Counter Revolutionist: An Interview with Mary Kassian

By Trillia Newbell

One would think that shows like “Survivor” or “Big Brother” were the first to embark on the reality TV genre. They were most definitely the shows that sparked the reality TV craze we now find ourselves in. But there’s another show that preceded these. “Girls Gone Wild” released its first film in 1997 featuring young college girls on spring break. The films are explicit in nature and live up to their title. In a culture where wild can often be applauded, Mary Kassian saw a need for wisdom.  Kassian is a teacher, speaker and  the author of Girl Gone Wise:  In a World Gone Wild.

Kassian grew up in a Christian home and committed her life to Christ at an early age. She was spared of much of the typical teenage rebellion. She attributes it all to the faithfulness of God.

“My story is really the faithfulness of God. It’s miraculous grace to keep someone as strong-willed as me. It’s really a strong grace,” said Kassian.

Her life has been spent sharing that grace with others.  As young as 16 years old, Kassian began exploring creative and surprising ways to reach her peers.

“I can’t think of a time I wasn’t involved in ministry. At 16 years old I started a little Christian rock band. The Deacons had meetings about me,” she laughed.

Her rock band days didn’t last long, but they were memorable.  It wasn’t until college that her passion for Jesus began to ignite a desire to write so others might learn. In the late 1970’s, Kassian found herself in college during the height of the feminist movement. She was studying Rehab Medicine and consistently interacting with high-powered women reluctant to God.

She had the opportunity to build a relationship with one of these women which led her to develop and write a Bible study for her and her friend to go through. This Bible study would change both of their lives forever.

“(My friend) thought God hated women. I came up with material myself. She is an amazing Christian woman now,” she said.

With the urging of her husband, Brent, Kassian sent her study to Crossway Books where it was accepted and published. The book was titled, “Women, Creation, and the Fall” and brought her to the forefront of women’s roles in the church.

“I do believe there is a governmental fatherly role that is reserved to men but I don’t believe women shouldn’t be involved. Women  have a different assignment,” she said.

In 1992, Kassian wrote The Feminist Gospel but shortly after took a hiatus from the writing and speaking world on this issue. In 2005 she felt the Lord calling her back to writing and speaking ministry specifically about women’s issues.  Reluctantly she began again and later that year her book was re-released as The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture.

In 2008 she connected with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and began talking about what they could do to make a difference and impact together.

“I sensed a shift in the wind. I knew that the Lord was calling me back to clearly address womanhood in the church. That’s how Girls Gone Wise came to be. Nancy was highly impacted by reading The Feminist Gospel. It was amazing how few women were able to make such an impact during the Feminist Movement.  Nancy piped up, ‘If that few number of women are able to make that much a change, how much more can a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led group of women start a counter revolution,’” shared Kassian.

In 2008, Kassian did a workshop on Proverbs 8 at the True Woman Conference.

“It’s not about seeing womanhood put in its right place-rather about displaying the gospel,” she said.

“It is a difficult issue to address. We have seen some wrong application on the right at times.”

Girls Gone Wise is an expansion of the workshop she did in 2008 and is based on Proverbs 7. There are 20 points of contrast from appearance, attitude,  to the approach towards relationships.

“It is astonishing to me that this book is being used in prisons and schools and girls who have done none of the above,” she said.

Her website offers resources and interactive tools to help anyone interested in learning more or starting a group study.

Kassian’s latest book, True Woman 101: Divine Design, which is co-written with DeMoss,  is also available online and in stores.

“God didn’t give us a check list. We wrestle with his Holy Spirit to figure it out,” she said.

Kassian lives in Canada with her husband Brent and has three grown sons. To find out more about Girls Gone Wise visit her website at http://www.girlsgonewise.com/.

 

mary kassian headshotMore About Mary

Mary Kassian is an award winning author, popular speaker, and a distinguished professor of women’s studies at Southern Baptist Seminary. She has published several books, Bible studies and videos, including: Girls Gone Wise, In My Father’s House: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, Conversation Peace, Vertically Inclined, and the Feminist Mistake.

Mary graduated from the faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Alberta, Canada and has studied systematic theology at the doctoral level. She has taught courses at seminaries across North America She is a popular conference speaker and has ministered to women’s groups internationally. Mary has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, and Marriage Uncensored.

Mary was born and raised in Edmonton, Canada. She and her husband, Brent, have three adult sons and one daughter-in-law.

 

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