The book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, was published yesterday, and it is sure to cause a stir in Christian circles. I have not read the book, and based on the reviews and criticism I’ve seen of it, I do not plan to waste my time on it. Here are two well-written reviews of this book that seems to be a theologically unstable, relativistic, and inaccurate treatment of biblical womanhood:
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: A Review – desiringGod.org
From the review: “At its root this book questions the validity of the Bible. And denying the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture is a denial that will ultimately erode the gospel of our Savior.”
Review: A Year Of Biblical Womanhood – The Gospel Coalition [My favorite of the two reviews]
From the review: “In making the decision to ignore the tectonic shift that occurred when Jesus came, you have led your readers not into a better understanding of biblical interpretation, but into a worse one. Christians don’t arbitrarily ignore the Levitical code—they see it as wonderfully fulfilled in Jesus. In him, we are now clean before God.”
A few citations (that make me cringe) from A Year of Biblical Womanhood:
Despite what some may claim, the Bible’s not the best place to look for traditional family values as we understand them today. (48)
For those who count the Bible as sacred, the question when interpreting and applying the Bible to our lives is not, will we pick and choose? But rather how will we pick and choose? We are all selective in our reading of Scripture, and so the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Are we reading with the prejudice of love or are we reading with the prejudices of judgment and power, self-interest and greed? (295)
This is why there are times when the most instructive question to bring to the text is not, what does it say? But what am I looking for? I suspect Jesus knew this when he said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (295)
Final Thoughts: This is the kind of literature that is passed off as “Christian” but confounds and confuses people about theological and practical issues of the faith. From what I’ve seen, this author does not have a biblical Christian worldview but rather a pluralistic and relativistic one in which she picks through the Bible and believes what sounds good to her. That is not the way of Christ, and it is not biblical womanhood.
One thought on “Biblical Womanhood–Really?”
I think that the author is right, however, that every reader of the Bible picks and chooses what to pay attention to and what to ignore. There are a lot of things in Scripture that are really hard for me (e.g. women’s fathers and husband’s having control over women’s vows to God [but no similar control over young men’s vows] (Numbers 30) or Ecclesiastes 7:28 on the author never finding a righteous woman. I am glad that the author takes the time to work through what it means to be a Christian woman. Women struggle with their faith, and I think it’s good to recognize that and help them along. I appreciate groups like Christians for Biblical Equality.