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A Biblical Primer on Men and Women in the Church There is much at stake in God making humanity male and female. Created for one another yet distinct from each other, a man and a woman are not interchangeable—they are designed to function according to a divine fittedness. But when this design is misunderstood, ignored, or abused, there are dire consequences. Men and women—in A Biblical Primer on Men and Women in the Church There is much at stake in God making humanity male and female. Created for one another yet distinct from each other, a man and a woman are not interchangeable—they are designed to function according to a divine fittedness. But when this design is misunderstood, ignored, or abused, there are dire consequences. Men and women—in marriage especially, but in the rest of life as well—complement one another. And this biblical truth has enduring, cosmic significance. From start to finish, the biblical storyline—and the design of creation itself—depends upon the distinction between male and female. Men and Women in the Church is about the divinely designed complementarity of men and women as it applies to life in general and especially ministry in the church.


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A Biblical Primer on Men and Women in the Church There is much at stake in God making humanity male and female. Created for one another yet distinct from each other, a man and a woman are not interchangeable—they are designed to function according to a divine fittedness. But when this design is misunderstood, ignored, or abused, there are dire consequences. Men and women—in A Biblical Primer on Men and Women in the Church There is much at stake in God making humanity male and female. Created for one another yet distinct from each other, a man and a woman are not interchangeable—they are designed to function according to a divine fittedness. But when this design is misunderstood, ignored, or abused, there are dire consequences. Men and women—in marriage especially, but in the rest of life as well—complement one another. And this biblical truth has enduring, cosmic significance. From start to finish, the biblical storyline—and the design of creation itself—depends upon the distinction between male and female. Men and Women in the Church is about the divinely designed complementarity of men and women as it applies to life in general and especially ministry in the church.

30 review for Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    It’s been wisely said that there is no such thing as a healthy church in which the men flourish but the women do not. In this short book, DeYoung brings his characteristic knack for explaining complex topics with clarity and verve. I’m grateful for this resource because it communicates that complementarianism—rightly understood and practiced—is not just true, but also beautiful. And it’s good news for men and women alike.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steve Frederick

    For context - I’m a pastor who does *not* have women preaching in the Sunday service AND I’ve greatly appreciated K DY’s books in the past, especially “What is the Mission of the Church”. However this book did not have anywhere near the rigor. This is perhaps not surprising, since De Young begins the book by explaining that he’d long wished for a book in his church foyer setting out what his church believes on the ministry of Women; and that is largely how the book reads - an affirmation of the For context - I’m a pastor who does *not* have women preaching in the Sunday service AND I’ve greatly appreciated K DY’s books in the past, especially “What is the Mission of the Church”. However this book did not have anywhere near the rigor. This is perhaps not surprising, since De Young begins the book by explaining that he’d long wished for a book in his church foyer setting out what his church believes on the ministry of Women; and that is largely how the book reads - an affirmation of the position his particular congregations take on women in ministry. It is not that De Young is lacking in grace about how other complementarians may express or apply their convictions. It is just that his exegesis and theological framework are way too brief and thin for an exploration of complementarity in ministry. Even Claire Smith’s very brief book (God’s Good Design) written from a somewhat similar perspective engages with the biblical text in a far more sustained way. The OT is surveyed and applied in a way that completely lacks even a cursory Christological framework, as if it is the church (not Christ) who fulfils the Israelite institutions of Prophet, Priest, and King. He cites Genesis as suggesting man’s strenght makes him fitting for labour in the field, and woman’s nurture a fitting characteristic in the home - he then goes on to quote Prov 31 without blinking an eyelid at the mention of the wife who works in the field... WITH HER STRONG arms!!! 1 Timothy is explicitly framed as the “Heart of the Matter”, which suggests shoring up a particular position on women preaching is the key issue - not better understanding the nature of complementarity between men and women. Ephesian’s theological exploration of Headship is almost skipped over completely (despite devoting a whole chapter to Ephesians). In the application section De Young (admittedly trying to be brief) defines the essence of being male in a Godly way as coming down to *Strength*, and being female comes down to the appropriation of *Beauty* - though of course both values are framed in spiritual terms. Even so, these values are not established from, say, Genesis, but are reverse engineered as given ontological realities from NT passages that are not at all seeking to establish masculinity/femininity. The book was also effectively silent with respect to those women who were single, or unable to have kids, other than to toss in the briefest of caveats on one or two occasions. You could only “get away” with this in a church context where 95% of women were OR expected to be married... not that “getting away with it” is what should be aimed for. I’m certain KDY was not actively aiming to sideline anyone, and yet... On several occasions KDY writes in a manner that I wish his editors had counselled him against; from engaging in puns such as referring to Eve as a “womb-man”, to a list of women’s ministry activity he encourages which, along with teaching women/Children, also included “running baby showers, sending care packages, and sewing curtains”. There is a tone-deafness evident at times that surprised and unsettled me. Sadly, De Young’s most focussed discussion comes in an appendix in which he critiques (rightly, to my mind) John Dickson’s “complementarian” case for women preaching. This gave me the impression that the book was primarily focussed on stating his own Church’s stance on women preaching, in contrast to other so-called Complementarian positions. I’d suggest asking your own pastor to engage with these texts with you instead. If one wanted an accessible, but genuinely considered exegesis (without it being paralysingly technical) of key passages I’d still suggest Christopher Ash’s “Marriage: sex in the service of God”.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Colin Fast

