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Gods Good Design Paperback – 2012

21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Matthias Media USA (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1921896396
  • ISBN-13: 978-1921896392
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #444,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By AJBirch on October 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As Claire Smith tells us in the last chapter of her book, she went from being a non-Christian feminist, to being a Christian feminist, to being a not-so-feminist Christian; her personal journey definitely adds depth and interest to what she has to say on the subject of what the Bible really teaches about the role of women in the church and in the home, which, by the way, are the two main parts of the book.
The bulk of the book is a study of 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. Whatever one thinks of the author's conclusions, it's hard to deny her many virtues: (1) She's easy to understand, and does a great job making the Bible easy to understand; (2) She faces difficult and controversial texts head on; (3) She is extremely well-read on the subject, understands the views that she disagrees with, and is careful to be fair to them; (4) She seems to have all the necessary tools, in terms of her theological knowledge, familiarity with New Testament Greek, etc.; (5) She discusses all the main possible interpretations of each text, and carefully explains why they do or don't convince her; (6) She somehow manages to defend the 'complementarian' position (i. e. that men and women are equal, but different), without at all betraying her own sex - in fact she is an extraordinary ambassador for womanhood.
Apart from the careful and convincing analysis of the biblical texts, the three last chapters more than double the book's value: (1) an unambiguous condemnation of every kind of abuse in the home; (2) an absolutely brilliant analysis of 'the ideal wife' of Proverbs 31; and: (3) the author's own journey from and out of feminism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jay Harvey on April 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Cross Focused Reviews provided me the opportunity to review this book.

"What can I read on what the Bible has to say about the roles of men and women that is well informed, culturally sensitive, academically respectable and still at the end of the day readable?" My answer to that question will now be God's Good Design by Clair Smith. Smith has a doctorate in New Testament studies. In her analysis of the texts she covers the bases, doesn't over argue, is honest and fair. Smith treats all the key passages that one would expect to find in a work with this title. Her treatment is in keeping with a bright woman of her credentials, and that makes for a clear and engaging read. Additionally, Smith brackets this teaching with an introduction and three concluding chapters that provide further context for the real world discussion on gender roles. Her quick introduction to the "three waves" of feminism sets the context for the book nicely. Here she observes, "And feminism has brought some change for the good: women can now vote, own property, have bank accounts and an unrestricted education, and sit at board tables; rape in marriage is now a criminal offense; violence against women is now a community concern; fathers are now more involved with their children; and so on. It is a shame it was left to the feminists to force these changes, but they are good changes that sit well with God's love for justice and for all those he has made" (15). We do not help anyone if we fail to observe that the feminist movement has accomplished some good that many conservative Christian's would not want to see reversed. The last three chapters are entitled: "The Ultimate Distortion," (a chapter on abuse and domestic violence), "The Ideal Wife: Proverbs 31," and "But does it work?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Talbert on March 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
I recently had the opportunity to read the book God's Good Design: What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women by Claire Smith. I really wanted to read this book because it just so happens that I am also studying Power of a Praying Wife at this time. It is very rare to find someone who can talk about male and female roles in this time. The word "submission" has a bad reputation. Some women don't want to submit because they don't want to give their husbands too much control. Some men want women to submit just to exert control. But there is a perfect balance that can be found in marriages. Women can submit out of love and respect to their husbands, and do that cheerfully because men are loving women as Christ loves His church. That's the key.

Smith does a great job of hitting relevant scripture to this topic, and talking about the culture when it was written, but also how it still relates to us today.

One statement I loved was this: "One of the fallacies of much feminist ideology is the belief that for two people to be equal, they must do the same thing." I love that. Women and men are supposed to be different. They can be equal and different. You can be different and not be inferior or superior.

Claire Smith goes through scripture that is probably familiar to all of us - believers and nonbelievers alike. We all know people who fuss about the scripture that says women need to be silent in church. We all know people who roll their eyes at the part of the Bible that talks about wives being in submission to their husbands. Smith goes through all these tough scriptures and digs deep when she is studying them. She looks at many Bible translations and the original manuscripts when she is trying to figure out the meaning of these verses.
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