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Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender

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Discussions about gender continue in many Christian denominations. With good people and solid arguments on each side of the divide, there seems to be little hope for a synthesis or even constructive dialogue. In this brief book, John Stackhouse proposes a way forward. Stackhouse provides biblical, theological, and practical arguments for his own understanding of the issue: Discussions about gender continue in many Christian denominations. With good people and solid arguments on each side of the divide, there seems to be little hope for a synthesis or even constructive dialogue. In this brief book, John Stackhouse proposes a way forward. Stackhouse provides biblical, theological, and practical arguments for his own understanding of the issue: Equality is the biblical ideal, but patriarchy is allowed and regulated by a God who has larger kingdom purposes in mind. Thought-provoking and distinctive in its clarity and honesty, Finally Feminist will be extremely useful for deepening the gender conversation in the church.


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Discussions about gender continue in many Christian denominations. With good people and solid arguments on each side of the divide, there seems to be little hope for a synthesis or even constructive dialogue. In this brief book, John Stackhouse proposes a way forward. Stackhouse provides biblical, theological, and practical arguments for his own understanding of the issue: Discussions about gender continue in many Christian denominations. With good people and solid arguments on each side of the divide, there seems to be little hope for a synthesis or even constructive dialogue. In this brief book, John Stackhouse proposes a way forward. Stackhouse provides biblical, theological, and practical arguments for his own understanding of the issue: Equality is the biblical ideal, but patriarchy is allowed and regulated by a God who has larger kingdom purposes in mind. Thought-provoking and distinctive in its clarity and honesty, Finally Feminist will be extremely useful for deepening the gender conversation in the church.

30 review for Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessie

    This is not a pragmatic christian understanding of gender. What this book does well (earning its measly two stars) is pointing out that the gospel has an inclusive message of both genders, and feminists/egalitarianism is not contrary to its message. (It does focus on Paul's writings, rather than the works of Jesus - disappointing). What it does to further earn my disappointment is go on to imply that egalitarianism is not a core part of the gospel. It explicitly says that this message should be a This is not a pragmatic christian understanding of gender. What this book does well (earning its measly two stars) is pointing out that the gospel has an inclusive message of both genders, and feminists/egalitarianism is not contrary to its message. (It does focus on Paul's writings, rather than the works of Jesus - disappointing). What it does to further earn my disappointment is go on to imply that egalitarianism is not a core part of the gospel. It explicitly says that this message should be abandoned if it is a stumbling block to spreading the gospel. If feminist is a core part of the gospel (which I believe it is) then to say you can spread the gospel without it is ridiculous. It would be the same as saying follow Jesus without loving ones enemy or caring for the poor. There is no point in 'spreading the gospel' if you do so in a way that does not challenge people to follow Jesus. The message of Jesus is sometimes not easy to swallow, but that doesn't mean we should cut it down into something it is not.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    This book makes a solid argument for what I have always believed in my heart, but have never been able to support with all the New Testament text. Finally (ha) someone has suggested something that seems so simple. This is not a book about a "secret" that has to be decoded by highly educated people who are experts in greek and hebrew. The paradigm he puts forward about why Paul wrote all the things he wrote is realistic and honest. My thoughts after are this: "Why the HELL didn't I ever think of This book makes a solid argument for what I have always believed in my heart, but have never been able to support with all the New Testament text. Finally (ha) someone has suggested something that seems so simple. This is not a book about a "secret" that has to be decoded by highly educated people who are experts in greek and hebrew. The paradigm he puts forward about why Paul wrote all the things he wrote is realistic and honest. My thoughts after are this: "Why the HELL didn't I ever think of this? It seems so obvious now." Thank you John Stackhouse, although I don't completely agree with his bit on homosexuality. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neil Kruger