    Short, concise, biblical. I try to read everything KDY writes. Maleness and femaleness actually mean something. Paints a beautiful (yet brief) picture of complementarity based on Gen 1-2 then surveys the other pertinent texts. Worth noting that his vision of complementarianism is not rooted in the functional subordination of the Son (which, if you ask me, is a positive).

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah May

    A very clear and helpful primer that meets its intended purpose. I found the exposition incredibly helpful as DeYoung lays out different interpretations of each text but asserts which he agrees with and why. One of my only complaints is that he explores some complex theological issues (ESS) and references early church documents that the standard church member (me) might find slightly confusing without more background or context.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Carl

    Dr. DeYoung takes his typical irenic, witty, and incisive approach in tackling wide theological topics and making them accessible. Overall, this is solid treatment of Biblical defined manhood and womanhood and what that means for the family and the church. I don't think most staunch Complementarians will appreciate this work and certainly Egalitarians will abhor his arguments, but I found his take reasoned and biblical. I'm still thinking through his exegesis of 1 Cor 11, 1 Cor 14, 1 Tim 2 as th Dr. DeYoung takes his typical irenic, witty, and incisive approach in tackling wide theological topics and making them accessible. Overall, this is solid treatment of Biblical defined manhood and womanhood and what that means for the family and the church. I don't think most staunch Complementarians will appreciate this work and certainly Egalitarians will abhor his arguments, but I found his take reasoned and biblical. I'm still thinking through his exegesis of 1 Cor 11, 1 Cor 14, 1 Tim 2 as they relate to women in the worship context, specifically to prayer in corporate worship.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    One of the most contested issues in the church in recent days concerns the role of men and women in the church. What are they commanded to do? What are they prohibited from doing? The chief question among many people is this: “Can a woman preach on a Sunday morning to a congregation that consists of both men and women? Kevin DeYoung tackles this thorny question in his excellent book, Men and Women in the Church. The subtitle captures the essence of the book: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduc One of the most contested issues in the church in recent days concerns the role of men and women in the church. What are they commanded to do? What are they prohibited from doing? The chief question among many people is this: “Can a woman preach on a Sunday morning to a congregation that consists of both men and women? Kevin DeYoung tackles this thorny question in his excellent book, Men and Women in the Church. The subtitle captures the essence of the book: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction. The book is arranged in two parts. Part 1 focuses on biblical exposition. DeYoung begins in the Old Testament and works his way through Scripture and highlights the pertinent themes concerning the role of men and women in the church. Readers must bear in mind that the purpose of this book is to introduce the central themes and cause them to take a deeper dive into more comprehensive treatments of this subject. Part 2 contains questions and applications. DeYoung explores common questions that pertain to men and women in the local church and he provides clear biblical answers. One section that is particularly helpful concerns parenting children and teaching them their respective roles as aspiring men and women. DeYoung is intrigued (as am I) with John Piper’s helpful question: “If your son asks you what it means to be a man, or your daughter asks you what it means to be a woman, what would you say?” DeYoung builds on this thought-provoking question and explores ways for parents to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. He concludes: What do we say then to our sons and daughters who ask, ‘Daddy and Mommy, what does it mean to be a man or a woman?’ Tell them they are made in the image of God and for union with Christ. And then tell your daughters that they should strive to be beautiful in the way God wants them to be beautiful. And tell your sons to strive to be strong in all the ways God wants them to be strong. While the arguments in DeYoung’s work are not as detailed as those found in works like Recovering Manhood and Womanhood, edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, the arguments are still substantial. Indeed, DeYoung’s arguments are concise. But more important the arguments are biblical. I commend Men and Women in the Church to anyone who will take time to wrestle with DeYoung’s essential arguments. My hope is that many readers will be convinced. The result is a strengthened and more obedient church. I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marc Sims

