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Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman's Place in Church and Family Paperback – Print, October 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0801031533 ISBN-10: 0801031532 Edition: 3rd

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Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman's Place in Church and Family + How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals + What Paul Really Said About Women: The Apostle's Liberating Views on Equality in Marriage, Leadership, and Love
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic; 3 edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801031532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801031533
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,672 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In this engaging biblical and theological study, Gilbert Bilezikian offers an accessible examination of the key texts of Scripture pertinent to understanding female roles. Beyond Sex Roles affirms full equality of the sexes in family and church, advocating an interpretive method that sees God's revelation of himself and his will as progressive. Using a creation-fall-redemption hermeneutical model, this book helps readers develop a coherent method of interpretation for understanding the roles of women in church and family.

The book's study-guide format is designed for either individual investigation or group work. Bilezikian deliberately avoids using scholarly jargon and complex argumentation in the main text of the book to encourage readers to interact with the biblical research. The aim is for non-specialized readers to be able to follow his discussion step-by-step, evaluate arguments, consider alternative views, and arrive at independent conclusions.

"Because Bilezikian presents his thesis with an obvious and unqualified submission to the Word of Scripture, his work is profoundly significant."--Hendrik Hart, Calvin Theological Journal

"Although some will disagree with Bilezikian's conclusions, Beyond Sex Roles provides much food for thought to men and women concerned with being obedient to God in how they conduct their relationships."--Today's Christian Woman

About the Author

Gilbert Bilezikian (Th.D., Boston University) is professor of biblical studies emeritus at Wheaton College. He is a charter member and elder at Willow Creek Community Church and the author of a number of books, including Community 101.

More About the Author

Gilbert Bilezikian (ThD, Boston University) is a professor emeritus of Wheaton College, a charter member and elder of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and the author of Community 101.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Pamela B. Garrud on April 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
Gilbert Bilezikian is a professor at Wheaton College and, as I understand it, one of the leading pro-female voices among conservative "bible-believing" Christians. ("Bible-believing" is in quotes because I dispute the implication of this phrase that non-fundamentalists are not bible-believing.)
Your appreciation of this book will almost undoubtedly rest first and foremost with the bias that you bring with you. If, like me, you were brought up in a fundamentalist church and learnt your bible, and saw massive contradictions between what the bible said and what the church interpreted it as saying, this is the book for you. How do the concepts of rulership-over and command leadership square with Paul's statement that no one individual should take priority over others in the church? Why were there women preachers and teachers in Paul's church if he was opposed to them? Why did Paul tell women to be quiet in one letter and then say "there is neither male nor female" in another? This book answers these questions and makes sense of all these questions. Quite apart from the issue of the role of women in the church, the book is also a beautiful biblical exposition of how God intends all human beings to live together in His name.
The book only misses out on five stars because it could have been edited and laid out a bit better. Close to one-third of the book is footnotes, but the visual lay-out of the entire book is poor and it's difficult to refer back to key ideas easily. Take good notes!
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57 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 9, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this book was one of the STRANGEST experiences I have ever had as a born again Christian evangelical. I started out reading this book being a man who was taught to believe in benign patriarchy, breaking ties and such.

I tossed out easily 2/3 of what the book said as not making much sense, at least to me where I was at at the time. But the remaining 1/3 I could not answer and it stewed in me. After wrestling with this 1/3 for a few weeks and praying a lot, it was like scales fell off my eyes and I jumped the fence and became a Biblical egalitarian. So my recommendation is to NOT stop reading this book, just because you come to something to disagree with, keep reading it and note the points you do NOT yet have answers for.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Miller on June 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I do not lend this text as it will be permanently placed and available in my personal library. It is one of my highest reccommended books on the role of women. A complete scriptural guide with contrasting arguments, complete biography, appendix etc. This is college text material with a corresponding user friendly explaination. This truly is the very best book I have read on the subject. I believe it is part of the resources that God is using to launch me into ministry! This is credible and scriptural.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By JR Corry on September 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Bilezikian is to be praised for promoting gender equality as he, and many others, believe is God's true design. Several of his arguments are very well-written and challenging, doubtless refreshing to those yearning to break free of the yokes of sexism.

Some have said that he contradicts himself by citing Genesis, yet calling many aspects of the Old testament invalid. I believe Bilezikian was referring to societal practices in the Old Testament as being invalid, whereas his referral to Genesis had not to do with society, but with God's plan when He first created the world. If you recall, God's plan for the world and the world's practices after the Fall were two completely separate things, so Bilezikian was really not at all contradicting himself by discrediting one and supporting the other. His overall argument is certainly valid. People DO need to step into modern times and stop trying to teach women to stay beneath men; in response to someone's statement that "The sexes were created for different services; is this so terrible?" No, but sexism is, so kindly swallow it before you speak of God. Adam and Eve were created for equal rule over Eden and God's design for equality still stands today; is THAT so terrible? And to answer another's question, these liberating views of equality HAVE been discovered before; you just apparently haven't been looking for them. Perhaps you should read Christ's lessons then, because He was actually the first after the Fall to truly introduce the idea of men and women serving equally under Him.

This book has many good points, but if you wish for a more in-depth study of Biblical equality, I recommend "Paul, Women and Wives" and "What Paul really said about Women" over this.
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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Tim Postma on May 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book convincingly demonstrates that God NEVER INTENDED gender-specific roles in the family or church. Bilezikian righty spends a lot of space explaining how God created women and men to be equal in authority and opportunities, and how human sin changed that. He also illustrates how God used many, many women of the Bible in exactly the same way men were used. I especially appreciated his sections on the high visibility of women in Jesus' ministry and in the New Testament church.
Especially if you believe that women and men have God-given roles, and consequently that women are excluded from some, then you should read this book. It's pervasive use of Scripture is it's strongest asset.
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