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No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God

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Why are so many well-intentioned women falling for poor or even false theology? The Devil has been effectively targeting women from the beginning, so why are they often left to fend for themselves in so-called women's ministries? Strengthening women in the church strengthens the whole church. Cultivating resolved, competent women equips them to fulfill their calling as Chr Why are so many well-intentioned women falling for poor or even false theology? The Devil has been effectively targeting women from the beginning, so why are they often left to fend for themselves in so-called women's ministries? Strengthening women in the church strengthens the whole church. Cultivating resolved, competent women equips them to fulfill their calling as Christ's disciples and men's essential allies. Writing to concerned women and church officers, Aimee Byrd pinpoints the problem, especially the commodification of women's ministry. Aimee answers the hot-button issues: How can women grow in discernment? How should pastors preach to women? What are our roles within the church?and points us in the direction of a multifaceted solution.


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Why are so many well-intentioned women falling for poor or even false theology? The Devil has been effectively targeting women from the beginning, so why are they often left to fend for themselves in so-called women's ministries? Strengthening women in the church strengthens the whole church. Cultivating resolved, competent women equips them to fulfill their calling as Chr Why are so many well-intentioned women falling for poor or even false theology? The Devil has been effectively targeting women from the beginning, so why are they often left to fend for themselves in so-called women's ministries? Strengthening women in the church strengthens the whole church. Cultivating resolved, competent women equips them to fulfill their calling as Christ's disciples and men's essential allies. Writing to concerned women and church officers, Aimee Byrd pinpoints the problem, especially the commodification of women's ministry. Aimee answers the hot-button issues: How can women grow in discernment? How should pastors preach to women? What are our roles within the church?and points us in the direction of a multifaceted solution.

30 review for No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    Originally posted on https://christianshelfesteem.wordpres... This book will be a tough pill to swallow for some, yet what Aimee Bryd has to say in No Little Women needs to be addressed. To summarize, women should aspire to be good theologians with the aid of the church. By addressing women and church leadership individually and as a whole, she opens the door for much needed dialogue and reform. Indeed without change I fear women will become more and more disillusioned with the church and continu Originally posted on https://christianshelfesteem.wordpres... This book will be a tough pill to swallow for some, yet what Aimee Bryd has to say in No Little Women needs to be addressed. To summarize, women should aspire to be good theologians with the aid of the church. By addressing women and church leadership individually and as a whole, she opens the door for much needed dialogue and reform. Indeed without change I fear women will become more and more disillusioned with the church and continue, perhaps in greater numbers, to fall victim to false teachers and weak theology. Byrd covers a multitude of topics in 278 pages, yet I found her arguments to be thoroughly fleshed out and followed through to their end. Her “Questions for Reflection and Discussion” at the end of each chapter are some I’ve pondered myself, while others I’d like to see addressed by my own church. Of the many topics she broaches the following resonated the strongest with me: • Women should be recognized as competent allies (cobelligerents; important to the spiritual health of the church and home) • It’s up to church officers to “equip competent, theologically minded, thinking women” • “If there is a clear mission for the women’s initiatives in your church, then the officers of the church should have a plan for equipping qualified women’s leaders” • Bible study curriculum needs pastoral oversight • Poor doctrine that has seeped into the church needs to be addressed by leadership • Discipling is the role of the church • A distinction needs to be made between the ministry of the Word and other “ministries” within the church • Women need to be taught to discern truth in what they read and hear I felt a commonality with the author despite our differences in theological training and denominational backgrounds. When I mentioned how this book may be a tough pill for some to swallow, I had a few reasons in mind. First, Byrd has doctrinal differences with churches who ordaining female ministers and those who claim to receive direct revelations from God. Additionally, you may not agree with how she defines the role of parachurch ministries. I cringed at the mention of an international Bible Study ministry which has helped me grow immensely in my faith, bible literacy, and prayer life. The point she is trying to drive home is that “the primary place where discipleship should be taking place is in the local church.” Finally, in chapter 9, an eye-opening chapter titled “Honing and Testing our Discernment Skills,” the author challenges readers to (re)examine the writings of several prominent Christian authors, including Beth Moore, Pricilla Shirer, Lysa TerKeurst, Rachel Held Evans, Ann Voskamp, and Jen Hatmaker among others. I refuse to take offense on behalf of these authors, some of whom I’ve read and enjoyed, but those who have deep loyalties to Christian celebrities may. For me, Byrd’s exercise prompts me to be more vigilant in the future. No Little Women is a call to action! For women, it’s to request theological training equal to (as deep as) our male cobelligerents, and not settle for teachings that appeal to our emotions and sentimentality while subverting Scripture. As for the church, Byrd asks church officers to remain involved and in-tune with the women of their congregation—shepherding, training competent leaders, and dispelling false ideas as they arise. I recommend this book to members of church staff, Women’s Ministry leaders, and laywomen alike. I received a complimentary copy of this book from P&R Publishing for this review. All opinions are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tori Samar

    Overall, this is a great book with a much-needed message for the women of the church (as well as their church leaders). It is a sad wonder that so many women in the church have a deep desire to grow in their faith and yet often choose some absolutely rubbish books to read, books either leaking or overflowing with bad theology. It's no surprise, unfortunately, that Paul took time in 2 Timothy 3 to mention weak women (i.e., the little women whom Aimee Byrd is focusing on in this book) who are alwa Overall, this is a great book with a much-needed message for the women of the church (as well as their church leaders). It is a sad wonder that so many women in the church have a deep desire to grow in their faith and yet often choose some absolutely rubbish books to read, books either leaking or overflowing with bad theology. It's no surprise, unfortunately, that Paul took time in 2 Timothy 3 to mention weak women (i.e., the little women whom Aimee Byrd is focusing on in this book) who are always learning yet never arriving at knowledge of the truth. On the whole, I agree with the main points of No Little Women. Without question, women need to be good theologians, good readers, and good spiritual allies to men in the church. I also appreciate Byrd's willingness to call out women for the poor theology and discernment they display when they wholeheartedly embrace the message of the popular yet harmful books being marketed to Christian women today. Byrd also does well to remind pastors and other church leaders that they need to be aware of and take very seriously the women's ministries, Bible studies, book studies, etc., that go on in their churches, as well as consider how best to foster the spiritual growth of the women under their care. Indeed, considering that women make up such a large, active part of church congregations, church leaders would be foolish not to think through how they will equip women to be wise, effective members of the household of God. Probably my biggest quibble with No Little Women relates to the book's fourth and final section, which delves into practical ideas for helping women become better theologians, readers, and allies. As an avid reader and lover of theology myself, I was quite happy Byrd took the time to offer so much advice on how to read books well and how to engage discerningly with Christian books that may or may not have dangerous theology. However, I was surprised that Byrd did not devote nearly as much space to advising women on how to be good students of God's Word (after all, I would assume that a woman who doesn't read Christian books well probably does not read God's Word as well as she ought to either). The best way to learn theology and spot false teaching is to know God's Word inside and out; therefore, it is of primary importance that women be good students of the Word. While Byrd does place heavy emphasis on women's sitting under good expositional preaching and learning from wise spiritual teachers, she somewhat neglects the necessity of women's learning to study and interpret God's Word on their own. At one point, she did say that space in the book did not allow her to delve deeply into good hermeneutics. But since that was the case, I wish she had at least pointed the reader to some additional books or resources about effective Bible study and interpretation. May we have no little women in our churches! (Read for the Tim Challies 2017 Christian Reading Challenge. Category: A book targeted at your gender)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    No Little Women is an engaging read for men and women. In the book, Byrd argues that men in the church (pastors, elders, etc.) need to be more aware of books being marketed to the women in their congregations, more discerning of what books are being read by women in their study groups or book clubs. Byrd also argues that women--whether in position of leadership or not--need to be more discerning of what they read. All books are not of equal quality. Bad theology, she warns, is entering our homes No Little Women is an engaging read for men and women. In the book, Byrd argues that men in the church (pastors, elders, etc.) need to be more aware of books being marketed to the women in their congregations, more discerning of what books are being read by women in their study groups or book clubs. Byrd also argues that women--whether in position of leadership or not--need to be more discerning of what they read. All books are not of equal quality. Bad theology, she warns, is entering our homes, our churches, our very minds because we lack discernment. This book isn't just about bad books, however. It's about men and women doing church together, learning or not learning from one another. The segregation that exists--for better or worse--when churches insist on having separate "women's ministries." This book addresses women's roles a good bit. Byrd argues that women are necessary allies for men. Byrd is very honest and straightforward. She calls us to stop being nice, to stop being tolerant, and to take a stand for the truth. We are to be men and women of the Word. And we are to know the Word. We are to judge by the Word. What we read--outside the Bible--should be informed by the Bible. We should insist that truths line up. That the "Christian" books we read--whether self-help, christian living, theology, or devotional--be biblical. Byrd assumes that her readers attend churches where only men are pastors and hold leadership positions, and that there are no women pastors. For better or worse, she makes this assumption.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Loraena

