172 of 199 people found the following review helpful
I've read a few of the other reviews here, and I frankly can't agree with the negative sentiments. Whether or not a person has a complementarian perspective, this book is still very informative and well written. It is not intended to be a book that is read from its beginning to its conclusion (although I did). Instead, it serves more as a reference volume, addressing various issues of men and women in marriage and in ministry. There are five sections that comprise this work.
The first section is an overview that moves rather quickly and sets the stage for the sections to follow. Exegetical and theological in nature, the second section is very meticulous and may be boring to some readers. The third section addresses male/female issues in church history, biology, psychology, sociology and law. After establishing a strong basis of support, the fourth section proceeds to apply the ways in which men and women can complement one another today in the the church, in the home, and in society. The fifth section briefly summarizes and comments upon the many points that have been made.
I recommend this title as a REFERENCE book. Reading it from cover to cover will prove challenging, much like trying to read an encyclopedia. Still, this work is a classic. I know of no other book on the market that provides such a strong, comprehensive explanation of the complementarian position.
For the pastor or teacher who is dealing with the issues surrounding the roles of men and women in marriage and in ministry, this book is a MUST READ.
67 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2003
Ah the joys of this Christian debate.
I only want to mention a few things. First, read this book if you are (1) a seminary student, (2) a pastor dealing with this issue in your ministry, and (3) interested in a variety of well written articles on this debate.
If you are looking for easy answers, this is not the book for you.
Second, I took a class with Grudem in seminary on this particular issue, and suffice it to say I am still working on this issue. It is important to say here that he does truly care about women and that this book is an out growth of that concern. I don't think anything said in this book does otherwise (regardless if you disagree with the views presented).
However, I would suggest that you would also read books on the other side of the issue. Even the four views book on this topic.
Be informed of all the positions' points so that you truly sort out what is your stance.
70 of 83 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2006
Reading many of the negative reviews, I couldn't help but think that the reviewers couldn't have read the words written. I did expect that there would have been some contrary views expressed but the antagonistic response of many Christian readers was surprising. I also wondered what kind of reviews would be given by the female elders at our church???
I found the book quite easy to read. I have found both Grudem and Piper lucid writers and I enjoy the challenge of following their arguments.
In relation to the central issue of Sexual Complementarity and differing roles within sexually-differentiated equal beings created in the image of God with the same opportunities for salvation, I believe the work is compelling.
As a Male, I was convicted again of Adam's failure to defend Eve in Genesis 3:1 and not compel the Serpent to direct his questions to him as God had given him the command before Eve was created.
This same weakness in the male version of Man is still evident in Churches where men defer to women to take on roles that they should take themselves.
The pastor's heart of Dr Piper is evident in seeking to find a Biblical Answer to the child's question: "Dad, what does it mean to be a man and not a woman?" I am mindful that the need to answer this question is more pressing now in 2006 then it was in 1988 when they published the Danver Statement.
There is excellent exegesis throughout and I am more comfortable with accepting the full counsel of God in Scripture and seek a rational explanation of seemingly contradictory statements than the argument to set aside the controversial sections referred to in this book.
74 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2004
To anyone who is reading these reviews without having an already established position on the roles of men an women, I would strongly encourage you to read this book. It is a thurough hermeneuticly solid and Biblical exigisis of the numerous texts of Scripture that speak to this issue. Each chapter is written by a different NT Greek scholar and deals solely with one of the texts that lend information to the isssue of gender roles. the book is extremely scholarly written,and to my knowledge these has been no rebuttal written to it. It stands unchallenged.
What saddens me however, is reading the various reviews on the book. PROOF-TEXTING (like quoting "there is neither male no female in Christ" without giving it's context and meaning) dishonors God's Word! I have failed to see any negative reviews that in any way engage the arguments of the book. NONE!! I only have read people who quote a verse on two out of context and then proceed to condiscendingly attack the complimentarian view as a whole. I would encourage any open minded readers to see through this type of propoganda and read the book for themselves
Lastly I would like to disprove the false argument proosed by many reviewers that equality and subservience are contradictory notions. Here Go's....
1. Jesus is fully God and completely equal with God and in no way inferior to Him (Phil 2:6)
2. Jesus is submissive (Luke 22:42) and obedient to God The Father, who is "Greater" (John 14:28)position and authority.
In this way, male and female genders and gender roles reflect the image of God. Within the trinity itself there is complete equality but yet their is a clear authority structure. God the Fathers sends His Son, and They in turn send the Holy Spirit. This proves that the concept of total equality and of subservience are not multuly exclusive.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2005
Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism (Edited By John Piper and Wayne Grudem) is essential reading to help you form your own position in what may be one of the most important debates in the church at the current time- how to respond to feminism.
What I like about the book is it doesnt simply assume that a 1950s view is correct. Instead, examining from all kinds of angles the book attempts to do what it says on the tin. Preaching a view that says women and men are complementary to each other the book is the best yet to aim to construct a biblical view of this thorny issue.
You may not agree with everything you read here, but you must hear these arguments and respond to them if you aim to be true to the bible in your view of the role of men and women. Honest christians may well disagree on this subject, but the rabid femminism described so ably in "The feminist Mistake" will take no prisoners and we must construct a robust philosophy on this issue that will stand.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2010
This book is almost a manual for the recovering of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as well as for the rejection of that which is not Biblical in that matter.