    3.5 Stars Stackhouse presents a winsome and humble case for egalitarianism. His argument is clear even if ultimately not persuasive. Even though I have a fundamental disagreement with the author he does makes good contributions to the debate, chief of which is that at times sinful practices (such as divorce, polygamy and slavery) were legislated rather than immediately eradicated. The gospel's advance does not always immediately rectify cultural norms. Therefore, we need to be sensible readers and 3.5 Stars Stackhouse presents a winsome and humble case for egalitarianism. His argument is clear even if ultimately not persuasive. Even though I have a fundamental disagreement with the author he does makes good contributions to the debate, chief of which is that at times sinful practices (such as divorce, polygamy and slavery) were legislated rather than immediately eradicated. The gospel's advance does not always immediately rectify cultural norms. Therefore, we need to be sensible readers and interpreters of Scripture, not assuming that an apparently clear interpretation constitutes the meaning of the text. With that being said, Stackhouse does make some missteps. He routinely equates complementarianism with the patriarchy (male dominance). The is unfortunate as many of the valid objections to male dominance do not apply to complementarianism. Stackhouse surprisingly concedes that the complementarians read many of the disputed passages correctly. This concession is immediately undermined by arguing that these passages are culturally conditioned. Without a clear approach how to distinguish between what is normative and not, this manner of argumentation can be employed to excuse a whole host of sins that today's society approves of. When it comes to defining what is truly good and right, we should resist attempts to impose categories upon the Scriptures, and allow the Bible to define that for us.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Frank Peters

    This is an excellent book on this very difficult topic, and the best I have read. The book is written from a Christian perspective where the bible is believed to be God’s word. He recognises that the two altering views (egalitarian and complementarian) tend too often to dogmatically use their favourite verses, while ignoring the ones that support the other perspective. The author makes a point that he has not answer all the important questions, nor solved the known problems and dilemmas associat This is an excellent book on this very difficult topic, and the best I have read. The book is written from a Christian perspective where the bible is believed to be God’s word. He recognises that the two altering views (egalitarian and complementarian) tend too often to dogmatically use their favourite verses, while ignoring the ones that support the other perspective. The author makes a point that he has not answer all the important questions, nor solved the known problems and dilemmas associated with the topic. Rather he makes a good argument about how to explain how one can interpret relevant scriptures on the topic that are in apparent disagreement. I can identify with the struggle the author described in his introduction and very much like his approach. I also appreciate that he makes it clear that we should be very careful not to put too much authority in societal norms (as they continue to change), nor in what we believe God is telling us (as this had led to all sorts of strange beliefs), nor in traditional interpretations of scripture (as they are coloured by prior societal norms). Instead, we should consider all of scripture, not just the key verses used to prop up one opinion against another. After years of wanting to be egalitarian but finding there to be too many scriptures that support the alternate – complementarian view, this book has provided me with an intellectual and scriptural framework that now gets me over that line.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I really did not like this book for a number of reasons. The title is incredibly misleading. The book has little to do with gender or feminism. It is mainly about egalitarianism and complementarianism in Scripture. Stackhouse does a decent job of proposing a theory why the New Testament seems to support patriarchy, and to some extent I agree with him. However, the rest of this book was incredibly frustrating because Stackhouse is extremely unclear and is constantly contradicting himself. (Or it I really did not like this book for a number of reasons. The title is incredibly misleading. The book has little to do with gender or feminism. It is mainly about egalitarianism and complementarianism in Scripture. Stackhouse does a decent job of proposing a theory why the New Testament seems to support patriarchy, and to some extent I agree with him. However, the rest of this book was incredibly frustrating because Stackhouse is extremely unclear and is constantly contradicting himself. (Or it at least seems that way because of how confusing his points are.) He doesn't write in such a way that each new idea builds on the previous, but jumps around and goes back and forth without clearly stating anything. His main thesis is acceptable, however he is very unclear on the implications for our actions today. Which is a huge point of contention for me. It is difficult to write a fair critique of his points, because pretty much everything he says is contradicted at some point. However I find his perception of feminism pretty limited and occasionally slightly offensive. Overall, Stackhouse raises some good points. But if you are really interested in understanding Christian Feminism, I would recommend you look elsewhere. I would suggest "Unladylike" or "How I Changed my Mind About Women in Leadership". These were much much better in helping me understand these issues.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    Very informative and well-written book from an egalitarian perspective. A thoughtful and stimulating read. Similar to Webb in his approach (though there are some significant differences, as he explains in a footnote), but much less verbose and much more ‘artsy’ than ‘scientific’. I really appreciate Stackhouse’s “gospel paradigm”, wherein everything takes a back-seat to the gospel. He is also fair and honest about how each position (egalitarian, complementarian, etc…) has its problems and proble Very informative and well-written book from an egalitarian perspective. A thoughtful and stimulating read. Similar to Webb in his approach (though there are some significant differences, as he explains in a footnote), but much less verbose and much more ‘artsy’ than ‘scientific’. I really appreciate Stackhouse’s “gospel paradigm”, wherein everything takes a back-seat to the gospel. He is also fair and honest about how each position (egalitarian, complementarian, etc…) has its problems and problem texts, and he is willing to say that he chooses to live with the problems of his viewpoint rather than others. For a short, challenging, and (partly!) persuasive read on the subject of women in the church and biblical views on gender, it would be hard to beat Stackhouse. Yet I still feel his failure to deal adequately with 1 Tim 2 is the Achilles heel of his work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    An insightful and refreshingly irenic book on the subject of patriarchy in the home and church. Stackhouse takes a third interpretive route on most of the relevant passages, while acknowledging what most know but few say--that neither side has the best interpretation of every single passage. He emphasizes that the New Testament writers generally believed they were living in the last generation before the second coming of Christ and so didn't attempt to overturn social institutions, because of th An insightful and refreshingly irenic book on the subject of patriarchy in the home and church. Stackhouse takes a third interpretive route on most of the relevant passages, while acknowledging what most know but few say--that neither side has the best interpretation of every single passage. He emphasizes that the New Testament writers generally believed they were living in the last generation before the second coming of Christ and so didn't attempt to overturn social institutions, because of the priority of evangelism--while the pointers toward a better Kingdom way are there. The second point of interest to me was Stackhouse's description of how God uses Israelites' understanding of patriachical culture to convey truth about his nature.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Stackhouse did a great explaining how "egalitarians" and "complimentarians" are both right AND both wrong. He is however and egalitarian and therefore writes from that perspective. I've sort of been straddling the fence on this issue (of womens roles in the church) for a couple years, but i feel like "Finally Feminist" has moved me to the "feminist" camp for the right reasons... not just in an effort to be more winsome within a culture that probably finds the patriarchy of the judeo/christian re Stackhouse did a great explaining how "egalitarians" and "complimentarians" are both right AND both wrong. He is however and egalitarian and therefore writes from that perspective. I've sort of been straddling the fence on this issue (of womens roles in the church) for a couple years, but i feel like "Finally Feminist" has moved me to the "feminist" camp for the right reasons... not just in an effort to be more winsome within a culture that probably finds the patriarchy of the judeo/christian religious culture off-putting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alex Strohschein