    This book is needed. Initially, I was a bit turned off by the title - it seemed a bit...cutesy or something, implying that women are...something less. Then my husband ordered three copies of it - unbeknownst to me - and I was touched that he is invested in the topic and intrigued to read it. It turns out my assumptions were wrong. Would I have chosen a different title? Perhaps. But the phrase "no little women" turns out to be a translation from 2 Timothy 3:6-7 (often translated weak) not a refer This book is needed. Initially, I was a bit turned off by the title - it seemed a bit...cutesy or something, implying that women are...something less. Then my husband ordered three copies of it - unbeknownst to me - and I was touched that he is invested in the topic and intrigued to read it. It turns out my assumptions were wrong. Would I have chosen a different title? Perhaps. But the phrase "no little women" turns out to be a translation from 2 Timothy 3:6-7 (often translated weak) not a reference to Meg & Jo. This book is a game changer. A must-read for Christian women everywhere, especially thinkers and leaders AND it's also a book for men. She writes directly to women desiring to be competent with the Word and to male officers of the church. The sections on male/female friendship and mutual sharpening were powerful and her critique of the Christian publishing industry and its unscriptural compartmentalizations of male & female thought/theology/bible study is superb, but her tone throughout is respectful and reasoned. She also follows all the thought-threads (it's a pet peeve of mine when authors don't do this) and the clarity she brings to this conversation is such a breath of fresh air. I had no idea how well this book would address questions I've been wrestling with for a decade and I know I'll be mulling and processing for a while. My one complaint is that she comes across as uncharitable towards many other female writers. For all her advocacy for women to be taken seriously, she seems a bit harsh. It is important to read with discernment and to have skills to study and engage scripture with competence, yet it appears almost as if she's dismissive of some writers simply because they are bestselling and some of her critiques come across as a bit petty. In the second to last chapter, she gives concrete examples from current best-selling books as illustration of the need for more clarity in writing. I understand what she was trying to do, but her example doesn't hold up with all those excerpts taken out of context. For example, she includes something from Ann Voskamp back-to-back with something from Rachel Held Evans. A reader who has not read the books in question might come away thinking they are both questionable authors. But I have read both books, and Aimee's approach here is problematic, though I appreciate her efforts to be practical. Ann Voskamp may have an unorthodox style that some struggle to understand, but her theology is deeply Christ-centered and thoroughly orthodox. She has a gift for taking deep truths about God and connecting them with life. She is skilled at showing how theology is functional and personal, in an artful, poetic way (this is where she loses some of her more linear-thinking readers). Women should not have to write in a more masculine style to be taken seriously. It's true that some people struggle to understand her writing, but that is because she artistically connects her theology to her personal life in a way we, quite frankly, are often unskilled at doing and unfamiliar seeing done. Rachel Held Evans, on the other hand, takes issue with inerrancy, perspicuity, and the cohesiveness of scripture - her books are theologically problematic far beyond a lack of clarity. Overall, the helpfulness of this book far outweighs my concerns. This book provides valuable insights and will hopefully be a great tool for conversation. I want to read it again, this time with friends, and hopefully not just women.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    3.5 - 4 stars VT 2017 Reading Challenge - a book targeted at your gender Good book with lots to ponder. I had typed up a review but apparently forgot to save it because when I came back to finish it it was gone. :-( Not sure when I'll have time to retype it. It definitely makes me want to finish reading Mortimer Adler's "How to Read a Book" and (re)read several books by James Sire, Leland Ryken, C.S. Lewis, etc. to be a better reader. (Obviously, chapter 8 was one of my favorites!)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Callie

    I picked up this book when I heard the author recommended on a podcast. Wow, I'm so glad I did! This book addresses the problem of what Paul calls "little women" in the church who are targets for false teachers (2 Tim. 3:6-7), "little" in the sense of being immature in discernment and divisive. Her argument is that many women's ministries, books targeted toward Christian women, etc, are not ministering to women as if they were capable of deep theological thought and discernment, and this is not I picked up this book when I heard the author recommended on a podcast. Wow, I'm so glad I did! This book addresses the problem of what Paul calls "little women" in the church who are targets for false teachers (2 Tim. 3:6-7), "little" in the sense of being immature in discernment and divisive. Her argument is that many women's ministries, books targeted toward Christian women, etc, are not ministering to women as if they were capable of deep theological thought and discernment, and this is not only quite insulting, but is also adding to a "little women" problem in our churches. And we women often don't ask for higher quality material or read with discernment either, when we should be speaking up about these things in our churches and setting the bar higher. She hits on so many different topics related to women's ministries in this book, and I confess, I read it over a couple of months with just ten minutes a night before I went to sleep, so I think a lot of it I'll have to be referring back to later. However, I will say that I was nodding my head in agreement at different points throughout the whole book, and I was definitely challenged. I have known for years that one of my spiritual gifts is discernment, but after reading this book I realized that I have often been lazy about developing that gift. The second to last chapter was especially convicting to me in this, as Byrd gives passages from several popular books targeted at Christian women so we can get some practice at discernment. I realized that a few of the passages were ones that I had read before in a casual way, without diligently using my discernment! If you sometimes don't use the discernment you have and don't develop it, it's not too much of a leap to having no discernment at all, is it? I really liked her "triage" concept of discernment, which is sorting different statements we read and hear into different categories depending on how problematic the theology is. Some things contain critical errors and should be denounced, some things are secondary issues (differences between denominations while still trying to be true to God's word), and some things are matters of opinion. I have unconsciously used a similar sorting method in my reading, but it's so helpful to have that articulated, and the categories are something I plan on using going forward. I highly recommend this book to all my Christian women friends (and I think it would be great for men in leadership positions in the church to be reading too). It's definitely one I'll be coming back to.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    So... I wanted to like this book. It raised a lot of the right questions, but I didn't feel like it provided many answers. Just when I would get excited about the questions she was asking, the chapter would end or the subject would change. I feel like Aimee played it pretty safe. I will give her credit for calling out some specific passages from female authors that exhibit troublesome theology or at least a lack of concern for good theology. My other concern is that critiquing what's wrong with c So... I wanted to like this book. It raised a lot of the right questions, but I didn't feel like it provided many answers. Just when I would get excited about the questions she was asking, the chapter would end or the subject would change. I feel like Aimee played it pretty safe. I will give her credit for calling out some specific passages from female authors that exhibit troublesome theology or at least a lack of concern for good theology. My other concern is that critiquing what's wrong with certain authors is going to make people who love those authors defensive, if they even bother to read Byrd's book at all. I think if we want women to love theology, we keep fighting bad with good. Write good theology, make it compelling and honest, and invest your energy in your local church as a teacher and learner. I know Aimee Byrd does those things well, too, and I expected this to be more of a manifesto for those who want to join her, but I didn't see this book that way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Aimee offers us a straight up shot without a sugar coated rim. This practical book is the heart of Aimee's passion. Equipping women to be good theologians through discernment in reading and listening. She gives wonderful examples of women right from scripture and the history of the church. She even gives practical advice for pastors on preaching to women, as well. Honoring and challenging us to be Necessary Allies not only to our husbands but to the church as a whole. Please read this, and pass Aimee offers us a straight up shot without a sugar coated rim. This practical book is the heart of Aimee's passion. Equipping women to be good theologians through discernment in reading and listening. She gives wonderful examples of women right from scripture and the history of the church. She even gives practical advice for pastors on preaching to women, as well. Honoring and challenging us to be Necessary Allies not only to our husbands but to the church as a whole. Please read this, and pass it on to your pastors!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Reyes

