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Women's Ministry in the Local Church: A Complementarian Approach Paperback – January 17, 2006
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Susan Hunt and Ligon Duncan walk through the Scriptures to help readers better understand what it means to have an effective, biblical women's ministry in the church. The benefits of women's ministries are great: training and discipling, evangelizing, and reaching out to the poor and needy. This book, written by seasoned ministry leaders, provides many proven tools to help start a women's ministry in your church.
"What sets this book apart is not only the authors' careful thought but their compelling personal examples. The result is a deeply biblical yet intensely practical guide that will greatly benefit not only women, but pastors as well."
―C. J. Mahaney, Senior Pastor, Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville
"In this day and age, we need more courageous visionaries who seek to release women in ministry while honoring the complementarian framework of God's Word. This is a helpful resource for all who wish to join in this pursuit."
―Mary A. Kassian, author, Growing Grateful
"Women's Ministry is a biblically rich reflection of the authors' very thesis-when men and women humbly and joyfully complement each other's God-given roles and gifts, spiritual grace flows for the nurture of His Church."
―Peter A. Lillback, President, Westminster Theological Seminary
"Finally, Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt have given the church a clear theological framework from which to build an effective women's ministry."
―Randy Stinson, Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Provost, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
About the Author
Ligon Duncan (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is chancellor, CEO, and John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He previously served as the senior minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Mississippi, for seventeen years. He is a cofounder of Together for the Gospel, a senior fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and was the president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals from 2004–2012. Duncan has edited, written, or contributed to numerous books. He and his wife, Anne, have two children and live in Jackson, Mississippi.
Susan Hunt is the widow of pastor Gene Hunt, a mother, a grandmother, and the former director of women’s ministries for the Presbyterian Church in America. Hunt has written over 20 books, including Spiritual Mothering.
- Publisher : Crossway; 1/18/06 edition (January 17, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1581347502
- ISBN-13 : 978-1581347500
- Item Weight : 9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #149,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
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I wish somehow that I could have struck the word "covenant" from the authors' vocabulary, because it recurs gratuitously again and again. For example, on pages 62-64, I counted the word covenant used as a noun or adjective 21 times! And that is just the beginning. In planning a Bible study, the authors tell us to ask women to identify characteristics of the covenant in a passage, and when planning events, to consider what characteristics of the covenant are driving the planning (p. 65).
Alleged scriptural exegesis/ illustrations are sometimes quite fanciful. We are told that two different Hebrew words translated "pillar" illustrate two kinds of women in the church (p. 137). The authors then choose Lot's wife as an example of "women who are easily led astray by their self-indulgent passions. The root is authority." Really? Authority, or unbelief? As they continue the extended illustration of the pillars, the authors extend the analogy to the temple pillars and inform us that "David [in Psalm 144] was thinking of women who have been shaped and smoothed to serve God's purpose in the home and church." This interpretation could only have come from the authors' imagination.
A final illustration of covenantal interpretation: Genesis 15:18 is quoted on page 154, "On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your offspring I give this land." The authors do not take this literally (so there is no promise of land for Israel), but tell us instead that "The promise was fulfilled in Jesus who dwelt among us and is the way home." If you lean toward dispensationalism, your stomach will be churning at this point.
I don't mean to say that there is nothing of value in this book. The authors have helpful suggestions for starting a women's ministry and they obviously accept the biblical teaching of the role of women in the church. While I feel I can only give this book a 2-star ratiing, there is another book by Susan Hunt ("Spiritual Mothering") which would receive much higher marks.
This book is wonderful if you agree with these ideas. There should be some kind of alert so people will know these folks think women are to subject to men who often are not even interested in issues concerning women. I noticed from their bios, that they seem to wonderful people, who have devoted their energy and skills to the Lord. The book has a fair amount of Scripture which gives a foundation. Give it a read, maybe you will find it helpful.
This book presents the clear, biblical and most valuable foundations of a Titus 2, covenantal, Biblical approach to minstry for and by women.
Top reviews from other countries
Biblical womanhood is such a sensitive subject that I have come across a pastor who took the passage out of the sermon series as we went through book by book and said that he would deal with the passage off the pulpit behind closed doors to the church members. From my church experience in the UK, women’s ministry has not been a tradition. Even if there is a “women’s worker”, she never functions as described in the book. In all my three decades at church, we have women’s bible study groups but womanhood is never discussed or studied in depth. Because the church did not teach it, I was ill-equipped for Christian womanhood. When I wanted to know, I found there was no one to ask at church (there wasn’t even a “women’s worker” at the time). I started searching by myself. It was pretty inefficient because I fumbled along without guidance. Now I have passed my prime, and younger women at church are asking the same questions as I did, not so much on womanhood itself but on Christian parenting and being Christian wives. Something has never changed. I have been a co-leader of a women’s bible study group but for just under two years. Under my watch, I have been involved in decisions of three studies. What we have been studying is gender-neutral as it has always been when I was just a group member.
My personal view on Christian womanhood is more conservative than my church. I pick up this book expecting it to be soul-searching for women’s role in the local church. But this book is not. It is a blueprint for organising women’s ministry in the local church, which is not what I was looking for. It is a book for discussion at church decision making and planning level, and not for personal use as such. Even so, I have finished reading it, so I would not say it is completely irrelevant. It does offer some food for thought and vision. It is interesting for me to compare what other churches are doing with women’s ministry with what is going on at my own church. Basically the biblical stance is that male and female are created equal but distinct. However what I don’t like about this book is that its vision on women’s ministry and programme builds on only the gender distinction, and neglects equality. While it criticizes the egalitarian bias, their presentation, I feel, tips the balance to the other end in order to counter the former. Is this a fair representation on the subject? For me, it doesn’t help me find my bearing in the Bible either. In addition, I have been running gender-neutral teaching programme but with a strong focus on Christ thus far in my leader’s role. This teaching is also invaluable to Christian life. Male and female have more common ground than differences, and the expression of our differences in the complementarian approach has to build on the common ground we all stand. This does not come through in this book. Therefore I disagree with the book when it seems to narrowly equate women’s discipleship with Christian womanhood, while I think discipleship is to teach Christ and our womanhood will fall into this wider context of our salvation and sanctification. As Christ glories in us, we in Him.
This book comes from the Marketplace. Book Depository is the supplier. It is not speedy in delivery but it came and I was not in a hurry. They kept you posted.