    John G. Stackhouse, Jr.’s “Finally Feminist” is a highly readable treatise on the question of feminism in the Church today. Stackhouse provides an effective argument for egalitarianism, rooted in the idea that God accommodates Himself to human beings. In the case of gender, Stackhouse asserts that God worked through a patriarchal culture by calling men to love their wives while not eliminating the position of power that men were in. Instead, God works incrementally towards egalitarianism, just a John G. Stackhouse, Jr.’s “Finally Feminist” is a highly readable treatise on the question of feminism in the Church today. Stackhouse provides an effective argument for egalitarianism, rooted in the idea that God accommodates Himself to human beings. In the case of gender, Stackhouse asserts that God worked through a patriarchal culture by calling men to love their wives while not eliminating the position of power that men were in. Instead, God works incrementally towards egalitarianism, just as Jesus and Paul did not outright forbid slavery, but taught in such a way so as to prepare the way for abolition (this is also seen in the OT). Stackhouse suggests that the prime directive of the Bible is the spreading of the Gospel and so there are occasions (such as first-century Rome or even in strongly patriarchal societies today) where the sharp division between the genders had to be upheld in order to be able to spread the Gospel to the culture in the first place. If a man in a patriarchal society will not listen to a female missionary and refuse to have a female priest or pastor in authority over them, then it may be necessary to relegate men to those roles and let women assume positions in the background. Stackhouse also does well in answering common objections raised by Christians who are typically seen as complimentarians. He points out the crucial role of interpretation when it comes to issues surrounding gender. For instance, the NT writers generally believed that Jesus would come at any moment and so they tailored their writing to the historical context and culture they were in. Because Jesus has not yet come, some of the NT strictures, such as women in teaching and leadership positions, need to be tweaked in order to coalesce with our society today (although Stackhouse emphatically resists such a revisionist argument when it comes to the issue of homosexuality). My main criticism of this book is that I feel as if Stackhouse jumps into the complementarian-egalitarian debate without providing enough reflection or foundation upon the original creation of (hu!)mankind itself. I would have liked him to have commented on WHY human beings were divided, male and female, in the first place and what God’s plan is for our sexual division. As well, I disagree with his criticism of an "inductive" method of studying Scripture. The subtitle lays it out – this is a pragmatic understanding of gender, but a very convincing one. Any Christian interested in the role of gender in our homes and in the Church will find this brief book a rewarding read. But I will say, despite being an egalitarian, I vigorously insist on singing the original line of "Be Thou My Vision", "And I thy true son".