The book has chapters on exegetical and theological Studies, Studies from related disciplines like Church history, biology, psychology, sociology and law and contributions on how to apply and implicate it all in family and church. Every chapter, each written by another evangelical author, is so full of rich information that it gives the impression as if all possible questions have been answered.
The authors orientate themselves from the first to the last page clearly by the Bible and make it very clear what the Bible has to say on the topic. And what they have to say is of immense meaningfulness, provided they are right.
They express their concerns, but they also give the solutions to the problems as far as it is possible. Their concern is for:
the widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and feminity;
the tragic effects of this confusion in unravelling the fabric of marriage woven by God out of the beautiful and diverse strands of manhood and womanhood;
the increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by wives;
the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational home-making, and the many ministries historically performed by women;
the growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse;
the upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family;
the emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in the crippling of Biblically faithful witness;
the increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts, and behind all this the apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity.
Based on the authors understanding of Biblical teaching, they affirm the following:
Both Adam and Eve were created in God`s image, equal before God as persons and distinct in their manhood and womanhood;
distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart;
Adam`s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin;
the Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women - in the home, the husband`s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity. The wife`s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility. - in the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries;
the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament, manifests the equally high value and dignity which God attached to the roles of both men and women. Both Old and New Testaments also affirm the principle of male headship in the family and in the covenant community;
redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse,- in the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives, wives should forsake resistance to their husbands` authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands` leadership, - in the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation, nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men;
in all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission- domestic, religious, or civil - ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin;
in both men and women a heartfelt sense of call to ministry should never be used to set aside Biblical criteria for particular ministries. Rather, Biblical teaching should remain the authority for testing our subjective discernment of God`s will.
The authors are convinced that a denial or neglect of these principles will lead to increasingly destructive consequences in the families, the churches and the culture at large.
Because of the great meaningfulness of these texts and its conclusions, every church man, Christian father and mother and theologian should have this book in his book shelf. Its implications are tremendous.
The book is not easy to read. You have to use a lot of brainwork, apparently not so much to follow the conclusions of the authors but to follow the laborious and pedestrian theories of others which they also disprove. The whole book is a complete workout of the theme that needs no amendment. A fine and necessary work.
164 of 223 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2001
If you're going to study the evangelical Christian controversy of the role of women in the home and in the church, then you have to read this book. It is the magnum opus of those who believe that God created men to be (and excluded women from being) the primarily authority in both church and home. This book will give you solid understanding here, even if you disagree (as I do).
Its most significant negative is length. The authors appear to persuade primarily by the sheer size of the book, because once you read it you'll see much of the argumentation repeated among different authors. What I realized after reading this book are the following 5 points. Their argument for pre-fall male headship is weak; their arguments against God's uses of women in the New Testament are weak; they disregard the equality of spiritual gifts in 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4, and Rom. 12.; they disregard the anti-discrimination of Gal. 3:28; and they disregard the co-authority and co-equality of Gen. 1:26-27.
Still, to solidify one's belief in the equality and freedom of roles for all humans and to be able to argue with someone who doesn't, this book is good reading.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2013
First, this book is very much inside baseball for the Christian evangelical sphere (meaning if you don't know Christ Jesus, if you haven't come to the point of wanting to die to the evil inside you and live with His help, pick up a Bible, visit a church, and ask questions, the topic of this can wait a long time). The authors try to present arguments in favor of an hierarchal view of the sexes/genders that is God honoring and Biblical. Biblical is a tough word, as the Bible has prostitutes who get rewarded for faith, and a virgin who is killed to fulfill her dad's vow to God, while promoting reliance on God's forgiveness and morality. My view going in was that, as a man, God gives me certain responsibilities to/for women. My concern was that this book would help authoritative men to feel justified in abuse. The author's share that concern and repeatedly clarify that authority isn't synonymous with tyranny or abuse.
Each chapter is a separate essay, often by a different author, most dealing with a distinct Bible passage and addressing a question about the sexes. As such the quality, vigor, goal, and background of each chapter is a little different. Many are academically minded, so their essays are dry but rewarding. Some are much more poetic, so their chapters are less rigorous but instead allow for refocusing the questions, broader Biblical context, and can stand alone better. It isn't about women in the kitchen, men in the field/office/world (which is good, because that's not what the Bible teaches) but about loving service in care (for men) and loving service in support (for women). It isn't about black and white, but tendencies. It isn't about "where's my dinner?" or "cars vs dolls" but a man's willingness, responsibility, and authority to take risks for a woman and a woman's willingness and responsiveness to accept (or reject) those overtures.
In the end, I have become convinced that along with manly responsibility comes certain authority, but I am not convinced I like the idea altogether. I pray God works in me, and all Christian men (whether they read this book or not) to mature and humble with the authority we only have from and in line with Jesus.
32 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2002
For anyone interested in the debate on the roles of men and women, this book is a must-read. This is the definitive answer of the complementarian position, which believes that men and women, while created equally in the image of God, are endowed by God with different gifts and roles that complement each other. These are rooted in creation. (The opposing view, the egalitarian position, asserts that such distinctions are cultural fabrications). The book is long but does not demand a front to back reading. Each article stands on its own, representing a different perspective and specified context or field of study. I think the book is excellent and decisively settles the issue.
27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2001
Very thorough,careful exegesis. It really convicted me and changed my mind on a few points. Regardless of your stand on these issues this is THE place to go to explore them more deeply. That is why it was teh book of the year with CT even though the entire editorial staff (except one) disagreed with its conclusions.