    I strongly agree with her premise - that women need to be serious about theology, doctrine, etc. I did not like that she referred to certain Christian women as “false teachers” leading women astray. Even though I probably wouldn’t invest time in reading many of the authors she refers to, I still respect their love for Jesus and their fidelity to the gospel. It felt unnecessarily critical and arrogant.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    My pastor interviewed Aimee Byrd on his podcast and that was where I was introduced to her writing. I go back between giving this book a 3 star to 4 star rating but landed on a 4 star because it was SO thought-provoking. This book had a lot of great points and there was MUCH I agreed with. There were some large portions I disagreed with too. I'm not going into much detail here because honestly, I'm still processing it and am planning on processing/discussing it with my pastor. I will say, I apprec My pastor interviewed Aimee Byrd on his podcast and that was where I was introduced to her writing. I go back between giving this book a 3 star to 4 star rating but landed on a 4 star because it was SO thought-provoking. This book had a lot of great points and there was MUCH I agreed with. There were some large portions I disagreed with too. I'm not going into much detail here because honestly, I'm still processing it and am planning on processing/discussing it with my pastor. I will say, I appreciated her call for women to be serious theologians, her treatment of the Hebrew word ezer, her dealing with ontological Trinity and critique of "biblical womanhood" and the dangers that are within that circle, as well as the importance of women teaching (yes, teaching men), especially in parachurch settings. My biggest issues was that I feel like at times her critique of books at the end were leading and the excerpts taken out of context. She acknowledges a book is far better to be sized up in its entirety but goes on to do an exercise of "triage" which at times was simply not helpful, I think. I realize she was trying to do an exercise of discernment, but I have some mixed feelings/thoughts about that. Also, I would have loved to see some women's theological writing praised, instead of just critiqued. Although she mentions there are many wonderful female writers out there, she doesn't point the reader to hardly any. Also, I don't think I always agreed with her definition of bad theology. I acknowledge that there are legitimate different theologies than mine that may not qualify as "bad." I'm not being subjective here, but in terms of different views of gifts of the spirit, for example, I can acknowledge that there can be differences without calling someone with that belief a heretic, for example. So all in all, this is a very thought-provoking, thoughtful book that deserves a reading for those who are interested in women teaching, growing in theology, and taken seriously in serving the church.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Caitie

