Reviewed by: Holly Wilson
Does Christianity Squash Women? A Christian Looks at Womanhood, by Rebecca Jones. Published by Broadman and Holman, 2005. Paperback, 224 pages, list price $12.99. Reviewed by Holly Wilson (Christ Covenant OPC, Indianapolis, IN.).
What first attracted me to this book was the title. I couldn't resist a playful word like "squash." Rebecca (Clowney) Jones seems to have a winsome personality to go with the title, but the subject she covers and the way in which she covers it are nothing to laugh off. She provides a challenging, intelligent, personable look at what the whole Bible teaches concerning the role of women in the church and the family, and how they are to reflect Christ in their lives.
There is a wonderful chapter explaining how to look at the Bible's overarching story in order to interpret the Bible for our present day. She follows this with a couple of chapters that look at specific women in the Bible, using a biblical theological approach. Modeling what you are teaching is always an effective way to get readers to apply what they are learning. In one chapter, she gathers together all the women in the Bible who had direct contact with Jesus. I was amazed to see how often Jesus approached, taught, spoke with, and discipled women. His compassion, respect, and care for them are encouraging. You don't get the impression from the biblical accounts that Jesus "squashed" women at all.
The chapter on submission puts that subject in a radical light. On the one hand, it doesn't involve being a doormat. On the other hand, it does mean that a woman's role is decidedly different than a man's. This flies in the face of what our society generally believes. It is also much more demanding than I, for one, was ever willing to accept.
At the end of each chapter, there are thoughtful questions to use in a group study. These are not mere "cough up what you just read" questions, but springboards to deeper thought and good discussion. This would be an excellent resource for a women's group.
I know that I need to be challenged in my own life to be more like Jesus, and this book certainly does just that. Mrs. Jones does a wonderful job of providing concrete ideas for implementing what she shows us from the Bible. The book challenges women to embrace their differences from men and devote them to serving the King of kings.
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