- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: P & R Publishing (November 30, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1629952567
- ISBN-13: 978-1629952567
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God Paperback – November 30, 2016
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"Aimee Byrd is asking the right questions. . . . [She] steers the discussion about women and the church back to its rightful place by uniting a high view of Scripture and a high view of women." --Karen Swallow Prior, professor of English, Liberty University
"Women are our most committed resource for doing the work of the kingdom, and they deserve our best thinking and support. . . . Aimee Byrd writes with wit and wisdom, biblical clarity and theological maturity." --Liam Goligher, senior minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
"Aimee Byrd fearlessly takes on a range of problems that are not often addressed. . . . May all those who need to hear her message give it heed." --Kathy Keller, author, Jesus, Justice, and Gender Roles
About the Author
Aimee Byrd is just an ordinary mom of three who has also been a martial arts student, coffee shop owner, and Bible study teacher. Author of Housewife Theologian, she now blogs about theology and the Christian life and cohosts The Mortification of Spin podcast.
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If true, this is an incredibly serious matter, since theology is the study of who God is. No Little Women discusses the problem and suggests the solution, Equipping All Women in the Household of God.
This book is written primarily for women, elders, and pastors, with many sections and discussion questions addressed separately to these groups. This unique approach is necessary because women need to know what is said to the church leadership, and the office bearers need to know what is being said to women.
In a world littered with conflict and disagreement about the role of women, Byrd actively attempts to avoid such discussions, focusing rather on a few indisputable points:
◾Women have influence in their families, in the church, and wherever else they are.
◾Women were created to be necessary allies of their husbands.
◾Women need to know the Word of God and be transformed by it, arriving at the truth, not merely searching for it.
◾False teachers want to make disciples in the church, but we are forbidden to welcome them into our homes.
Although Christian women are a valuable commodity to the publishing and speaking industries, they need the same theological standards as men. Yes, there are many gifted women with popular women’s ministries, but some of them attack or denigrate the basics of Christianity: the authority of the Bible, the Trinity, Jesus’ incarnation, justification by faith. Because these teachers can be appealing, compassionate, understanding, and relevant, we sometimes need to be reminded to notice deviations from the truth. Byrd gives an array of ideas to watch out for. She also urges pastors and elders to read some of the titles being studied by the women in their church.
Byrd identifies three problems commonly encountered in Christian best sellers for women
◾Ecumenicalism at the expense of doctrine
◾Claiming direct revelations from God
◾Reading one’s own meanings into the text
The author is careful not to attack any author or teacher, which is wise. Instead, she gives excerpts from various popular books for the reader to practice finding problem issues. I have read some of the authors she discusses and, while it is possible to criticize them, it is also possible to learn from them if one is careful, as Byrd also says.
At one point the character of the book changed, or perhaps my perception of it did. In any case, suddenly the author and I were joyfully engaged in a discussion of how to read carefully (using How to Read a Book, link to my review) and how and why to review what we read.
No Little Women ends with a chapter written to pastors about how to preach to women as well as men. That chapter concludes with an excellent encouragement to women about how and why to listen to sermons, a section that applies to all.
In No Little Women, Aimee Byrd does the church a great service by discussing a problem that is so explosive most people avoid it. She offers solutions that seem obvious to some but perhaps not to others, the most important being that the preaching should be based on the Word of God, listened to diligently, and addressed to the entire congregation.
There is an interesting omission in this book. In the Bible women are instructed to ask their husbands about things they do not understand. Byrd emphasizes going to the elders or the pastor instead. Now, it is true that some husbands are not Christians, but many are. It is also true that if the husband is away or busy, for whatever reason, he will have no time to consider his wife’s questions, and this is a serious matter. The important point, though, is that by God’s design husbands are the heads of their families and no one should try to bypass or undermine them. Looking at things this way, the words Byrd wrote to church leaders should also be read by husbands.
In conclusion, many of the things Aimee Byrd says are true. Some of them may seem a bit off although it is hard to pin that down, but the important thing is this: she bravely and carefully opens a conversation that has long been needed. All Christians who value the truth about God, i.e. true theology, should read this book and it should be in every church library.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from P&R publishing in exchange for an honest review. This review was first published on my blog Tea Time with Annie Kate
My wife read the paperback and I read it on my Kindle. I truly enjoyed this book and feel every man, woman and pastor should read it! It will make us all more aware of the good, bad and ugly books being marketed to women in the church. Husbands may find it helpful as well ---we can help warn our wives about some of the dangerous books on the market.
All Christians are called to be discerning, and Aimee does an excellent job encouraging us all to do just that!
I have seen many disturbing books be recommended to my wife, myself and other family members by well-meaning friends or family. No Little Women helped address this problem of bad books and what to do about it! I plan on reading a bit more of those bad theological books at times so I too can help others in the church avoid some dangerous doctrines and point them back to God's Word.