  10. 4 out of 5

    Intikhab

    Stackhouse selected a difficult, but brave, approach to put his words across. Finally Feminist is a book of theology in which the author has challenged the orthodox Christian views viz-a-viz women's status in church, society, and house. It is brave because it challenges the tradition of patriarchy. It questions various translations of the Scripture. And, it also challenges the secular feminists on way to prove its thesis: Christian feminism. It takes a difficult approach to substantiate its clai Stackhouse selected a difficult, but brave, approach to put his words across. Finally Feminist is a book of theology in which the author has challenged the orthodox Christian views viz-a-viz women's status in church, society, and house. It is brave because it challenges the tradition of patriarchy. It questions various translations of the Scripture. And, it also challenges the secular feminists on way to prove its thesis: Christian feminism. It takes a difficult approach to substantiate its claim about the prevalence of feminism in Christianity by maintaining a nice balance between the modern and orthodox Christian schools of thought. "Why both sides are wrong - and right" goes perfectly with the substance of the book as it takes a difficult route to establish its point by pointing out rights and wrongs from both the sides: egalitarians and orthodox Christians. Stackhouse's scholarly work provides a voice to women and serves as a message for men: use your masculine strength for the benefit of women. Though the book requires a better understanding of Christianity to aptly comprehend the message, Stackhouse's work does not leave even an ordinary non-Christian reader without an urge to expand her/his knowledge about the Christian history and its evolution.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sutharsan

    Sometimes you don't need to read a book. You just need to read all the reviews and find out who wrote those reviews and then decide from there whether a book is worth a read. For this book, I am doing just that. Sometimes you don't need to read a book. You just need to read all the reviews and find out who wrote those reviews and then decide from there whether a book is worth a read. For this book, I am doing just that.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Medendorp

    Helpful exposition of the various arguments. Helped to shape my articulation of a biblical feminist Christian understanding of the gospel, and helped me understand the complementarian position better, which is always a good thing. I appreciate Stackhouse’s “pragmatism,” but find that I buck against it for two reasons. First, he does not push hard enough, in my opinion, at the fact that the gospel always pushes us to correct societal ills, even when society is not ready to accept such “revolution Helpful exposition of the various arguments. Helped to shape my articulation of a biblical feminist Christian understanding of the gospel, and helped me understand the complementarian position better, which is always a good thing. I appreciate Stackhouse’s “pragmatism,” but find that I buck against it for two reasons. First, he does not push hard enough, in my opinion, at the fact that the gospel always pushes us to correct societal ills, even when society is not ready to accept such “revolutionary” change. Christians are called to model and live into mutual submission and universal human dignity no matter what culture they live in our how do-called “progressive it is. I find at times that Stackhouse’s argument can too easily be interpreted as cultural accommodation—just live within the bounds of the culture—rather than scripture’s call— do not conform to the patterns of this world. Second, while Stackhouse recognizes that he writes from a privileged position as a white, straight, Christian man, I don’t think he adequately appreciates that for those not in his position, pragmatic cultural accommodation means continued suffering, marginalization, and oppression. For one in power to essentially say, “yes, equality is important, but since some people might not be ready for it y’all might just have to grit and bear it awhile longer” seems majorly tone-deaf. I think this book will quickly age into irrelevance (if it hasn’t already), despite it’s solid, careful, we’ll-reasoned, and thought-provoking arguments.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Thought-provoking work, and mercifully short but thorough. Not too academic, but not purely ramblings without any scriptural basis. His proposed paradigm is interesting but not wholly satisfying. It certainly does offer an explanation for some seeming contradictions regarding gender in the New Testament. However, I find it hard to believe that God would be a-okay with His followers ignoring, tolerating, or perpetuating the suffering of people for any reason. If equality is part of the core messag Thought-provoking work, and mercifully short but thorough. Not too academic, but not purely ramblings without any scriptural basis. His proposed paradigm is interesting but not wholly satisfying. It certainly does offer an explanation for some seeming contradictions regarding gender in the New Testament. However, I find it hard to believe that God would be a-okay with His followers ignoring, tolerating, or perpetuating the suffering of people for any reason. If equality is part of the core message of the gospel, then how can the gospel be spread without it? More than that, this paradigm suggests that the church sit back and let secular society dictate the state of the world, rather than be a leader and a light shining morality into humanity's dark areas. Stackhouse acknowledges that Christians have been significant contributors to revolutions like abolition of slavery, civil rights, and early feminism. But then he also warns the church to stay out of the messy politics and prioritize the gospel. He seems to forget that there will never be any change if no one steps up to change it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    It was a helpful text. It has a nice discussion of hermeneutics with regard to gender issues. I had concerns about his treatment of homosexuality as it relates to egalitarianism and his response to the complementarianism's claim that it is rooted in creation rather than the fall. It was a helpful text. It has a nice discussion of hermeneutics with regard to gender issues. I had concerns about his treatment of homosexuality as it relates to egalitarianism and his response to the complementarianism's claim that it is rooted in creation rather than the fall.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Interesting. I liked the way he encourages questioning and is transparent about his approach to scripture interpretation. His ideas about how God works with “the already and the not yet” in societies are thought provoking.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Keri Murcray

