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Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives Paperback – July 7, 2008
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About the Author
Wendy Horger Alsup (MEd, Clemson University) teaches theology to women, blogs regularly, and is the author of several books.
Top customer reviews
What I was interested in when I picked it up were chapters addressing predestination-how could God seemingly choose some and not others?; evil-did God want the devil to exist?; troubling sovereignty-how can a sovereign God allow the exploitation of children?
This book does not come close to those. Wendy argues that practical theology IS deep theology, and her book is written for women because others are written BY men FOR men. For one, I have never found a theology book to be audience-gender specific, and they were much more challenging and rewarding. I would consider this "for women" because of the high volume of personal narrative and constant reference to her own emotions. Like, a third of the book. If you are not a complete beginner to the faith, it's "deep" theology for the woman who is a Sunday-only learner, who enjoys lots of back story and struggles with God's character almost exclusively on a personal level, not a global or existential. NOTHING wrong with that! We need books for those too, just not what the book advertises itself as.
Those who have been visiting me here at TulipGirl for any length of time have probably noticed we have a whole category with miscellaneous writings on Theology for Girls. We are great fans of Louis Berkhof, John Calvin, St. Augustine, J. Gresham Machen, and others who have gone before, upon whose shoulders we stand.
Often theology isn't perceived to be a proper girlie pursuit, as if it were too strenuous for our pretty little feminine heads. And yet, we as Believers are called to study, think, discuss, writing, meditate -- all with the purpose of knowing our God and walking with Him intimately.
A couple of weeks ago a friend mentioned the book Practical Theology for Women. She pointed out the cover reminded her of our shared online community, a place where women regularly gather to discuss and work out the practical implications of the Gospel in our family lives.
So when my birthday came around and I splurged (imagine, a pocketful of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders gift cards!), I impulsively bought this book. I probably wouldn't have bought it if the pretty cover didn't give me happy feelings already, and Rebecca has already given it five stars in her review.
Wow. . . that's a lot of background for why I bought a book. . . *L* And to think, I meant this to be a short book review!
When I first upacked Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives from my Amazon box, I was a tad disappointed to be honest. It is such a slim little volume. When buying books new, I feel like I want to really get something substantial. And yet, my that disappointment quickly evaporated as I began to read.
Wendy Alsup has written a brief, accessible, but meaty introduction to theology for girls. She begins by giving a sketch of why she studies and teaches theology to women, along with a glimpse of the struggles in her life and how the Lord has carried her. She gives both a definition of theology and brief apologetic for why women should study theology. In a nutshell, she writes what my heart knows -- the study of God and His attributes compels my heart to worship. Theological pursuits enable me to rest in the Lord.
The chapters are short, perfect in length for daily devotionals. Alsup is free with referencing Scripture, not just giving chapter and verse, but also quoting at length the relevant passages. Several things spoke to my soul within the first few chapters. (Oh, how I need to remember, refocus, and abide in the Lord!) But it also brought to mind some things Hubby's mom is walking through right now, and I wanted to share this book with her before she leaves town tomorrow. I decided to read the book quickly, in order to give it to her for her trip.
Truthfully, though, this book is better read in bite-sized bits. As a devotional, as a prompt for meditation -- each chapter addresses an attribute of God or the reality of His presence in our lives.
It is a small book. It can be a read quickly. The ideas are simple -- but not simplistic. For those who are newly walking with the Lord or scared by the term "theology," Practical Theology for Women is an excellent foundational Bible study. For those who have been walking with the Lord for years and perhaps are already convinced of the value of theology, this book provides a means for refocusing on the basics of our walk with the Lord.
One of the things I liked best about this book is that it would be so easy to use either in a one-on-one discipleship context, a small group Bible study, or just to pass along to a friend. Already there are several women in my life I know would find it encouraging to their faith.
I've already shared my copy of Practical Theology for Women with my mother-in-law and give it a rating of 5/5.
That said, had I been Alsup's editor, I would have suggested two small changes. First, I would have edited the chapter that focused on "being ruled by emotions" to communicate the value of the emotions God has given us. Secondly, I would have provided a short "For more study" bibliography in the back for those who would like to take the next step in theological study.
Speaking of. . . which Theology for Girls resources would you recommend?
Path: After a brief testimony of who she is and how she got to where she is now, Alsup systematically works through several key doctrines. She does not claim that this book is comprehensive by any means, but a good foundation. She works through the importance of theology and faith, several different aspect of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. She also adds a section on communication with God.
Agreement: This is a great tool to use for personal study and also for group Bible studies. It is helpful in making connections between daily life and theology.
Personal App: How I view God directly affects how I think and act. Am I seeking to know God more all of the time?
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.
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Title: Practical Theology for Women
Publisher: Crossway Books
Reading Level: Moderate
While deep, abiding...Read more