    Ultimately this book fell short for me. I appreciate the direction I *think* the author was trying to travel in - to argue for the theological equipping of the church as a whole, not just leadership, and making sure to include women in that because we have been neglected in this regard, especially in certain circles and denominations - this is a wonderful and important subject. But the method did not quite line up with the premise here. A really strange thing that kept appearing and jarring me a Ultimately this book fell short for me. I appreciate the direction I *think* the author was trying to travel in - to argue for the theological equipping of the church as a whole, not just leadership, and making sure to include women in that because we have been neglected in this regard, especially in certain circles and denominations - this is a wonderful and important subject. But the method did not quite line up with the premise here. A really strange thing that kept appearing and jarring me as a reader was Byrd’s condescending tone and attitude toward women. This was just plain odd considering the subject matter of her book...and the fact that she is a woman herself. There was an air of superiority throughout the text, as if she were implying that women as a category are gullible and extra prone to swallowing bad theology without discernment (with the rare exception of herself). There is even a section where she teaches the reader how to read a book, which seems odd and out of place in a book where the previous chapters have all been aimed at educated pastors and church leadership. Don’t get me wrong, I think the effort to help others read critically is important, but that section seemed like it would have been more at home in a middle school or high school classroom. In that context I would cheer for it! In this context, it was a little insulting. Does anyone who picked up THIS book really need reading lessons? There are some gems in this book as well, and I don’t want to neglect those. Byrd does argue for the capability of women in many sections (albeit a little confusingly, given her tone and perceived attitude about women in other chapters). She advocates for women being able and allowed to pursue and use their giftings in the context of the church, as well as parachurch organizations and in other contexts, even acknowledging that women can teach men in some contexts. She holds to the usual reformed interpretation that women can’t be pastors, but she does acknowledge that women, like men, can also be gifted Bible teachers and should be encouraged to pursue and develop these gifts and skills for the edification of the body in other contexts besides the Sunday pulpit. I also thought her treatment of feminism was mostly fair, which I’m sure was a tricky road to walk in her position. There were hints in her writing that pointed at a pretty extreme conservative background, so I think the fact that she wrote this book at all is brave. I also appreciated the section on “theological triage” - though this concept is not original to her, I like that she mentions keeping the main thing the main thing and not getting overly hung up on the details to the point where we alienate our brothers and sisters in Christ. Except...again, she seems to say one thing and do another. I’ll explain. I think the main two things I kept running into that made me unable to give this book more stars were the condescending tone and the nitpicky legalism. Though she says much about ordering doctrine according to importance and taking care not to elevate minor matters of disagreement over major matters of agreement, Byrd is steeped in legalism, and it leaks out in every chapter in a way that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In several sections, she attacks and rants about books written by other Christian women in ways that appear more harmful and hateful than constructive. I wish instead of attacking other women who love the Lord and seek earnestly to serve Him, she would have read the books she is criticizing a little more closely. Often Byrd calls out things out of context and seems to miss the author’s connection of her point to Scripture, or she misreads the passage entirely and assigns a foreign motive not organically present in the text. Example: Byrd asserts that authors such as Jen Hatmaker, Beth Moore, and Sarah Young, because they write about insights the Holy Spirit has revealed to them in the Scriptures, are trying to put their words and insight on the same level as Scripture/to write more Scripture. Any actual reading of these authors would reveal that this is a pretty ridiculous misreading and mischaracterization. This isn’t an effective way to point out theological differences or even heresy. Her mishandling of others’ work just made me want to go read it for myself (the ones I hadn’t yet anyway) to get a more balanced picture and discern for myself whether these texts are really as horrible as she says. Perhaps the most jarring example of Byrd’s legalism comes when she goes on a tirade about the recent trend of Bible journaling. I understand the suggestion that perhaps collaging and doodling over the Scriptures could be something that obscures the Word in some cases. However, many women who do the Bible journaling and doodling seem to keep a separate Bible to do this in that is not their study Bible. Byrd is palpably upset about the entire situation of art being anywhere near the Bible. At one point, she actually says something about how whimsy has no place in studying the Word of God. As if all joy is evil and must be avoided! It sounds funny, but this notion is actually pretty insidious. Our God is the creator of joy, of beauty, of creativity, of art, and yes - of whimsy! It is a very dangerous trap to fall into when we begin to believe that any and all joy, beauty, etc. is tantamount to sin. This attitude very often gives way to the extremely damaging belief that, when discerning the will of God, the path that makes us most miserable must be the true one. Please avoid this line of thinking, for your own spiritual health. My advice: do as Byrd says, not as she does. Read her own book with a critical eye, careful to spit out the bones. Then you will be able to absorb the good without swallowing the bad theology. Just don’t read it expecting it to answer the question of what the role of women is in the church, or the role of women in general, or if you are already a woman of deep and rich study in the Word and other books of substance. You might be a little bit disappointed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burned with sins and lead astray by various passions. 2 Timothy 3:6 As women with influence with our families, church, and community, are we coming to the knowledge of the truth. Sobering words and they should be for each woman whom calls themselves a Christian. A solid book that will challenge you (and we need to be challenged) and also encourage you (we need hope to carry on) to not grow weary in doing good. Each chapte For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burned with sins and lead astray by various passions. 2 Timothy 3:6 As women with influence with our families, church, and community, are we coming to the knowledge of the truth. Sobering words and they should be for each woman whom calls themselves a Christian. A solid book that will challenge you (and we need to be challenged) and also encourage you (we need hope to carry on) to not grow weary in doing good. Each chapter challenges women and pastors to the importance of theology and how it produces good and true works. It takes the sacred cow of Women's ministry (I love women's ministry by the way) and helps look deeper in our purpose. This is so important because if it does not align with the general purpose of the church, than its another club where false teaching can creep in. The general purpose and the general purpose of this text is how live in the presence of God. The pastors are challenged as well in caring for the women of the church and validating their important role in families and the body. How well does your pastor know what is being taught and how it is being received. One of the key points is how we recruit women leaders. Do we serve them first or do we call them to serve first? This is key because we can only serve if we have been served. Jesus was an example of this important point. As with all ministries, do we make Jesus about who He is. Our ministries cannot be just about self-help but they must point to who Jesus is. Our need for salvation and they way and work of Christ. Do we operate as women as men's opponent or men's ally? Do we compete or compliment? Not only does this apply to our households but also in the household of God. The text also encourages discernment among teachers and well-known authors. Here are a few quotes. See if this rings true or not and why. I don't punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It's not my purpose to punish it. It's my joy to cure it. She takes well known excerpts and shows you exactly what is lacking in theology which is truth. You may have a favorite author or book that sheds some light to the damage it does. What is that damage? We can forget the gospel and make it about something else. When we make it about something else, it becomes an idol. I am always wary of the woman author who has a large following. Why? Because many times it becomes about the woman or the cause. Byrd challenges you to think critically about the implications of false teaching. Do not be offended if it is your favorite author but ask is truth important? With a resounding Yes it is and we must always pursue it. We must repent when we take lies as truth and rejoice in the truth. This is something we all will do. It is there. The truth always leads to Christ and his work. It is not a popularity contest on the way it sounds poetic or how funny, or witty someone is. Or even all the good works they do. Because to be honest, many who do not follow Christ do good works. It does not lead to our self-improvement or comfort. If anything, truth can be the most uncomfortable of all. I appreciate the journey that Aimee gives her readers for the truth and the joy that is found. A Special Thank you to P & R and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Aimee Byrd hits hard with her latest book, swinging at the fluffy feel good women's studies and women's books that have no substance, and are quite dangerous because of this. She starts out with a little rehash of her "Housewife Theologian" and "Theological Fitness" for those who didn't read her first books, and quickly gets into the meaty portions of the dangers of being a "Little Woman", why the Christian publishing market panders to them (and how), how & why we need to be critical readers, an Aimee Byrd hits hard with her latest book, swinging at the fluffy feel good women's studies and women's books that have no substance, and are quite dangerous because of this. She starts out with a little rehash of her "Housewife Theologian" and "Theological Fitness" for those who didn't read her first books, and quickly gets into the meaty portions of the dangers of being a "Little Woman", why the Christian publishing market panders to them (and how), how & why we need to be critical readers, and lastly how and why we are to sit under good preaching as well. As usual, she uses solid scripture and both historic and current theologians to back up her claims (while dismantling woman authors who don't to the same). This book is different from her first two in that she is also writing to the church pastors and elders at the same time she is talking to the women (especially women's group leaders), and points out why it's important to address these topics in their churches and gives them a female perspective to think about. In short, care about the ladies in your churches and be involved in what they are teaching each other or sharing with each other. One criticism I have is that she paints such currently popular authors such as Jen Hatmaker, Lysa TurKeurst, Stormie Omartian, Beth Moore, and the like as being somewhat malicious in misleading little women, as if they and their publishers know they are theologically lite or incorrect and are trying to lead them down the path to destruction. I don't necessarily agree with this; I just think these ladies have good intentions, but their lack of solid theology and research and probably gospel-less preaching they've been given has led them down the feel-good best-life-now road. With all the commotion being raised over "The Shack" movie and book-tie-in in recent weeks, I'm glad she also addressed this book too. I've always hated the books geared to Christian women in the bookstores. In the past I just thought they were a bit fluffy and devoid of any real substance and I just didn't learn much other than emotional garbage. Byrd's first two books were the first to get me excited about a woman author talking to women, because she was the first to talk real substance and was bold in her theology. This book pinned down what I was craving and why, and unfortunately I see too many ladies falling into the Christian version of chick-lit and I see the downfall of that in our churches today. Great read for both men and women in the church!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kae

    I'm only about halfway through this book, so perhaps I shouldn't say anything yet. So far, I think the author has some very good points, but often makes them with a snarky attitude. I liked her book Housewife Theologian much better. However, one thing I can't get over and what prompted this review is how the editors at P & R allow so many of Aimee Byrd's sentences to end in a preposition! She is quick to point out the flaws in the theology of "little women," but does so without even using proper I'm only about halfway through this book, so perhaps I shouldn't say anything yet. So far, I think the author has some very good points, but often makes them with a snarky attitude. I liked her book Housewife Theologian much better. However, one thing I can't get over and what prompted this review is how the editors at P & R allow so many of Aimee Byrd's sentences to end in a preposition! She is quick to point out the flaws in the theology of "little women," but does so without even using proper grammar.... Update: Still working my way through this and I am nearly finished. I REALLY liked the chapter on reading, based on Adler's classic work, How to Read a Book. I liked the idea of "triage" for discerning truth and error. I think, though, that Aimee dropped the ball when she used excerpts from books that she had problems with--in most cases, she did not explain what she thought was wrong with them, exactly. Yes, I know you are supposed to be triaging them yourself, but if she is trying to teach us how to do it, she should be specific the first time through. It's like getting answers wrong on a test and the teacher does not give you the right answer when she grades the test. Or turning in a research paper and getting a poor grade on it without getting any comments written on it to tell you why you got the poor grade. Again, I know you are supposed to figure it out for yourself, but SHOW how, then next time we can work it through.... Another grammatical error (p. 259): "There is all kinds of research that points...." No. "There ARE all kinds of research" OR "There IS research. " Where are the editors?? One more beef with P & R.... This is a nice book, physically. Great cover picture, good quality. EXCEPT.... there should be a blank page after the book ends. I think it is a sign of a "cheap" book when it ends with the last printed page. All of that said, I would recommend this book to my pastor and to some other women. I believe that what Aimee Byrd was trying to get across was valid, and I was convicted about some of my tendencies to be a "little woman." I definitely need more discernment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I generally steer clear of books aimed at women in the religion category, because so many are all just fluff, and most are filled with bad theology. But I've got to say, if you want a book to encourage you to dig deep into discernment read this one. It will most likely offend you if you like many of the popular Christian authors publishing lately. But maybe it will inspire you to take a hard look at what you're reading, compare it to the Word and see how it truly measures up.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Wes Bredenhof

