Tucker, Ruth A(nne) 1945-
TUCKER, Ruth A(nne) 1945-
PERSONAL: Born July 17, 1945, in Spooner, WI; daughter of Percy W. (a farmer) and Jennie (a nurse's aide; maiden name, Carlton) Stellrecht; married Lyman Rand Tucker, Jr. (an editor), August 10, 1968; children: Carlton Rand. Education: LeTourneau College, B.A., 1967; Baylor University, M.A., 1969; Northern Illinois University, Ph.D. (history), 1979. Politics: Independent. Religion: Reformed Church of America. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, bicycling.
CAREER: Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, Grand Rapids, MI, instructor, 1978-87; visiting professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL, 1982—, and Moffat College of Bible, Kijabe, Kenya, East Africa, 1985-89; Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, adjunct interim professor, 1987—; adjunct interim professor, Fuller Theological Seminary, summers 1990 and 1993. Guest speaker for various organizations, including the 700 Club, Moody Bible Institute, and Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.
MEMBER: American Historical Association, American Society of Church History, American Society of Missiology, Evangelical Theological Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Gold Medallion Awards, Christian Publishers Association, 1984, for From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, and 1989, for First Ladies of the Parish: Historical Portraits of Pastors' Wives.
(With Kit Bernthal) How to Set Up Your Own Neighborhood Preschool, illustrated by Kit Bernthal, Arlington House (New Rochelle, NY), 1979.
From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1983, second edition, 2004.
Women and the Church: A History of Changing Perspectives, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1986.
(With Walter L. Liefeld) Daughters of the Church: A History of Women and Ministry from New Testament Times to the Present, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1987.
First Ladies of the Parish: Historical Portraits of Pastors' Wives, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1988, published as Private Lives of Pastors' Wives, 1988.
Guardians of the Great Commission: The Story of Women in Modern Missions, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1988.
The Christian Speakers Treasury: A Sourcebook of Anecdotes and Quotes, Harper (San Francisco, CA), 1989.
Another Gospel: Alternative Religions and the New Age Movement, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989.
Sacred Stories: Daily Devotions from the Family of God, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1989, published as Stories of Faith, 1990.
Women in the Maze: Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality, InterVarsity (Downers Grove, IL), 1992.
Multiple Choices: Making Wise Decisions in a Complicated World—A Women's Guide, Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI), 1992.
The Family Album: Portraits of Family Life through the Centuries, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1994.
Seasons of Motherhood: A Garden of Memories, Victor Books (Wheaton, IL), 1996.
Not Ashamed: The Story of Jews for Jesus, Multnomah Publishers (Sisters, OR), 1999.
Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief, Intervarsity Press (Downers Grove, IL), 2002.
Contributor to magazines, including Missiology, Christianity Today, Christian History, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, and Church Herald. Associate editor, Missiology, 1988—; member of editorial advisory board, Christian History, 1990-92.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Slain in the Spirit: Charismata and the Quest for Holiness, for Zondervan.
SIDELIGHTS: Ruth A. Tucker is an associate professor of missiology and author who writes primarily about Christian life. She also wrote Not Ashamed: The Story of Jews for Jesus, which a reviewer in First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life called "a very readable account of the movement and its founder." Tucker's most widely reviewed book is Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief, in which she considers contemporary challenges to maintaining Christian faith.
Tucker commented on her reasons for writing Walking Away from Faith in a Christianity Today interview with Dick Staub. As a member of the Reformed Church of America, she found that doubt was a subject to be avoided and something that many people feel they are struggling with alone. The book addresses her own struggle, including doubts of whether a personal God exists, and the comfort she finds in the mystery of faith. Tucker shows that people find reason to doubt their faith in the work of Charles Darwin and theories of evolution, literal readings of the Bible, and conflict between contemporary lifestyles and scriptural teachings. The book also includes remarks from individuals who have abandoned their religious beliefs and others who have returned to religion; one chapter is devoted to three famous women who rediscovered their faith: Kathleen Norris, Madeline L'Engle, and Annie Dillard. And Tucker contrasts the experiences of Billy Graham and Chuck Templeton, well-known Christians who struggled with their faith with contrasting results.
Tucker's even-handed approach was applauded by reviewers. Writing in Library Journal, for example, C. Robert Nixon said that she "presents the unbelievers' points of view clearly and fairly. Her own responses and suggestions have depth and authenticity." Books & Culture reviewer Richard P. Hansen felt that "Tucker's compassion in really listening to those who 'walk away' is nobly expressed in her best chapter, 'Answering Doubt and Unbelief.'" And Andrew De-Braber observed in the Grand Rapids Press that the author "does not find herself intimidated or threatened by articulate people who, after much deliberation, prayer, and reasoning, have left the church." He noted that she "leaves their return up to the sovereign God of her Reformed faith and heritage."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Books & Culture, November-December, 2002, Richard P. Hansen, "Is a Mustard Seed Enough?," p. 8.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, November, 2000, review of Not Ashamed: The Story of Jews for Jesus, p. 65.
Grand Rapids Press, May 11, 2002, Andrew DeBraber, "Leaving Church Is Not Always Rebellion," p. B4.
Library Journal, April 15, 2002, C. Robert Nixon, review of Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief, p. 92.
Christianity Today, http://christianitytoday.com/ (October 28, 2002), "The Dick Staub Interview: Ruth Tucker."*