot on. That does not equate with me agreeing with her perspective on womanhood, however. If you read this blog or listen to my podcasts, particularly the series I did on the term “militant fecundity,” which addresses the quiverfull issue, you will see that I have an entirely different perspective on family size than either a radical feminist such as Joyce or than what the patriocentrists promote. I heartily embrace the truly biblical teaching that children are a blessing from the Lord and I love large families. However, where I would differ with many patriocentrists is that I believe that all human life is sacred, including the life of the mother and that there are situations when a couple ought to consider not becoming pregnant for that reason. I also believe that if a woman is found to have a true and genuine life-threatening pregnancy, such as an ectopic pregnancy, she should not be forced to continue it, as many patricentrists would insist. (My view is shared by every single reputable pro-life organization, such as national Right to Life, etc.)

    While I think Joyce captured a true picture of much of this movement, even those issues other than the quiverfull issue, I don’t think she was able to grasp the most heinous aspects of it, which are the ones that promote and perpetrate spiritual abuse. Since I don’t believe she is a Christian, this most important perspective was lost on her. As awful as other abuses may be, spiritually abusing someone by super-imposing your personal preferences onto their life and pronouncing it as “Biblical” because you say it is is what the Pharisees did and what Christ condemned. In fact, I don’t see Jesus condemning those who truly seek Him. I do see Him, however, blasting away at those who added to His words. And that brings me to the “Passionate Housewives” book.

    As I pointed out in my review, so much of that book resonated with me because it is how I have lived my own life. I believe I have walked on the path the Lord has called for me to walk by doing so. However, that doesn’t make my calling the calling for all Christian woman. The question you have to ask yourself is one I posed in that review….can this teaching apply to all women in all cultures in all times and in all seasons of her life? If not, you cannot demand that everyone accepts it as “biblical” While there were many Scripture passages in the book, none of them proved this one point to be true. In fact, if you take the many personal examples that were used in that book along with the many things that are labeled as “biblical” by this movement, little of them can apply universally, making them not Bible-based but rather patriocentrist paradigm-based.

    You stated that you believe that the home is the “woman’s glory.” I don’t see that concept in Scripture and nowhere is that stated in the texts you provided. Could you show me where that is taught? I do see women like the Proverbs 31 woman who was very productive and who was lauded for all she did. But I have no way of knowing exactly “how” she did it. I am certain her husband and children were a priority because they rose up and called her blessed but I cannot impose my 21st century notions of homemaking on her life to prove anything. I also think, if we are truly honest, as we read through the Gospels we see women doing all sorts of things that were outside of their homes. In most cases, their husbands and children are never mentioned so we don’t have any inkling of their family dynamics. For example, what about the women spoken of in Luke 8. “Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.” Perhaps they were married and with their husbands and even children. Scripture doesn’t tell us. Perhaps they were single. We don’t know. We do know that they were providing for the expenses of the disciples. Could you say that their homes were their glory? Christian history often shows Christian women doing amazing things outside of their homes…..Amy Carmichael, Gladys Alyward, Elisabeth Elliott. Where these women blaspheming God’s name, as we are told in Passionate Housewives? Was the home their glory?

    I also embrace and try to obey the commands in Titus 2 to teach the younger women, especially now that I am an older woman. When I see that I am to teach them to love their husbands and their children, I certainly don’t see any patriocentric notions there. For example, if I were to look at the lists that are provided by the patriocentrists for what men should be doing, I don’t see encouraging their ideals as truly loving a husband. Rather, we are to value and honor the men that the Lord has placed in our lives to encourage them in their individual callings and gifts, to practice all the one anothers of Scripture in our relationships with them. Many of the patriocentric ideals have little to nothing to do with one anothering. The same is true for our children. Placing children in boxes, especially our daughters, and telling them that our preferences are the only godly way of living as women is anything but expressing biblical love for them. I fact, I would be so bold to say that if we seek to squelch the spirit of God in the lives of our children, then we would be blaspheming God’s name. What does keeper at home mean? I think it means running our households well and that will look different for every woman in every family.

    I would encourage you to listen to the two series of podcasts I did on the patricentric movement. I have gone into so much more detail on specifics and explain in more depth what I believe are the real sins of this movement, the sin of partiality and the sin of triviality.

    I welcome any discussion of this and do not have the practice of not allowing comments that disagree with me so please feel free to respond!

  8. says

    One more thing, I often hear how “biblical” Created to Be His Helpmeet is but have yet to have anyone explain exactly how they came to that conclusion. Where does Debi Pearl get her ideas of the different types of men, blind, one-way submission,etc? I sincerely would like to have a “biblical” explanation of her thinking.

  9. says

    There is no “biblical” explanation for her thinking. Its her own personal opinion based on what she’s observed over time. But hey, if you put the word “biblical” in front of anything, it has to be from the Bible, right? Just like their “chastisement” techniques… they attribute the idea of hitting a child to condition them to obey you as coming from Solomon and ultimately from God when really, they’ve just taken B.F. Skinner’s techniques of operant conditioning, stamped the word “biblical” on it and thousands of parents just fell in line.

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