    Thought provoking! Probably so for women, but definitely for pastors and elders.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    This book had a lot of helpful, thoughtful encouragement about what formal and informal ministry to women could look like in conservative confessional churches and how to wrestle with the good and bad that can result in parachurch ministry. I think I kind of wanted this to be a harder hitting Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, and it was not that. I found some of her exhortations a bit pedantic - for example, her long discussion about Ministry vs. ministry vs. "initiatives," while thought provokin This book had a lot of helpful, thoughtful encouragement about what formal and informal ministry to women could look like in conservative confessional churches and how to wrestle with the good and bad that can result in parachurch ministry. I think I kind of wanted this to be a harder hitting Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, and it was not that. I found some of her exhortations a bit pedantic - for example, her long discussion about Ministry vs. ministry vs. "initiatives," while thought provoking, seemed incredibly overboard in the context of most churches I've been part of. She really tackles a lot of the issues surrounding women's spiritual growth and discipleship, and I loved her take on parachurch ministry (either it is church or it isn't! If it's a church, then ordain people and administer the sacraments/ordinances of the church! If it's not, then why are there only men on your leadership boards? Why are women more likely to lead a breakout than a plenary?). Since women are by and large reading a lot more than men and reading a lot more pop theology than their church leaders can keep up with, I really appreciate that she also looks at how to train women to read well. Don't just give them a list of what to read and what not to read, but train them to engage and figure out what is worth keeping or discarding, and how to discern what's a Really Big Disagreement and what's a minor quibble. Once I made peace with this not being a more intense Women of the Word, I really struggled with the hidden assumptions present that reflect the background of the church and denomination of the author. As a fellow smart, thoughtful woman with strong personality and communication gifts, I can relate very much to the author but I feel really burdened that literacy is not something we should take for granted. I review this from my couch in North Carolina, where 22% of the adult population experiences difficulty with reading and writing to a degree that negatively impacts their daily life and that of their family. A discussion of women's discipleship that focuses only on sharpening the skills of the people who already read seems short sighted. On the other hand, "readers are leaders," and if the people who are willing to devote their time to reading can just do so in a better manner, it certainly will benefit the church as a whole. As someone who has often spent time in churches that were a compromise with my husband (which is true of more than half of the wives I know; we've often bid our time in churches that were NOT what we would have picked alone), many of her discussions would have left me feeling a little helpless and powerless. What do you do if you're really an Anglican or Presbyterian at heart but you live in a small town with few options and you're invested in an E-Free church without the robust guidance of church officers? One book can't solve every problem, for sure, but it would have been nice to see that kind of thing touched on. I would have loved to see a more robust critique of some of the more conservative material marketed to women, too. She did a great job of pointing out issues within the conservative side of gender discussions (like a few brief discussions of the inherent theological discrepancies in Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood), but when it came to book reviews, it seemed like she slammed against a lot of more liberal writers (Jen Hatmaker, Rachel Held Evans, etc.,) while lumping much less harmful (and often edifying) works (Beth Moore, Ann Voskamp, etc.,) in the same stroke. I was pleased to see her speak against the work of Debi Pearl's Created To Be His Helpmeet, for instance, but would have liked to see more robust critical engagement with works in the mainstream of complementarian theology. I'll give this four stars because she does a great job of asking and expecting people to engage with her ideas without demanding they agree with her entirely. While she comes across as condescending in some places, she does not do so in ways that shame people who disagree with her entirely.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Olanma Ogbuehi

    This book is one of those books that, "...had me at hello..." to slightly abuse the quote from the film Jerry Maguire. I know of Aimee Byrd's work through her, "Housewife Theologian" blog and through the "Mortification of spin" podcast. Therefore, I was anticipating a book that was well researched, thoughtful and provocative, but thoroughly Biblical and to borrow from her blog title, theological. I was not disappointed in any respect. Aimee Byrd does not pull her punches she tackles the subject h This book is one of those books that, "...had me at hello..." to slightly abuse the quote from the film Jerry Maguire. I know of Aimee Byrd's work through her, "Housewife Theologian" blog and through the "Mortification of spin" podcast. Therefore, I was anticipating a book that was well researched, thoughtful and provocative, but thoroughly Biblical and to borrow from her blog title, theological. I was not disappointed in any respect. Aimee Byrd does not pull her punches she tackles the subject head on about the kind of women Christian women ought not to be, from the pen of the Apostle Paul, that is, "...weak women (gullible women) burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." [2 Tim 3: 6-7]. This is the apostle Paul seemingly at his most maddeningly unpolitically correct. However, the author opens up the Scripture and shows that this is a warning for Christian women to avoid these pitfalls; by instead becoming good students of God's word. Byrd shows the wider context of Scripture, with a high view of God and His image bearers male and female human beings, men and women. Women are held in high esteem as 'suitable helpers', which Byrd renders, 'necessary allies' of men, with good warrant. Throughout the book Byrd makes it clear that theology is for women; biblical doctrine is for women, drawing on the teaching of the Bible itself and referencing theologians past and present. The book does not have a badgering tone but it pleads with women to take their role in being good students of God's word seriously. She also exhorts pastors to take seriously their responsibility for instructing women in sound doctrine and for guarding the flock from errant theology that might slip through via 'women's ministries' left to their own devices: seeing this pastoral neglect. I really favour the terminology of 'women's initiatives' that the author suggests, to emphasise the priority of the pastoral office on the ministry of word and 'sacrament'. There is a well reasoned discussion of the place of parachurch organisations in the Christian life and on the primacy of the local church in that capacity. There was so much that I really liked about the message in this book. It contains encouragement, exhortation and rebuke for me. There is no room for passivity and complacency. I was challenged to read, the Bible, to listen attentively to the preaching of the Bible to, study to show myself approved, as it were. As an educator I resonated with Byrd's call for us to be active readers and to be critical readers. I would rate 4.5 stars only because there were some debatable details about how a pastor may engage people (women in particular) during sermons. Some people are good at eye contact and others are a bit awkward, for instance, but I would argue that it is the words I hear, admittedly with the benefit of meaningful inflection, which have an impact on me. However, full marks for all of the practical suggestions of how women can come alongside other women, and men (including the church office holders) in the congregation. It was also good to provide suggestions of how pastors can promote the development of sound doctrine among their sisters in Christ, how they can learn from them and protect them as undershepherds of Christ. Definitely recommended for men and women in the church.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Wow. Before diving into this book, I was intrigued and a little skeptical. After finishing it, I was amazed at much this book exceeded every expectation (in a good way). I am immensely grateful towards Aimee Byrd in writing such a relevant book for the current generations of Christian women (and everyone in the church) to listen in on. She properly exposes the serious crisis of just plain toxic Christian doctrine and theology present in so many Christian books, particularly geared towards women. Wow. Before diving into this book, I was intrigued and a little skeptical. After finishing it, I was amazed at much this book exceeded every expectation (in a good way). I am immensely grateful towards Aimee Byrd in writing such a relevant book for the current generations of Christian women (and everyone in the church) to listen in on. She properly exposes the serious crisis of just plain toxic Christian doctrine and theology present in so many Christian books, particularly geared towards women. I have been passionate about this problem for many years, and for that reason I am reluctant to read any Christian book written about women, for women, or by women. I gravitate towards Timothy Keller, C.S. Lewis, Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Tozer, and J.I. Packer - my main men. I eat up their words and theology and I leave little room on my bookshelf for any book that has "woman" in the title or is written by a female author. This is because I've been so angry at the lack of sound doctrine in so many Christian books, especially those addressed to women. Aimee properly addresses all of this, and does so in such a through and authentic way. She is bold and brave and I admire her passion. Her passion is not rooted in pride or "feminism" or a faulty view of submission and "biblical womanhood." No, her passion is rooted in the Word of God and the desire to properly address false teaching and hold all women to a higher standard of sound doctrine and theology. She has personal experience with being exposed to false doctrine as an early believer and being treated as "less than" as a woman who shouldn't "worry about theology." She cares about this from both an intellectual and emotional perspective and her effort to write a book on the subject was not only valiant but successful. I am thankful for every chapter she wrote, the wealth of other authors that she pulled from, and how the heart of every argument was centered on the Word of truth. My only critique of the book is that some of the organization was difficult to follow. This is understandable, given the plethora of topics Aimee wanted to cover and the desire to address each one properly and in a biblically sound way. The organization didn't subtract from her message, it just made it a little difficult to read systematically or to predict what would come next (either within a given chapter or between chapters). All in all, this book challenged me to think critically, properly handle Scripture with care, and teach women (and men) sound doctrine. I left this book being even more heated about false doctrine, but zealous to expose it. I left encouraged to read more, challenge more, and equip all of the women I know to be critical thinkers as it relates to the Christian teaching they are being fed. Thank you Aimee for making such a significant impact in my journey as a woman believer, frustrated by very similar things. I felt listened to. Thank you also for your contributions to the Mortification of Spin podcast - I have enjoyed listening to that over the past couple of years and it has only contributed to my spiritual growth and has refined my critical thinking skills. Thank you!

