God’s Good Design: What The Bible Really Says About Men and Women by Claire Smith is an excellent addition to the study of the roles of Christian men and women.
Being a child of the 60’s my own feminist views were shaped by the world at that time. Being a Christ-follower and desiring to live according to ALL of God’s design for my life I am interested in what Claire has to say on the subject of this ongoing gender debate.
For me, as a lay-person, this book reads somewhat like a study-text and that is good. It took me longer to read it than I had planned because of the thought-provoking nature of the work. Claire systematically works through the main biblical texts that touch on the role of women: 1st Timothy 2, 1st Corinthians 11, 1st Corinthians 14, Ephesians 5, 1st Peter 3, Genesis 1 – 3, and Proverbs 31. As she tackles the hard-to-understand scriptures she breaks down the arguments for and against in the simplest of terms. Without offering excuses or apology she carefully outlines what the Bible has to say about men and women.
She hits the nail on the head as she says, “One of the fallacies of much feminist ideology is the belief that for two people to be equal, they must do the same thing. There is an assumption that you cannot have differentiation and hierarchy without also having inferiority and superiority of dignity or worth. But you can, and this is what we find here and elsewhere in God’s word.” I will add my own “Amen!”
Claire’s study divides into two main discussions, that of the roles of men and women within the church, and within the home. As recent as this last week I joined in a discussion with other women who were questioning what the Bible actually says Christian women should and shouldn’t do within the confines of the church and home. Thanks to reading this book I have a clearer picture of God’s plan for my life and I am able to share that more effectively.
As I finished the book I realized what an excellent job she did thoroughly tackling this tough subject and yet not writing an “in your face” sort of study.
I highly recommend this book for men and women on either side of this debate.
Claire Smith trained as a nursing sister and worked in oncology and palliative care, before studying theology at Moore Theological College. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband Rob. They have one adult son. They attend St. Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral. Claire is a writer and women’s Bible teacher, and has a PhD in New Testament Study.
My thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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