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Good News for Women: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality Paperback – January 1, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Groothuis, a former staff member of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, addresses here the issue of women and Christian ministry from an evangelical feminist point of view, with particular attention to biblical texts that evangelicals have misused to bar women from the ministry and enforce women's functional subordination both in general and especially in marriage. The author defends human equality as the basic, inherent, and universally applicable biblical teaching; she addresses traditionalist proof texts, showing that mistranslation, cultural bias, or local situation account for their seeming deviation from biblical principle. Finally, she explicitly addresses women's place not only in the ministry but also in marriage, finding mutual authority and mutual submission the best model to support Christian family and ministry. Highly recommended for public and seminary libraries.?Carolyn M. Craft, Longwood Coll., Farmville, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

"Most evangelical discussion of the gender issue has been spent in feverish debate over the exegetical intricacies of the traditional prooftexts," writes Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. And though faithful exegesis is certainly crucial, a "myopic fixation on a handful of controversial biblical texts will not ultimately resolve the gender debate."

In Good News for Women, Groothuis looks at the Big Picture, the overall outline of biblical teaching on relationships between men and women. Written with the razor-sharp insight that prompted critical acclaim for Groothuis' first book, Good News for Women shows that biblical thought aligns more readily with gender equality than gender hierarchy, and that traditionalist prooftexts do not present an open and shut case in favor of universal male authority.

"A clear, cogent, and persuasive statement of the egalitarian view of marriage and church order."--Stanley Grenz

"The book has a solid biblical base and engages the traditionalist arguments with integrity and telling responses."--David Scholer
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801057205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801057205
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,316,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Lara McClintock on June 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I hate not to give it a five; but the last chapter brought up a second heavily controversial topic, and traditionalists would use that to discredit the book and the author even though the rest of the book is doctrinally solid. More about that shortly.
The rest of the book gave a lot of solid defense of core Christian doctrines as it defended women. Groothuis pays a lot of attention to historical and cultural details that we 21st century readers wouldn't have known. She got deep into topics without being too difficult to read. In some cases, she presents multiple theories about difficult Bible passages and lets the readers draw their own conclusions. I loved reading the book; and if I hadn't had to do things like work or sleep, I would have been finished with it much sooner because I didn't want to put it down. Oh yeah, her demolition of hierarchist logic by using the core doctrines of Scripture wasn't bad, either.
The big weakness: I loved seeing how Groothuis was able to defend equality in the Creation account and link the beginning of gender hierarchy to the Fall. Unfortunately, in the last chapter she gave props to progressive creationism. Many traditionalists, especially the ones I deal with, are also six-day creationists who see progressive creationism as just another way to undermine the authority of Scripture. All of her arguments up to that last chapter were perfect to use with six-day creationists because they fit exactly with a literal creation framework and did not diminish it in any way. The section mentioning progressive creation could have been left out without interrupting the flow of the book, and would have made the book useful for a much wider audience. The rest of the book is great, but that one section undermines its effectiveness for many of the people who need it most.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 31, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book presents the most logical and exegetical discussion of the role of women in the kingdom of God. Chapter 2, which defines functional equality, is a must read for anyone who wants to take part in the discussion on the street or in the church. Rebecca Merrill Groothuis is a very thorough Christian, thinker, and writer. Do not dismiss this book as the influence of society, rather give it a thorough reading before coming to a conclusion.
Sulia
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This well-written and fully-documented book patiently addresses and analyzes all the pertinent biblical arguments regarding the role of women in the church and the home. It is marked by careful attention to and deep respect for Scripture as God's holy and fully authoritative word (another reviewer on Amazon to the contrary).
It is unique in its exploration of the philosophical consequences and assumptions of Traditionalism (sometimes euphemistically called Complementarianism). This view claims that God has forever ordained men to rule in the church and the home; women are subordinate by nature and design. Rebecca Merrill Groothuis bends over backwards to understand the arguments of Traditionalists and to respond to them fairly, biblically, and logically. Her arguments against traditionalism given in chapter two have never been refuted, let alone fairly addressed in any of literature I have seen. She convincingly argues that women are not to be subjugated to male rule by divine decree.
The crux is this: Jesus Christ calls women and men to follow him as equals. He does not place men over women or women over men. Rather, both are equally sinful, equally redeemable through the work of the Divine Mediator, and equally equipped for ministry in the church and responsibility in the home as they submit to the light of the Holy Scriptures and to the life of the Holy Spirit.
This a charter for freedom, authority, and effectiveness in the Christian life.
Rebecca Merrill Groothuis has also authored Women Caught in the Conflict: The Culture War Between Traditionalism and Feminism (Wipf and Stock, 1997). She has published articles in Christianity Today, Christian Scholars Review, Priscilla Papers, Eternity, The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, and other periodicals.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
For this PCA Presbyterian woman, happily married in an egalitarian marriage for 18 years, blessed with four children, this book was indeed good news. Not only is the scholarship excellent, but it has helped give me the tools to intelligently discuss this issue with my children, in helping them to understand who they are in God's image. Furthermore, in my region of the US, Groothius's work is pivotal in equipping godly PCA women who desire God's best for the denomination - full inclusion of women in leadership. This text, filled with outstanding biblical scholarship, has helped to open up discussion of full inclusion of women's ordination at high levels within the PCA church.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ted Young on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I devoured this book. It did so much to strengthen my faith and convictions and answer hard questions to which the traditionalist reply fell flat. The information she shared so eloquently and with such clarity set me on the road to freedom from bondage to sexist legalism. Her arguments were logical and convincing. Her treatment of traditionalist arguements were devastating without dishonoring her fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who stand on the other side of the theological divide. She presented a picture of gender equality in marriage that was sublimely beautiful and God-glorifying. Her love for Christ and desire to see others experience all that He has for them echoed through every word.
My only complaints, and boy do I wish I didn't have to share these, were that she did not affirm the value of motherhood and homemaker enough and she made a brief comment about how she believes the theory of progressive creationism is more plausible than the new Earth creationism theory. Traditionalists already view her as a heretic and by inserting her thought on creation and by not firmly stating the value of motherhood and fulfillment many women find in that role she may well have confirmed that notion in their minds.
Read this book and allow any assumptions you may hold to be challenged.
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