  20. 5 out of 5

    E.

    Excellent and much-needed. Byrd avoids topics that are disputed in complementarian circles (e.g., whether women can be deacons, teach Sunday School, or lead in prayer) in favor of focusing on concerns that should unify all complementarians--whether women are being nurtured spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually by their churches. She builds a solid foundation by discussing how women's personhood should be understood theologically and, based on the Biblical understanding of men's and women' Excellent and much-needed. Byrd avoids topics that are disputed in complementarian circles (e.g., whether women can be deacons, teach Sunday School, or lead in prayer) in favor of focusing on concerns that should unify all complementarians--whether women are being nurtured spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually by their churches. She builds a solid foundation by discussing how women's personhood should be understood theologically and, based on the Biblical understanding of men's and women's interdependence, shows how having relationships with spiritually mature women is important for men's development as well. Women's spiritual development is never merely a women's issue, but is important to the church as a whole. Byrd raises a variety of questions that many otherwise well-intentioned male church leaders simply might not consider, such as the importance of asking (rather than making assumptions about) how welcoming an environment women perceive their church to be. But books are a major focus of "No Little Women" for a number of reasons. Women read more than men, even maintaining an edge over men in reading nonfiction. However, very few women have received a complete undergraduate education in Bible or theology, let alone gone to seminary. As a result, they often feel unqualified to teach a Bible study using commentaries or other "heavy" resources to aid them in delving deeper into the text. Books marketed to women by Christian publishers become the go-to for many, perhaps most, women's Bible studies. Because these books are marketed to women, pastors rarely pay attention to them and don't know what they contain. Unfortunately, a lot of Christian women's books are sold because the authors have a platform, an appealing personality, and a talent for connecting with other women, not because the books are well-written or theologically correct. The problem is not limited to any particular denomination, which Byrd's quotes from various Christian women's authors makes clear. Some authors are generally more accurate than others, but given that one of the more theologically careful authors she cites (who is very much promoted in complementarian circles) has included an erroneous view of the Trinity in some of her work, it's clear that readers need to be alert. I've noticed that the way she does not distinguish between "levels of badness" when she includes questionable passages from various authors in the back of the book, seems to bother some readers, who want Priscilla Shirer (for instance) in a different category from Stormie Omartian. The point, though, is that Byrd wants readers to start using some discernment while reading her book. In a Christian bookstore or online, women's books aren't categorized by "levels of badness." Part of maturity is learning to distinguish between good books and less good books on your own.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Deeter

    "Nothing will frustrate women more than to read this book and be left hanging in the breeze because their elders didn't bother to read it themselves." There has been a lot of conversation lately about why men don't read female authors. Many have written thoughtful and compelling arguments on the subject so I will not use this review to vent my own feelings on the topic. With that said, this is a book men should read. I can't say that loud enough, men need to read this book! When I first started "Nothing will frustrate women more than to read this book and be left hanging in the breeze because their elders didn't bother to read it themselves." There has been a lot of conversation lately about why men don't read female authors. Many have written thoughtful and compelling arguments on the subject so I will not use this review to vent my own feelings on the topic. With that said, this is a book men should read. I can't say that loud enough, men need to read this book! When I first started reading I wasn't sure I was actually going to find what I wanted to find in this read. Byrd starts by making the argument on why women should study theology and be discerning against false teachers and that is something I have read several books about and countless blogs. The subject of how necessary theology is to women is one I get tired of hearing because it is exclaimed by evangelicals who keep pointing to this large, looming problem saying "Look! A problem!" without actually just writing a book on theology, authored by a woman and geared towards both women AND men and paving the way for sound theology and women to go together as naturally as apple pie and ice cream. My first impression was proven wrong though. This wasn't just another book calling out the elephant in the room, this was a book saying so many of the things I've been thinking. Byrd constructs a well written and Biblically proven theology of women's roles in the church. I love that her book is geared towards all audiences, not just those of the female kind. As a woman in conservative christianity I have seen the double standards permeating the church and parachurch organizations and I have witnessed the poor hermeneutics used to interpret scriptures on women. Aimee Byrd's book, No Little Women, is the first one I have read that actually addresses those things. This was an excellent book and one I am sure I will quote often, and hope and pray church leaders will read and be impressed by. (The reason I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is that I do feel Byrd's book is oriented towards specific kinds of women and there may be some who may find parts of this book excluding to them; i.e. if a person likes to doodle or illustrate in the margins of their Bible, there is a part of this book that may feel a tad derogatory to them.)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Stuart