    Great book - very helpful and a lot to think about. Here are a few quotes that stick with me: “So, I concluded, the theological task is not to be understood as ‘figuring it all out’ so that one day a person or a church can finally say, ‘There, now! That’s the answer!’ with precision and certainty. The task instead is to dwell on the Bible, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the church; to make the best decision one can make about what Scripture means; and then to respond to it in faith, obedien Great book - very helpful and a lot to think about. Here are a few quotes that stick with me: “So, I concluded, the theological task is not to be understood as ‘figuring it all out’ so that one day a person or a church can finally say, ‘There, now! That’s the answer!’ with precision and certainty. The task instead is to dwell on the Bible, with the help of the Holy Spirit and the church; to make the best decision one can make about what Scripture means; and then to respond to it in faith, obedience, and gratitude. Indeed, such a posture of interpretative humility entails remaining continually open to refinement of one’s interpretations and even to the acceptance of quite different positions as the Holy Spirit gives one more light. (I hope you will maintain that posture as you read, just in case the Holy Spirit offers something new to you as you do so.)” “So how can Paul sound so egalitarian sometimes and so complementarian - even simply patriarchal – at other times? Paul is guided by the Holy Spirit – even used by the Holy Spirit without his full awareness of the implications – to do two things simultaneously: (1) to give the church prudent instructions as to how to survive and thrive in a patriarchal culture that he thinks will not last long; and (2) to maintain and promote the egalitarian dynamic already at work in the career of Jesus that in due course will leave gender lines behind. This doubleness in Paul – which we can see also in the ministry of Jesus – helps to explain why egalitarians and complementarians both find support for their views in Paul’s writings. It is this doubleness that is the key to this paradigm on gender.” “To put it more pointedly: When society was patriarchal, as it was in the New Testament context and as it has been everywhere in the world except in modern society in our day, the church avoided scandal by going along with it – fundamentally evil as patriarchy was and is. Now, however, that modern society is at least officially egalitarian, the scandal is that the church is not going along with society, not rejoicing in the unprecedented freedom to let women and men serve according to gift and call without an arbitrary gender line. This scandal impedes both the evangelism of others and the edification – the retention and development of faith – of those already converted.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jasonlylescampbell

    Not sure I really want to bite off a review of this yet. Until the time is right, I would like to make a couple of qualifications to my low review: 1. NT Wright in talking on this issue at a conference warned against allowing this to become a two choose discussion ... as if Complimentarian (as it is defined in a million different ways) and Egalitarian (as it is variously defined) were the only choice. Of course God created and talks about gender as both of these things ... not one or the other (M Not sure I really want to bite off a review of this yet. Until the time is right, I would like to make a couple of qualifications to my low review: 1. NT Wright in talking on this issue at a conference warned against allowing this to become a two choose discussion ... as if Complimentarian (as it is defined in a million different ways) and Egalitarian (as it is variously defined) were the only choice. Of course God created and talks about gender as both of these things ... not one or the other (Male and Female are different (complimenting one another) and equal (both made in the image of God). 2. Right in line with that is a comment Elizabeth (Betsy) Fox-Genovese made in the intro to one of her books about it being written as "the defense and explication of a feminism." She was (died in 2007) the head of the women's studies department at Emory and she understands that there isn't one thing called feminism ... it is a tangle of ideologies and histories and contexts. Further from a good article in First Things "She knows, as any thoughtful reader quickly perceives, that 'a feminism' has little in common with the dogma that passes for scholarship in most women's studies courses." I don't think Stackhouse is really a thoughtful reader or writer and seems to be working from and defending the "common dogma that passes for scholarship." I think that is all I have for now. Maybe I will post more later when I have the chance.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mayowa Adebiyi