Excellent book! I hope it hits the New York Times best selling list, because Christians need to find it and discover its rich content!
“Aimee Byrd is a Bible Study teacher and author of Housewife Theologian and Theological Fitness. She also speaks at women’s retreats, blogs about theology and the Christian life, and cohosts The Mortification of Spin podcast. She is married with three children, lives in Maryland, and is a member of New Hope Orthodox Presbyterian Church.”
I wanted to read No Little Women because Aimee has a strong desire (one that I share) to see women in the church grow as disciples by becoming serious students of the Word of God.
You may be wondering where the title of the book comes from in the first place? Here is your answer.
For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:6-7
Byrd explains that weak women could be translated literally as “little women.” What Aimee seeks to do through her book is to encourage women to become such serious students of the Word of God with the result that this verse never applies to them!
Here are five things that stood to me from No Little Women.
1) The book is a challenge to Christian women to see themselves as theologians and to work hard to know the Word of God. Aimee writes this, “What we may be missing isn’t so much a better philosophy on home and work. What many of us need is better theology. No matter what our different circumstances and vocations may be, every woman is a theologian. We all have an understanding of who God is and what he has done. The question is whether or not our views are based on what he has revealed in his Word about himself.” p.53 I love the fact that Aimee is not pulling any punches and is encouraging women to read, study and to push themselves to become better students of God’s Word.
2) The book takes some serious shots at the Christian publishing world and Christian book stores. Well needed shots I might add! “Christian women’s book studies have become quite popular, and many women in your church are also shopping for Christian books to read on their own. Because of this, Christian women have inevitably become a valued target market in the so-called Christian publishing industry. It is pumping out Bible studies, devotionals, customized Bibles, and personal growth books for us to buy (along with Christian candy, mugs jewelry, and artwork.) But the sad truth is that Christian book stores can promote some of the worst doctrines (and their candy can be quite inferior.)” p. 47 Again, I agree. I can’t hardly stomach going into a Christian book store any more because of all the knickknacks and books filled with bad theology.
3) The book needs to be read by all leaders (men and women) in the church. Overstatement? I don’t think so. Aimee makes a strong, biblical case that women in the church need to be equipped and trained so that they can help fulfill the Great Commission. This is very challenging for me as a pastor. What are we doing to train women in the church? It’s simply not enough that there is a “Women’s Ministry” in the church. Are we investing in the women leaders of the church? Are we listening to them? Do we see them as allies in the work that God is doing?
4) The book properly elevates women and helps us to see that the Bible has a lot more to say about women than their roles as wives and mothers. There is more, Aimee argues, to being a woman than just these two roles. “Where is all the teaching on the women who left their households to follow Jesus and even provided for his ministry? Where is the teaching on Phoebe as a model of Biblical womanhood, a prominent woman in society, and a patron to Paul and to many others? And, while we love the “do not be a Martha” message, much of the teaching on biblical womanhood emphasizes our domestic roles in the household. Much of my life is spent serving in domestic household roles, and I am happy that the church has worked to maintain the honor and calling of working in the home. But much less effort has been put into equipping women to be good theologians, which Jesus emphasized as the better portion.” p. 123
5) The book is asking us to be very discerning about the Christian writers that we read. This includes warnings about some of the most popular Christian writers out there (Beth Moore, Lysa TerKeurst, Joyce Meyer, Jen Hatmaker to name a few). It appears to me that Aimee is most troubled by the idea that God has spoken directly to any of these Christian writers. “Unfortunately-and we’ll see this more in chapter 6-much of what is marketed to women appeals to a desire to hear a special voice from God. Life is stressful. We have so many decisions to make that take wisdom and sometime downright risk-taking faith. It would be wonderful to have direct revelation telling us the direction that God would have us take. But that is not the way that he has ordained for us to grow. No, he wants us to count on the sufficiency of the Word that he has already given us and the wisdom to apply it rightly, in dependence on the Spirit. This is a lot more difficult. It requires prayer, discipline, reflection, seeking godly counsel, and stepping out in faith.” p. 59-60 Instead of just waiting around for God to speak to us audibly let’s focus on knowing God through his written Word. I must confess that I still need to process this a bit more. I do believe that the Spirit of God indwells every genuine believer and he is able to guide, lead and nudge us in ways that can only be explained as supernatural. Yet I agree with Aimee that we cross into dangerous territory when we claim that we have been receiving special revelation from God. John, the writer of the book of Revelation, leaves no doubt that the canon of Scripture is closed when he writes, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” -Revelation 22:18-19
I really enjoyed No Little Women and I would encourage you to read it as well. It seems obvious to me that Aimee has a love for the local church and for women and that is what motivated her to write this important book. I pray that No Little Women will go a long way when it comes to encouraging women to know, love and treasure the Word of God with the result being a much stronger church of Jesus Christ.