    This book was sent to me to review from Netgalley, so I don't have specific page numbers, but have given the location number ( LOC ####) from my Kindle to highlight quotes. Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to review this book. Evangelical Christians are not generally expected to be critical thinkers. LOC1254 Very true. And so it is with a heavy heart that I must write about this book. The overwhelming feeling of this book is that Byrd is so wrapped up in rules and regulations that she m This book was sent to me to review from Netgalley, so I don't have specific page numbers, but have given the location number ( LOC ####) from my Kindle to highlight quotes. Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to review this book. Evangelical Christians are not generally expected to be critical thinkers. LOC1254 Very true. And so it is with a heavy heart that I must write about this book. The overwhelming feeling of this book is that Byrd is so wrapped up in rules and regulations that she misses out on the joy of discovery and understanding our Creator God. Several times Byrd makes it clear that she doesn’t accept the ordination of women to the “capital M ministry.” There are many roles for women in the church but Scripture makes it clear that the offices of elder and pastor are not among them. (see 1 Timothy 2:12) But this interpretation of Scripture is just that, an interpretation which is the action of explaining the meaning or way of explaining. Another way of seeing this verse is to look at the whole context of the letter. The church in Ephesus was having troubles with people teaching and preaching false doctrine. Paul was teaching the church in Ephesus that people were to sit quietly and hear the truth of the gospel as Paul had taught his chosen leaders to teach it. It becomes clearer in 1 Timothy that a number of women were teaching these misleading philosophies. This is the reason he wrote that women were to sit quietly and not have authority over a man. But if this is really the rules that Paul wanted every church to follow, why didn’t he write about it in his other epistles? Why does Paul write to nine different churches but only restrict women in three? He didn’t write it because it wasn’t an issue in the other churches. Paul wrote to Timothy about the issue because it was plaguing the Ephesus church. Paul wanted to correct unbiblical teaching being given by the women. Some of these rebellious women were disrupting the meetings, attempting to teach their false doctrine; Paul put an end to it by telling the women to shut up! But he never meant that a woman couldn’t be a pastor or a leader of the church. Paul wrote to specific churches about specific problems. The phase they are not allowed to speak does not clarify the issue. The verb lalein (to speak) is too general to refer to any particular kind of speaking. It is used of tongues (27) and also prophecy (29) and refers equally to the questions with which women might interrupt a discourse. So general is the word that the suggestion that Paul is merely referring her to irregular talking, be it chattering, calling to children, soothing or more often rebuking babies, or interjecting a remark or query, cannot be ruled out. New International Bible Commentary. Based on the NIV F.F.Bruce, General Editor 1979 The churches didn’t have what we call the New Testament; at best they had a letter or two from Paul to read out aloud at meetings. Out of 44 writers of the Bibles 66 books, only Paul restricted women and only in a couple of locations. We are not to take this verse and misconstrue its meaning. Women are often gifted and called to be exceptional elders and pastors. I strongly dislike Byrd’s way of blackening the names of women who have had a huge impact on the Christian world. She claims that Aimee Semple McPherson had herself claimed new revelation from God, as if she wanted to add to the canon of the Bible. But that is misrepresenting Aimee Semple McPherson’s words. Now undoubtedly Byrd has an issue with Semple McPherson who had no problem with women being ordained because of her history with the Salvation Army and their stance that women can and should be in leadership. But to say that she claimed special revelation from God when it is blatantly obvious that she meant she felt led by God’s Word to lead people to Jesus is just outrageous. And to attack Sarah Young for a writing method meant to encourage readers to imagine Jesus talking to them directly is ridiculous. Sarah Young writes truth from Scripture in a first person style. She has never claimed that she was being given new Scriptural revelation. One might wonder at what Mrs. Byrd’s view on Eugene Peterson’s interpretation of the Bible called The Message might be. So if all Christians agree that it is normative for God to speak, the disagreement is merely over method, says Seth Barnes, founder of Adventures in Missions. The Bible promises that God speaks through the closed canon of Scripture. But that doesn’t confine God to speaking only through the written word. “God is going to speak however he chooses,” Barnes says. “At the same time we know that God is personal and is very clear in Scripture that ‘my sheep hear my voice.’” Christianity Today, 10 /1 / 2013 Beth Moore, of Living Proof Ministries has a pretty rock solid statement of faith clearly set out on their webpage www.lproof.org . It seems petty to complain about her story telling style as teaching wrong theology, when all she is striving to do is to make the truth of the Bible more easily applicable to a modern ear. It is important for us to learn what God has communicated about himself; that he is one being, one Godhead, in three ‘persons’ – namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Lord God is one. The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God. They are not three separate beings. LOC 2558 In Christian theology, a hypostasis or person is one of the three persons of the Trinity. The three persons are distinct, yet one in “substance, essence or nature” ( homoousios). There is only one God in three persons, distinct from each other – Father who generates, the Son who is begotten and the Holy Spirit who proceeds, co-equal and co-eternal. Each is God, whole and entire. If an author is not in line with what God says about himself, then you should have serious doubts about what she is teaching you. LOC 2572 I think that many of the differences I have with Mrs. Byrd’s statements comes down to points of view. She claims people are saying one thing, and I interpret what they say through a very different lens. I think that she is right about us taking theology much more seriously; we should wrestle with everything we are taught. But my opinion is that Byrd is taking things other people say and express way out of context to stir up controversy for controversy’s sake. I did agree with her exhorting preachers and pastors to take ministries focusing on women more seriously. I appreciated that each section of the book finished with questions to further provoke thought and understanding. I just don’t agree with a lot of what she teaches, but I think that should be seen as a victory for this book. It made me search my Bible and explore histories and look for meaning rather than just gullibly accepting what she has written, which was her underlying goal. Read and do your own research of this book, don’t blindly accept everything that is taught to you. For further reading: 10 Lies the Church Tells Women J. Lee Grady 2000, 2006 Published by Charisma House Fashioned to Reign - Kris Vallotton 2013 Published by Chosen Books

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Wolfe

    Really helpful and highly recommended for women (in leadership or not), pastors, and elders. Points out some common errors in women's ministries and popular Bible studies, and gives practical solutions. She addresses preaching, pastoring, discernment in choosing studies as well as really excellent encouragement on knowing scripture and both reading and listening with discernment. Reformed and complementarian, deeply anchored in scripture. A very encouraging read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ciara Anderson

    More intelligent insights by Aimee Byrd challenging women to take up their place in the church without falling into the traps of liberal thought.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lance Kinzer

    There is a lot to like about this book - I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angie Shoemaker

