Should women be in positions of authority over men?
What does the scripture mean when it says women should be quite in the church?
These and many more questions are answered in Claire Smith's book, "God's Good Design".
Even though this is a controversial subject, Smith tackles each verse with confidence and boldness. The book seems geared slightly toward women but it is also a very interesting read for men. Packed with exegesis of scripture, she has written a very fine commentary on those scriptures that speak of the role of men and women in the church.
In my 30 years as a Christian, I have been to a number of different churches. In the early days as a very young Christian, I was invited to attended a church with a woman pastor. I have witnessed first hand what takes place when a woman is in that position. Many of the women who attended this church said they were there because they would not have a man as a pastor. Some had been divorced and actually hated men because of it. It didn’t take long to recognize something was amiss.
Please do not get me wrong, women have the intelligence and ability to work in those positions. In many cases, they have even greater abilities than men. But is it God’s design?
Smith's book takes each scripture concerning women in the church and discusses the different views. She then shares her view of each. Most chapters consist of section of scripture and an explanation of the same. Others are more general. Her arguments are strong and well written.
There will be some strong opposition to her position, but that comes with the territory. Today's world seems to be on the opposite side of everything God commands. If God said “Thou shalt not eat grass”, there would be lobbyist marching on Washington to advocate federal funds for the eating of grass.
My wife and I have experienced opposition in our own life. Both of us desired that she be able to stay at home, raise our son, and take care of the house as I became the sole bread winner. I understand that the world would disagree, but you would think Christians would applaud that decision. We have had more derision than praise for that decision. As Christians we need to stand up for a biblical worldview, no matter what the world believes.
Smith writes that there is no inherent intellectual weakness in women. It is not the lack of ability. It has to do with God's plan and design. One of her arguments is the relationship in the Trinity. There are different positions in the Trinity, but that does not make the Father greater than the Son. They just have different roles. The same is true with men and women. Neither is better than the other, they just have different roles.
Smith also has a section on domestic violence. The man, having authority, should never use it to abuse physically or mentally. In her words - "There is absolutely no biblical justification or excuse for domestic violence or abuse".
The section on the Proverbs 31 wife is also excellent.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
I am blessed to have such a wife. After 23 years of marriage, she is still more precious than jewels.
I truly enjoyed this book and the interpretation of scripture is spot on.
I highly recommend it and would give it 6 out of 5 stars, if I could.
I received this book free of charge from Matthias Media and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.