    Most probably the best book on the subject of gender from an egalitarian. Stackhouse is very aware of all of the arguments from both sides and does not resort to a polemical approach in defending his position which he sometimes admit might not be right and the arguments can very well be used by the other side. Two objections, first will be the use of the label 'feminist' as fraught with so many pitfalls and wacky ideas that it surely cannot be the description of what Stackhouse calls for. Second Most probably the best book on the subject of gender from an egalitarian. Stackhouse is very aware of all of the arguments from both sides and does not resort to a polemical approach in defending his position which he sometimes admit might not be right and the arguments can very well be used by the other side. Two objections, first will be the use of the label 'feminist' as fraught with so many pitfalls and wacky ideas that it surely cannot be the description of what Stackhouse calls for. Second being the tacit assumption that Patriarchy is always bad and should be rid of which begs the question of why it has been the norm until now. Surely Slavery will be brought up as a counter argument, so will Homosexuality, both of which he denies can be biblically argued for using the same methods employed here. The 'pragmatic' in the title is a give away. We're still at an impasse.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kate Davis

    The most helpful book I've read yet on the church's perspective of women, although it is a bit academic and requires full attention. Most compelling is the argument that parallel's a wives relationship to her husband with a slave's relationship to her master, and how we view these two given recent history. Today we read the Bible to say that slavery is wrong because God loves us all equally, and that Jesus was giving concessions to say how people in this role should behave. Similarly, the Bible The most helpful book I've read yet on the church's perspective of women, although it is a bit academic and requires full attention. Most compelling is the argument that parallel's a wives relationship to her husband with a slave's relationship to her master, and how we view these two given recent history. Today we read the Bible to say that slavery is wrong because God loves us all equally, and that Jesus was giving concessions to say how people in this role should behave. Similarly, the Bible doesn't condone patriarchy any more than it does slavery; it simply tells women and men how to behave until a time comes when our society is mature enough to do away with this destructive system. Submission and subordination are not how women were designed to live.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    I can't say enough good things about this book. Stackhouse looks at what the Bible says about gender issues and leadership of women brilliantly! He avoids many of the traps most usually fall into (actually, he addresses and calls out most of the traps) and then goes through Scripture and explains how we should really be looking at this issue. Profound truth. I learned so much while reading this short book and not just about gender and the roles of women in the church. I learned about Biblical in I can't say enough good things about this book. Stackhouse looks at what the Bible says about gender issues and leadership of women brilliantly! He avoids many of the traps most usually fall into (actually, he addresses and calls out most of the traps) and then goes through Scripture and explains how we should really be looking at this issue. Profound truth. I learned so much while reading this short book and not just about gender and the roles of women in the church. I learned about Biblical interpretation, hermeneutics, historical and cultural truths, how to look at our culture today and so much more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Richey

    I appreciated this book and, of the books I have read on the subject, is among the closest to articulating my own views. I feel as if it's about 100 pages too short. I'm not sure how effective this would be in changing people's minds on the subject, especially from the Complementarian camp, without more development and engagement. That said, I appreciate his irenic approach and honest treatment of the Biblical text. I've found myself frustrated with most books on the subject, but Stackhouse and I appreciated this book and, of the books I have read on the subject, is among the closest to articulating my own views. I feel as if it's about 100 pages too short. I'm not sure how effective this would be in changing people's minds on the subject, especially from the Complementarian camp, without more development and engagement. That said, I appreciate his irenic approach and honest treatment of the Biblical text. I've found myself frustrated with most books on the subject, but Stackhouse and Webb (Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals), are happy exception. I know he's recently updated this book, but I read the older (2005) version.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Frankie

    This is a cogent, gracious treatise on a hermeneutic of gender - Stackhouse displays a refreshing level of intellectual honesty about his own presuppositions and calls the reader to do the same. For such a short work, he covers a wide range of difficult topics with kindness and respect for the text and tradition. It's also refreshing to hear an orthodox male scholar refer to himself as a feminist and to use the term patriarchy without scorn or irony! This is an excellent introduction to the herme This is a cogent, gracious treatise on a hermeneutic of gender - Stackhouse displays a refreshing level of intellectual honesty about his own presuppositions and calls the reader to do the same. For such a short work, he covers a wide range of difficult topics with kindness and respect for the text and tradition. It's also refreshing to hear an orthodox male scholar refer to himself as a feminist and to use the term patriarchy without scorn or irony! This is an excellent introduction to the hermeneutic that William Webb details in Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals. Definitely recommend it

