Permission To Speak Freely by Anne Jackson

Special guest review by Emily Alexander (my beautiful bride):

Anne simply asks the question, “what is the one thing you feel you can’t say in the church?” From page one the book enters into her story and her pain and experience with the church. In the midst of a very explicit and relatable story comes poems, pictures, and confessions of the people who answered this very question.

Anne forces and enables the conversation of why the church is a place that people feel they need to hide who they are. Why do we hide our secrets from a place that we feel should be “safe?” Why do we feel MOST JUDGED in a place where we believe judgement is in the hands of the Maker?

This book was VERY INTERESTING and provoked a lot more thought into the very topic of WHO the church is. From page one to the end I could NOT put the book down. My copy can no longer be sold on amazon with the word “new” next to it. It is very much “OLD,” “UNDERLINED,” “USED!” My hand was cramped more from all the underlining I did than holding the book itself! Anne allowed the biblical teachings of the church to shine through in the midst of the journey she took her readers on through the right of sanctuary the Christian church adopted in the 4th century to the abolishment of it in the 18th century. She brought church and church history forward in a way that was appealing and inspirational.

I HIGHLY recommend this book to future readers who especially feel that the role of the church is based on religion and law. If this is you PLEASE read this book, and challenge yourself to be open-minded with the message!