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Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World Paperback – October 1, 2008
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Like an intravenous drug coursing through the vein of an unconscious patent, feminist thought has thoroughly permeated our culture. In this insightful, engaging, and relevant book, Carolyn McCulley encourages us to wake up and become radical - to live as biblically savvy women in the modern world. It's an excellent read and a stirring challenge!
-Mary A. Kassian, Distinguished Professor of Women's Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, author of The Feminist Mistake
Few voices are speaking the truth contained in these pages - but so many need to hear it. Amidst our culture's radical confusion about womanhood, Carolyn teaches the radical truth of God's wise and gracious design for women...Women young or old, married or single, will be instructed and inspired by this book.
- C.J. and Carolyn Mahaney, Sovereign Grace ministries, authors of The Cross-Centered Life and Feminine Appeal
As a young woman, Carolyn McCulley eagerly embraced many of the tenets of our "feminist world." A personal encounter with Christ radically changed her life and led her to pursue what it means to live as a redeemed woman. This book is the fruit f her journey.
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Host, Revive Our Hearts radio program, author of Lies Women Believe
From the Back Cover
Radical Womanhood is not for the weak.
How can we understand the delicate balance of cultural influence, historical perspective, and biblical authority when it comes to our role as women in the home, workplace, church, and culture? In what ways have the three waves of feminism hindered God's vision for women? And, ultimately, how do we understand where to go from here?
Written by a former feminist who now finds herself embracing the distinctions between men and women, Radical Womanhood will equip women from all different perspectives and backgrounds to understand what it means to be a woman. Far from taking a combative approach toward understanding the complexities of the female identity, Radical Womanhood presents the pro-woman truth of the Bible. biblical womanhood is not for the weak - Carolyn will show you how to be radical.
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Top Customer Reviews
I wasn’t sure which Christian-based book on feminism to pick up. After reading reviews and reading excerpts on Radical Womanhood, I headed to Amazon and purchased it. Before going any further in my review, I want to say that this book is informative for all women regardless of age and marital status. While marriage, divorce, and motherhood are a large part of the book, I was still able to learn and apply certain things to my life as a single woman in my late twenties.
This is as much as a historical book as a theological one. Author Carolyn McCulley does a good job giving us historical details on the origins of feminism, including backgrounds on famous feminists, the three waves of feminism (who knew, right?), and how the different waves have affected society and the church as a whole. McCulley takes common themes discussed by feminists and she cites Scripture where God specifically talks about these themes. Some of these themes include submission; abortion; definition of marriage and the husband and wife’s roles within marriage; and women’s roles in the home and church. I found it very interesting to read how much feminism has evolved and how much of it was shaped by other historical occurrences, such as the Industrial Revolution, the Second Great Awakening, and World War II. At the end of the book, McCulley offers further resources for abuse. Sadly – because of human’s sinful nature – some men do defy God’s command to honor women by abusing them. This is an important section of the book that may help women who have been abused.
I usually don’t have lengthy reviews with tangents, yet I feel I must insert this tangent. In Chapter 3, McCulley discusses submission and how it is present in the Divine Trinity. Yes, you read correctly! She quotes Wayne Grudem as he says that headship and submission always was with “the eternal nature of God himself.” She states, "The three divine persons of the Trinity are equal in nature, but different in role" (p. 61). I never before thought of submission being present in the Trinity, but it really stayed with me and helped me understand that submission is not a sign of weakness or lesser value.
Overall, I recommend this book to those wanting to learn more about the rise of feminism. I also recommend to those who want to know more on what the Bible says about being a Godly woman. There is nothing preachy or fluffy in this one. I recommend especially to young women as they may be confused on where they stand on being a woman in today’s society. Many women in mainstream media have taken feminism to the extreme and have distorted women’s image. As McCulley states in her book, “There is a difference between restoring God-given rights to women and setting women above both men and God” (p. 32). This is what many women today have done and I fear it has negatively impacted many young women. And as author McCulley says, the overall cause of this twisted form of feminism is sin of both men and women. I continue to pray that with God’s grace and redemptive powers that we will be able to turn messy affairs around and men can respect women and women can respect men and live as they should – lovingly with equal but different roles. After all, we both share the privileged status of being created in the image of God.
The book contains thoroughly-researched chapters on the history of feminism and its effects on women and the culture today. Carolyn describes women's struggles against injustice without losing sight of the struggle that we all face--against sin in our own hearts. "As a movement, feminism arose because women were being sinned against," Carolyn writes. "I think that is a fair argument. But feminism also arose because women were sinning in response...The glorious hope we have is that Christ came to rescue us from this spiral of sin and sinful response."
Each chapter is followed by personal accounts from women who have trusted God in the most heartbreaking situations: abuse, adultery, abortion, a husband's career-destroying secret. All the stories highlight the grace of God to individual women who found strength and hope in Christ's redemptive work on the Cross, expressed through Scripture and the loving care of other Christians. Their journeys are sometimes long, and painful. Carolyn does not apply Scripture like a Band-Aid. But she does magnify the sufficiency of God's Word, ministered with compassion and grace, to address pain and suffering in this fallen world. (The Appendix, "Resources on Abuse," addresses this grievous sin, and includes "A Better Way to Handle Abuse" from Ken Sande, President of Peacemaker Ministries.)
Carolyn has come to her conclusions about biblical womanhood through adherence to Scripture combined with years of research, study, heart-searching, a passionate pursuit of sanctification in the context of the local church, and by humble engagement with the less-attractive elements in evangelical culture that have distorted the Scriptural doctrines of biblical manhood and womanhood. Her book is balanced, biblical, well-written, and appealing. Most of all, her readers will come away with renewed inspiration "to live as biblically savvy women in the modern world."
- Her research (and citations) demonstrate her commitment to journalistic integrity and her years of experience as a writer and editor. It was refreshing and informative to read actual historical information and logical, persuasive arguments. I learned much--especially about the lives of feminist leaders, how feminist ideals have impacted the evangelical church, and how our current "raunch culture" developed over the last twenty years.
- Carolyn writes from a position of humility--and this is particularly important because this topic is so prone to bring out the worst in harsh rhetoric and personal, graceless attacks. But not with Carolyn McCulley. Even though she obviously feels strongly about this topic, she is unfailingly winsome in her presentation of all sides of the arguments.
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly proclaimed and lived out in the pages of this book. Carolyn clearly explains and illustrates how the root of all of our destructive behavior lies in our hearts--we are sinners. And then she repeatedly points to the One Who can rescue us from ourselves. No surface-level explanations and works-based "solutions"--just a consistent call to remember The Cross; to remember the Gospel--the indicative (Who God is and all that He has already done for us in Christ).
I would not hesitate to recommend this book to anyone seeking to learn more about the topics of feminism (especially its impact on the Christian church), biblical manhood and womanhood, complementarianism, and "the mommy wars."
Well done, Carolyn McCulley!