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Man and Woman in Christ: An Examination of the Roles of Men and Women in Light of Scripture and the Social Sciences Hardcover – June, 1980

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Servant Books (June 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892830840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892830848
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The fact that this work has an Amazon sales rank greater than 200,000 says more about the state of our culture than it does the value of this book. The author is a Yale sociologist who uses knowledge of his chosen vocation to peruse scripture and church tradition for Christian teaching on gender roles. In a little less than 800 pages Clark offers up a stunning theology of how the church has responded to gender issues in the past and how we as modern-day believers should respond to this current hornet's nest of political correctness. I am so convinced of the importance of the gender issue debate and the strength of the work Clark has done in this book that I believe every Christian should read it. The Christian church is stagnating and ineffective in today's issue debates not because her positions are poor, but because she has become ignorant and apathetic.
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Format: Hardcover
I read Clark's masterpiece in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and it has formed the bedrock of my thinking about men and women in (or out of) the Church ever since. I have had many years to evaluate new arguments and issues, and Clark's analysis keeps proving to be the soundest way of resolving each one. Clark is a rare scholar who unites a number of different disciplines in support of an original position which is fully consistent with Scripture.
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Format: Hardcover
Clark's work on the roles of men and women in Christian culture has strongly shaped my own understanding of those roles. I read his work in 1980 after making a state in life decision to be married (yet before marrying), as I was trying to understand what my role should be as a husband and father.

Clark begins with a review of scripture's teaching on roles of men and women, mainly from Genesis and the epistles. Next Clark reviews how the Fathers of the Church interpreted those passages. Finally, Clark finds some social scientists that agree with the scriptures and the Fathers. (I'll bet there were orders of magnitude more social scientists that disagreed with his position.) The social science section was probably the weakest of his arguments. Maybe it's because I place little value on social science's views on how Christians need to behave.

To put this work into context, Clark has a MA in Sociology if I remember correctly. I've always understood the social science aspects in this book to be his justification, maybe only to himself, that his Sociology degree wasn't wasted. In effect, his doctoral dissertation without the degree.

Clark built his arguments on the understanding of the roles of men and women as viewed by the early church. Clark proceeds to show the relevance of this position in the 20th century. It''s a pity the Christian Church seldom reflects these teachings from our pulpits.

The only thing better I've read on the subject is John Chrysostom's commentaries on Ephesians 5, which was one of Clark's sources. (It's also a much shorter read!)
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Format: Hardcover
Thorough interaction with biblical text, feminists and conservative elements on this difficult topic. Also, interacts with social sciences as subtitle suggests.
Find his documentation well done and so useful. The material on the scriptural teachings is much more useful to the Christian church than those dealing with the sociological, community issues.
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Format: Hardcover
Though I occasionally disagree with Clark's prescriptions, including digging up the role of deaconesses, this is a magisterial work that you should ideally read cover to cover before saying, "I disagree."

The basic insight is theological, although people today will expect engagement with the social disciplines, and Clark engages the social disciplines quite squarely in the course of writing a complete book.

It helped feed into my own Yonder (The Collected Works of CJS Hayward), which provides insights challenging the usual dichotomy of "traditional-feminist" with "traditional-masculist-feminist", an insight which Clark appeared to accept in correspondence.
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