Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth : An Analysis of More Than 100 Disputed Questions
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ISBN/ASIN : 157673840X
Manufacturer : Multnomah|
Release data : 01 November, 2004
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Powerful affirmation of the Biblical teaching!
This book is highly recommended. The so called "biblical" equality advocates complain that complementarianism is a result of male ego and pride. This is untrue; we are following what the bible affirms. Even their biblical evidence is refuted by this book. It boils down to the fact of what is truly scriptural, and feminists are guilty of siding with this corrupt world. We should not do that. We should not "conform to this world", but rather be "transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). If you want to know what is biblical and what is worldly, this is the book for you.
An outstanding contribution to a critical discussion
This large but very readable book is a well-researched, interesting and helpful treatment of the Bible's teaching concerning women's roles in marriage and in the local church. Grudem is pro-woman, pro-church and pro-Scripture.
The book's logic is compelling, though some will naturally be offended because certain conclusions go against our culture's grain--particularly the pervasive assumption that equality of person demands sameness in role. If readers give it a chance, and for some that will be a BIG "if," I think they will find Grudem to be fair and accurate in conveying what the Bible itself actually says, what evangelical feminists say and what gaps do and do not exist between those two.
Among other things, in his treatment of the difference between prophecy and teaching, Grudem offers an understanding of 1 Cor. 11:6 and gives a compelling contextual interpretation of 1 Cor. 14:33-35, resolving its apparent (but not real) contradiction with the previous passage (women free to prophesy and pray in church, yet not free to "speak"). His treatment of the often maligned and misinterpreted 1 Timothy 2 is also excellent, as is his handling of Galatians 3:28.
This book is an example of and a reminder of the importance of careful scholarship in building a case. Grudem cites jaw-dropping instances of evangelicals misquoting church fathers and other ancient authorities, and sometimes even citing them to defend exactly the opposite point the original authors were actually making. Of course, the average reader will not go to the library and look these up, and even if they were willing to resort to Google, some can't be located on the internet. (Indeed, as Grudem points out, some "quotations" do not even exist and therefore can't be found anywhere!)
Readers who think they can trust an author's accuracy will therefore end up believing what is untrue, and if they teach from these books, as many do, they will perpetuate inaccurate and even nonexistent citations. Those who assume evangelical authors and editors always carefully check citations to confirm their accuracy are sadly mistaken.
The book also demonstrates the contradiction between claiming belief in biblical inspiration, on the one hand, but subtly or not-so-subtly affirming Paul and the apostles were wrong, misguided or at best impoverished in their understanding of issues on which we moderns presume we have a superior viewpoint. (Hence our tendency, though rarely stated and often disguised, to consider ourselves and our culture-not Scripture--our TRUE authority.)
Grudem puts forth the best arguments made by evangelical feminists, and weighs them in light of Scripture, sound interpretation and logical consistency. It would be interesting to take Grudem's chapter 2, "A Biblical View of Manhood and Womanhood in the Church" to any pastor, scholar or teacher and ask, "What specifically would you take issue with in this chapter?" It's easy to dismiss any work in general when we don't agree with its conclusions, but the real test is whether we can cite specific errors in scholarship, interpretation or logic. I think most objective and open-minded readers would have to say the book makes a careful and compelling case.
BTW, this is nothing remotely close to the viewpoint that "women can't do anything but wash dishes and cook for potlucks." In fact, Grudem lays out a continuum of possible roles women might have in the church and encourages readers to evaluate the extent to which they believe the biblical passages apply to them, and concludes that only a very small number of them are biblically restricted. He gives wide latitude (wider than some readers will), in his personal opinions, to what women can do in the church, and he believes these would include baptizing, serving communion, teaching male and female high-schoolers, co-leading with husbands mixed Bible studies, etc. (Priscilla, named first, and Aquilla taking aside Apollos and correcting him from the Scriptures is biblical warrant for this.)
Grudem also is in favor of female Bible scholars and teachers in the parachurch and society at large, and the Bible's high role of women teaching other women and children (a role often dismissed as secondary, ironically implying the inferiority of women and children). Yet when it comes to pastoral roles, teaching and having authority over men in the church Grudem remains firm and clear, as he believes Scripture does, that God has appointed these roles to men. That is, needless to say, an unpopular belief, but the real question is whether or not it is correct. If it is not correct, it appears that Scripture itself is not correct, at least not in 1 Cor. 14 and 1 Timothy 2 and similar passages.
Those who do not believe in the Bible's authority will naturally dismiss Grudem's conclusions. IMO, most readers who are willing to place themselves under biblical authority, and seek to understand what Scripture actually says, will find Grudem's book engaging, enlightening and ultimately persuasive. In any case, this is a definitive and well-documented resource, one that should be carefully studied by seminary students, church leaders and all Christians serious about exploring this important question.
Fabulous, exhaustive resource on biblical manhood-womanhood
For those who have read "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood," this is a fabulous and highly recommended upgrade. For those who are new to the gender issues storming through the church, this is essential material.
Grudem's treatment of key passages is careful and precise, but the layout and content of the book makes it a fabulous resource for those who want to wade slowly through the whole tome or use it as a reference to quickly find answers to more than 100 major questions and arguments that are now at the forefront of the manhood-womanhood controversy.
Speaking as someone who has read about this issue extensively, I can still say that Grudem's new book had questions and answers I either had no answers to before, or didn't even realize were major points of controversy.
In addition to this meaty section of questions and answers, Grudem spends many pages giving a practical, easy to follow explanation of the whole Biblical manhood-womanhood debate as well as a foundational explanation of the complementarian and egalitarian perspective. Further, this is all done on the backbone of scripture with solid exegesis and integrity.
One final note: while this will be a pleasing and meaty read for the scholarly, this is extremely accessible to the layman.