How’s this for a hot issue among Christians? There are so many opinions floating around and you often wonder just how seriously the Bible was used in forming those opinions. Would you like to really work through the key Bible passages on this subject? Then you need this volume by Claire Smith and published by Matthias Media.
The book’s object is well described in its subtitle: “What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women.” That’s what sets this book apart–it tackles the subject line by line on what the Scriptures say. And get this–it’s written by a woman!
She begins by well setting the stage for where our culture is today. She recognizes the profound impact feminism has had on our world, even to the point of biasing Christians to God’s Word on the subject. We Christians often have a strong opinion before we open our Bibles and the Bible, then, has less a chance to sway us as on other points.
The book is divided into two main parts: 1) within the church, and 2) within the home. The first part addresses the issue of whether women can have the same role as men in the local church. Can women pastor? Can they preach to men? She goes carefully through 1 Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 11 and 14. She comes down on the side of the traditional position that women, though they have a vibrant role, cannot. Her working through the biblical text is impressive.
The larger portion of the book discusses the role of husbands and wives. This issue, of course, has far more arguing than even the ministry issue. This affects every Christian couple!
I suggest everyone read this book and let her careful exegesis help you work through the issue. She works through Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, Genesis 1-3–the great battleground places. I agree in her complementarian position versus the popular, though I feel unscriptural, egalitarian position.
She writes with care and sensitivity. She is a wife herself and so has had to face “submission” too. Like a scholar she never dodges an appropriate passage, nor a known argument. “Thorough” is a deserved praise too.
Men and women are equal, yet the Lord has designed differing roles for us. There is no way to get around this without doing violence to the text. Because of cultural pressure, we need to be strong in our knowledge of what the Bible actually says.
She is fair too. She understands that there has been abuse on both sides of headship and submission. That, of course, in no way cancels out what the Lord has said. Headship is not about institutionalizing selfishness, nor is submission a path to being a doormat. The Lord definitely had far greater intentions in His design than that.
Ladies, you will love her chapter on Proverbs 31. Finally, you can hear a woman’s voice as you read. She shows that this Proverbs 31 lady is the ideal wife in a particular set of circumstances. You can learn from her, but need not let her description elicit a guilt trip. Having said this, men this is a great book for us too!
This is a home run. If you are working on figuring out what to believe, you must have this book. For me, this will find a place on my shelves for when I am addressing these key men/women passages. It will be hard for someone who loves God’s Word to get by what this book has to say because she takes such time with every passage. May the Lord use the volume to help balance our spousal relationship with our obedience to our God!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.