    I felt like the author took things I’ve been thinking about for years and put them into MUCH better words than I ever could. I would love it if our pastors could read this book!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Aimee Byrd takes the title of No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God from 2 Timothy 3:6-7: For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Other translations use the descriptors “gullible,” “foolish,” “idle,” “silly” women. She says the literal translation is “little women” or “small women” and “was a term of contempt” (p. 23) Aimee Byrd takes the title of No Little Women: Equipping All Women in the Household of God from 2 Timothy 3:6-7: For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Other translations use the descriptors “gullible,” “foolish,” “idle,” “silly” women. She says the literal translation is “little women” or “small women” and “was a term of contempt” (p. 23). Of course, Paul is not making a blanket statement about all women” (p. 21). “Paul isn’t soft-pedaling the issue here. And he isn’t being chauvinistic. His writing in Scripture shows a high view of women and much appreciation for their service. I wish we could all be the kind of woman who is praised in his writing. And Paul is not saying men are never gullible. He is saying that a particular type of immature woman was being targeted by false teachers looking to manipulate and infect households” (pp. 23-24). In pondering why women would be such a target, she discusses the value of women, first of all from having been made in God’s image, but also in having been created as a helper. Sometimes we bristle at that word “helper,” but the word is also used of God “as a ‘helper’ to Israel throughout the Old Testament” and this word “communicates great strength” (pp 24-25). She quotes one author’s interpretation of the word for helper, ezer, as a “necessary ally” which “brings into view the joint mission for which the male and female are created to rule God’s earthly kingdom” (p. 26). It emphasizes their relatedness to each other and dependence on each other. To get to Adam, Satan went after a target of value to him. It is no surprise, then, that he is still relentless in trying to deceive Christ’s bride, the church, through false teachers, ill-placed priorities, felt needs, fear tactics, and coping mechanisms, to divert them from resting in Christ and in God’s wisdom, provision, and sovereignty” (p. 26). In these days, this often happens via women’s ministries and books targeted to women. In many cases, women’s ministry becomes a back door for bad doctrine to seep into the church. Why are there still so many gullible women? Have we made any progress in equipping our women to distinguish truth from error in what they are reading? Do the women in your church actually have the skills to lead a Bible study? Why is it that so many women sit under good preaching and have all the best intentions, yet fall prey to the latest book marketed to them that is full of poor theology? And why do so many women in the church fail to see that theology has any practical impact on their everyday lives?” (p. 22). No matter what our different circumstances and vocations may be, every woman is a theologian. We all have an understanding about who God is and what he has done. The question is whether or not our views are based on what he has revealed in his Word about himself. And yet many women are either turned off or intimidated by doctrine” (p. 53) (emphasis mine). Further complicating the problem is that sometimes pastors are unaware of what is being taught in women’s Bible studies, or, in some cases she cites, concerns women bring up to pastors about the books they’re reading are dismissed as if they don’t matter. I appreciate that she encourages pastors and leaders not just to give women’s ministry leaders lists of approved and disapproved authors, but to engage their questions and concerns and teach them how to be discerning in their reading. Aimee delves further into what it means to be a “necessary ally,” why women should be theologically robust, how church leaders can help, how to be more discerning in our reading. She goes into church and feminist history to a degree. She demonstrates that, though a woman is not to hold an authoritative office over men, that doesn’t mean men can never learn from women (e.g, Hannah and Mary’s prayers are theologically rich and recorded as inspired Scripture, Priscilla is named with her husband Aquila as having “explained to [Apollos] the way of God more accurately,” Abigail reasoned with and appealed to David, diverting him from killing her household). She discusses different levels of doctrines: there are core ones that not to believe is heresy, such as the inspiration of the Bible, who Jesus is, how one can be saved, etc. But there are secondary ones that we might disagree over yet acknowledge that the other person knows and loves God, and we might benefit from their teaching while not necessarily agreeing with every little point. She has one section where she takes excerpts from popular books for Christian women and shows how to ask questions of them to discern what they are saying and how it lines up with Scripture. I very much appreciate that she summarizes well after a section of writing. Not many non-fiction authors do this any more: maybe they feel they’ll bore the reader. But it helps me for the author to step back every now and then and review in a more concise form what they’ve just been talking about. Sometimes it’s hard to keep in mind the flow of the book and the connection between individual chapters and the overall point, so it helps when an author does that occasionally. I have multitudes of places marked, much more than I can share in this already-long review. I take sound doctrine seriously, and I agree with what Aimee says about the need to read, understand, believe, obey, and teach what God says. I, too, have been saddened or dismayed by some of the problems in some of the most popular Christian books marketed to women. So I am very happy to see the emphases in this book on robust theology and discernment. However, there are a few areas where I’d disagree with Aimee, though they all fall under secondary issues. She wonders if there is any need for separate women’s ministries at all, and if there is, she feels they should be called initiatives rather than ministries. She feels that calling every other endeavor in church a “ministry” takes away from the ministry of the preaching of the Word of God, from which everything else we do in church should flow. I agree that the preaching of the Word is the primary ministry, but I have no problem with a women’s ministry or children’s ministry or prison ministry. The Bible does teach that we are all supposed to minister to others, and I have never had the example or even the thought that these other ministries of the church are competing with or downplaying preaching. Somewhat connected with that, she quotes Hannah Anderson’s Made for More as saying, “When we craft our learning and discipleship programs around being ‘women,’ we make womanhood the central focus of our pursuit of knowledge instead of Christ.” I have not read Hannah’s book, but I don’t have a problem with a women’s ministry’s focus primarily concerned with Christian womanhood. A lot of what older women are instructed to teach younger women in Titus 2 has specifically to do with their womanhood, yet it is all within the context of sound doctrine (verse 1). I’ve been involved with women’s ministries for most of my adult life, and they’ve mostly been set up with monthly or quarterly meetings built around fellowship and outreach with occasional Bible studies at other times. The preached Word that we receive in other services during the week (4 or more for many of us) forms the basis and context for what we do in the women’s ministries. Having a women’s ministry built around Christian womanhood does not necessarily mean that we’re elevating that above knowing Christ: we’re seeking how to be the kind of women He wants us to be under the leadership of Titus 2 older women. In a section about Adam and Eve, she states that “They were to expand the garden-temple, and therefore God’s presence, to the outermost parts of the world” (p. 68). I have a question mark under “God’s presence.” He is already everywhere. I’ve never heard this as a part of their instruction to be “fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Later in this section she faults Eve for being “hospitable to the enemy, allowing the Serpent to converse with her in the garden-temple” (p. 69). Is talking to him being hospitable? And did she even know he was an enemy at that point? I’ve often wondered about this scene. She shows no surprise that a serpent speaks to her. Did all animals speak then? I don’t know. It seems to be a real serpent as opposed to a figurative one (like the dragon or beast in Revelation. We take them as figurative representations of real people with dragonish and beastly characters) because the curse in Genesis 3:14-15 has him crawling on his belly like a snake. Granted, when he started questioning and twisting God’s Word, that should have raised a red flag for Eve, and maybe that’s all that Aimee means, that Eve should not have kept listening to the snake at that point. But she seems to find a lot of fault with both Adam and Eve long before the Bible charges them with sin. In a discussion of our unity with Christ, with His being the head and we His body, she makes the statement, “Christ has united himself in such a way to his church that we can be called the total Christ, or the one Christ!” (p. 171). While I agree with everything else she said about our union with Him, this statement bothers me, but I would need to ponder it more than I have. Aimee writes from a Reformed perspective, and I am not Reformed, so we would have some differences there. There are a couple of areas I wish she had gone into more, such as why we believe the canon of Scripture is closed and there is no new revelation at this time and hermeneutics (principles for Bible interpretation), as those are two areas of error in a lot of popular books. But overall, I found much food for thought and much I agreed with thoroughly. I thought this was a very helpful book and I highly recommend it for every woman who wants to be strong in the faith rather than a spiritually immature or “little” woman.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I expected this book to be one thing and it turned out to be another, but I did learn quite a lot! I was anticipating a whole book of what’s in chapter 9 (critiquing Christian-bestseller books); however, most of the book was a lot broader than that. Aimee encourages her readers to rethink a woman’s role in the church - to be an important, thinking member of the household of God with a critical eye, loving the Lord with all our mind. While I would have structured or ordered the book differently, I expected this book to be one thing and it turned out to be another, but I did learn quite a lot! I was anticipating a whole book of what’s in chapter 9 (critiquing Christian-bestseller books); however, most of the book was a lot broader than that. Aimee encourages her readers to rethink a woman’s role in the church - to be an important, thinking member of the household of God with a critical eye, loving the Lord with all our mind. While I would have structured or ordered the book differently, overall this was a good book that stretched my brain.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Bower

    Aimee Byrd is the kind of woman I'd want in my church. She's really serious about theology, and her close study of Scripture reveals an empowering view of the role of women in the church. It's so easy for women's ministries in complementarian churches to become almost a separate entity without much oversight, and when this happens, bad theology can creep in and persuade women away from the truth. Byrd is no weak woman, and she challenged me to be stronger in my own discernment. How often do we r Aimee Byrd is the kind of woman I'd want in my church. She's really serious about theology, and her close study of Scripture reveals an empowering view of the role of women in the church. It's so easy for women's ministries in complementarian churches to become almost a separate entity without much oversight, and when this happens, bad theology can creep in and persuade women away from the truth. Byrd is no weak woman, and she challenged me to be stronger in my own discernment. How often do we read a book targeted at Christian women (or men, for that matter), and we sense something isn't quite right, but we can't put our finger on it? She is thorough in her assessment of women in the church, but I do wish she hadn't been as vague with her solutions. I suppose she is letting the readers exercise their own discernment for themselves. There are no formulas to the complex issue of women's roles. However, I was most encouraged by her engagement with the church leaders in this book. No Little Women is addressed to women and church leaders (i.e. pastors and elders). Since she writes from a Calvinistic perspective, and I happen to attend a Calvinist-affirming church, a lot of her advice is applicable to my situation. Church leaders absolutely need to train women (and men) in the church to think well, to study Scripture and Christian books well. She even has a large section dedicated to how to read a book, which is something I'm sure I will return to more than once. All in all, I heartily recommend this to any women and leaders in the church.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Thomas

    I know Aimee Byrd is a controversial author right now for her new book (which I have not read) but this book has been super helpful and insightful for me. It is mainly targeted at church leaders and women but would totally recommend it to everyone! Aimee helps us biblically see the importance of training up women to protect the church from division and heresy. She also has some helpful warnings against women's ministries for elders and women and reminds us that Christ should be our central focus I know Aimee Byrd is a controversial author right now for her new book (which I have not read) but this book has been super helpful and insightful for me. It is mainly targeted at church leaders and women but would totally recommend it to everyone! Aimee helps us biblically see the importance of training up women to protect the church from division and heresy. She also has some helpful warnings against women's ministries for elders and women and reminds us that Christ should be our central focus and not our womanhood. I love that she prioritizes the ministry of the Word as the ministry of the church. This book has also encouraged me to read more and read better. Aimee analyses christian books targeted for women and it is shockingly horrifying to see the kind of theology that is in these books. She does a great job at giving some practical tips for women to be more intentional readers, for sitting under the preached word and for elders in their preaching.

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