Subscribe now

The message of women — creation, grace and gender

By Dianne Tidball
September 2013 | Review by Jonathan Bayes
  • Publisher: IVP
  • ISBN: 978-1-84474-595-1
  • Pages: 304
  • Price: 11.99
Buy this book »

Book Review

The message of women — creation, grace and gender
Derek and Dianne Tidball
IVP
304 pages, £11.99
ISBN: 978-1-84474-595-1
Star rating : 2

This book explores the teaching of the whole Bible regarding women. It falls into four parts. First it considers the foundations: the image of God, the Fall and the new creation.

Part 2 looks at women in the Old Testament, focusing on a number of representative examples, such as Deborah, Ruth, Huldah and the anonymous women of the Song of Solomon and Proverbs 31. We are shown the huge scope given to women in God’s service in those times.

Next, the place of women during Jesus’ ministry is highlighted, and then part 4 focuses on the teaching on the role of women in the New Testament letters.

The perspective of the authors is egalitarian. They believe that gender role distinctions are a mark of the Fall and that in the present age we should be working together with God towards their obliteration. Not every reader will agree with that viewpoint, but this in no way lessens the value of the book as a whole.

The issue of women in ministry is confined to just one of the book’s 20 chapters and, throughout, the authors seek to grapple with the biblical text with integrity.

Generally, their doctrine of Scripture is sound, though at times they seem to waver towards giving the specific teaching of Jesus a higher authority than other parts of the Bible, implying that ‘patriarchal’ cultural presuppositions have coloured some of what other parts of Scripture have to say.

There seems to be a danger of failing to recognise that all Scripture is equally the Word of God through Christ, and not just those parts which record Christ’s actual words. Nevertheless, I don’t think anyone will quibble with the statement that ‘gender is not the primary issue, only commitment to Christ and the formation of a Christ-like character’.

Jonathan Bayes
Thirsk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Why Should I Trust the Bible?

We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Who Am I? Human Identity and the Gospel in a Confusing World
Thomas Fretwell

In today’s secular society, religion is often regarded as without rational or scientific basis, and therefore irrelevant to life in the modern world and all areas of public engagement. If that is our social context, then it is no wonder…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
The Pastor’s Life: Practical Wisdom from the Puritans
Matthew D Haste & Shane W Parker

This book highlights ‘some of the many lessons that today’s pastors can learn from the Puritans’ (p.151). As such it is aimed at pastors, but the lessons are really for anyone who is a Christian leader. The opening chapter provides…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
5 Minutes in Church History: An Introduction to the Stories of God’s Faithfulness in the History of the Church
Stephen J Nichols

What a breath of fresh air this book is! Stephen Nichols has given us 40 vignettes from church history that are brief enough to be digested over a bowl of cereal. The book doesn’t aim to be a beginner’s guide…