This is a very random thought, pecked out on my keyboard having only had one cup of coffee, so my apologies if it isn't very coherent.
In recent days, I've read snippets here and there by women who talk about how female authors and teachers "changed their lives." I'm always a little uncomfortable about that statement. I'm very uncomfortable when women are too strident in defending their preferred guru but won't defend the authority of Scripture. When we won't accept public figures standing to account for their teaching, I think there is something wrong. I'm of the mind that if you're a public figure, it comes with the territory, and when there is argument, simply defend yourself. When hordes of women call others "mean" for objecting to a questionable teaching, discourse begins to crumble. Cries like that are generally emotion-driven, and I think we can all agree that arguing with an emotional person is rather counter productive.
I have benefitted from the teaching of others over and over again. I have learned something from books I have read, and been excited and challenged over the things I read. But, ultimately, what changes me is not Mr/Miss/Mrs Famous Writing Person; it's the Word of God, ministered to me through the power of the Holy Spirit. If Famous Writing Person did not exist, I could still experience those changes. In fact, sometimes, Famous Writing Person can stand in the way if I pay more heed to that individual's words than God's Word.
If I cannot see in Scripture how as a woman I am loved, valued, treasured, chosen, redeemed, sanctified, glorified, then what I need is help understanding the Scripture. Learning to interpret and understand the Scriptures is a life-long process. And yes (shock!) a male teacher may just be the right individual to help me understand how to interpret and apply the Word of God. Ultimately, a good teacher will tell us that when we do gain understanding and do feel like we've been changed, we must be careful to give the glory to God, not the famous writer.
One of the drawbacks of the internet is that it can make any ordinary joe (or josephine) seem bigger or more important. We can all hide behind our screens and keep safely hidden any ugly things about us. God, however, has revealed in Scripture all we we need to know about him in order to be reconciled to Him and to grow. He is to be our ultimate teacher. If we must rely on the sparkling personality of the speaker, or gain strength from the audacity of a public figure, then I think we will ultimately be the lesser for it. If we want to be fully sanctified and transformed, our ultimate allegiance is to God and His Word.
When we give thanks for others, let's thank the One who gave those people to us. Ultimately, God is the one who deserves the praise.