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gwen Henson

    I really appreciated this book. There were some important points I feel he left out. I've been reading and studying this subject for a couple of years, I'm firmly convinced that women should be free to follow their gifting and that society and the church would benefit from an egalitarian standard. However, I've noticed what I feel are some flaws on both sides of the argument and there are some passages we might never understand until we can ask Jesus ourselves. Even though I believe biblical equ I really appreciated this book. There were some important points I feel he left out. I've been reading and studying this subject for a couple of years, I'm firmly convinced that women should be free to follow their gifting and that society and the church would benefit from an egalitarian standard. However, I've noticed what I feel are some flaws on both sides of the argument and there are some passages we might never understand until we can ask Jesus ourselves. Even though I believe biblical equality is the best course of action, it bothers me when I see weak of flawed arguments.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

    Great read for anyone concerned about male/female gender roles and freedom. The author takes a redemptive historical approach interpreting scripture considering the patriarchal era the scriptures were written in and for sake of NT mission in a patriarchal culture. There's much complemtarians or egalitarians can reflect on here. Stackhouse's commitment to both a high view of scripture and interpretation with his broad experience in sociology makes for a refreshing read even if you don't agree at a Great read for anyone concerned about male/female gender roles and freedom. The author takes a redemptive historical approach interpreting scripture considering the patriarchal era the scriptures were written in and for sake of NT mission in a patriarchal culture. There's much complemtarians or egalitarians can reflect on here. Stackhouse's commitment to both a high view of scripture and interpretation with his broad experience in sociology makes for a refreshing read even if you don't agree at all points.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    I was interested to see what Stackhouse had to say because I enjoyed his book humble apologetics. But the title was the downfall in many regards. Gender is too important to be pragmatic about it. This book is worth a read. There is some really good stuff here, but overall I was largely disappointed with his argumentation because he fails to resolve any of the tension in this conversation and falls back to pragmatic answers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joy Felix

    Four stars because of the ending, it was a great book, but then hurriedly ended when I felt he should have continued to dig into it. But perhaps the author had a page limit, so can be forgiven for that. It was a good introduction to the question of women in the church and society and how it has changed over the years due to cultural changes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    A classic case of question-begging, the evil of patriarchy is never really proved, only asserted. As other reviewers have noted, the book doesn't follow a sustained argument but bounces around. After having read the book, it seems that the author is reacting against a specific form of complementarianism, perhaps what he experience growing up. Not compelling or new, in the end. A classic case of question-begging, the evil of patriarchy is never really proved, only asserted. As other reviewers have noted, the book doesn't follow a sustained argument but bounces around. After having read the book, it seems that the author is reacting against a specific form of complementarianism, perhaps what he experience growing up. Not compelling or new, in the end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris Schutte

    A well-written book seeking to advocate for an egalitarian church while honoring both the interpretive insights of complementarians and also the principle of divine "accommodation" to fallen human cultures. As I began to read I was told that he released an updated version of this book, written in 2005, last fall. So, I look forward to reading "Partners in Christ" soon! A well-written book seeking to advocate for an egalitarian church while honoring both the interpretive insights of complementarians and also the principle of divine "accommodation" to fallen human cultures. As I began to read I was told that he released an updated version of this book, written in 2005, last fall. So, I look forward to reading "Partners in Christ" soon!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Braud

    For a theology book, excellent. Scholarship mixed with personal experience. Totally met my level of brain function, whatever that reveals. If you wanna know what I believe about gender, just read this book. I wanted to put exclamation points on every page.

  30. 4 out of 5

    A.L.

    A great little book that helped sway me towards egalitarianism. I'm not sure if I agree the word "feminism" is really worth salvaging from the popular understanding of it, but this does not hinder Stackhouse's argument. Excellent appendices. Highly recommended. A great little book that helped sway me towards egalitarianism. I'm not sure if I agree the word "feminism" is really worth salvaging from the popular understanding of it, but this does not hinder Stackhouse's argument. Excellent appendices. Highly recommended.

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