    What does it mean to be a “man”? What does it mean to be a “woman”? When thinking about our culture’s current confusion on the matter, considering the Biblical teaching regarding gender roles in the home and church can feel like one is trying to defend gramophones as good stereo systems–did you ride here on a dinosaur? Further, even among conservative evangelicals there has been a growing rift on this issue. How are Christians to respond? Enter: Kevin DeYoung DeYoung has a knack for writing clear, What does it mean to be a “man”? What does it mean to be a “woman”? When thinking about our culture’s current confusion on the matter, considering the Biblical teaching regarding gender roles in the home and church can feel like one is trying to defend gramophones as good stereo systems–did you ride here on a dinosaur? Further, even among conservative evangelicals there has been a growing rift on this issue. How are Christians to respond? Enter: Kevin DeYoung DeYoung has a knack for writing clear, concise, and helpful books that magically are under 200 pages. He does all of this, somehow, without leaving the reader feeling like they just were served a tic-tac for supper. His newest book, Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction, is no different. Tom Schreiner’s endorsement of the book states that this is now the “first book” he will recommend on the issue of gender roles in the home and church and it is hard to disagree. This will be a book I will hand out liberally to the members of my church. Read the rest of the review here: https://simsmarc.wordpress.com/2021/0...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Samuel Kassing

    Once again DeYoung has written an accessible book for the pew. It shines in its exegesis. The book is littered with exegetical gems. Weakest on application. If you’re looking for an academic treatment this isn’t it. What I appreciated most about this small book is how kind DeYoung is throughout the work. He doesn’t come off as shrill and is far more critical towards his own camp. He even critiques ESS! A good solid introduction to the confessional and historic position on headship in the church Once again DeYoung has written an accessible book for the pew. It shines in its exegesis. The book is littered with exegetical gems. Weakest on application. If you’re looking for an academic treatment this isn’t it. What I appreciated most about this small book is how kind DeYoung is throughout the work. He doesn’t come off as shrill and is far more critical towards his own camp. He even critiques ESS! A good solid introduction to the confessional and historic position on headship in the church and home. My only qualms are small and have to do with pastoral points around singleness, infertility, and wooden wording.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tim Michiemo

    4.7 Stars Probably the most brief and compelling treatment of Biblical complementarianism. Rather than immersing himself in the issues, DeYoung immerses himself in the Scriptures and presents to us a beautiful picture of what it means to be male and female. I appreciated that he not only presented the arguments from Scripture but from nature as well, and that cultural gender expectations are not to be ignored but tell us a great deal about Gods design. In sum, DeYoung teaches us that the Bible in 4.7 Stars Probably the most brief and compelling treatment of Biblical complementarianism. Rather than immersing himself in the issues, DeYoung immerses himself in the Scriptures and presents to us a beautiful picture of what it means to be male and female. I appreciated that he not only presented the arguments from Scripture but from nature as well, and that cultural gender expectations are not to be ignored but tell us a great deal about Gods design. In sum, DeYoung teaches us that the Bible instructs men to be strong and women to be beautiful, in all that the Bible (and not the world) means that to be. The restrictions for women holding biblical offices are not arbitrary, but are rooted in Gods good design of men and women. I highly recommend this book as the place to start to gain a visions of God’s good design for men and women!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christian Barrett

    This short book accomplishes DeYoung’s goal of providing a simple understanding of the complementary roles of men and women inside and outside of the church. He works through different passages, from Genesis to the New Testament Epistles, that talk about the differing roles of sexes. DeYoung does write from a Reformed Presbyterian view; thus, his this book solely focuses on the polity of the church in that context. It would be helpful had he argued against liberal egalitarian views and against t This short book accomplishes DeYoung’s goal of providing a simple understanding of the complementary roles of men and women inside and outside of the church. He works through different passages, from Genesis to the New Testament Epistles, that talk about the differing roles of sexes. DeYoung does write from a Reformed Presbyterian view; thus, his this book solely focuses on the polity of the church in that context. It would be helpful had he argued against liberal egalitarian views and against the rising LGBTQ movement, but had he have done so he would have had a much longer book on his hands. Overall, a helpful book (even for baptists or non-denominational) that seeks to be faithful to the Scriptures and presenting a 1,000 foot view of what the Bible teaches about men and women.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Probably the best short introduction of God's design for men and women in the created order I have come across. DeYoung is thoroughly biblical in his presuppositions, clear and engaging in his prose, and pastoral in tone. With a page count under 200, this is a great work for pastors to be able to hand out to church members or it would be easy to convert into a class or book study. While application focuses primarily on biblical gender distinctions and how they apply in the local church, attentio Probably the best short introduction of God's design for men and women in the created order I have come across. DeYoung is thoroughly biblical in his presuppositions, clear and engaging in his prose, and pastoral in tone. With a page count under 200, this is a great work for pastors to be able to hand out to church members or it would be easy to convert into a class or book study. While application focuses primarily on biblical gender distinctions and how they apply in the local church, attention is also given to how our created order of male and female work out in the Christian household.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Reese

    Kevin DeYoung explains the distinctness of men and women, backed up by scripture, in a an engaging way. As its title states, it is not designed to be a comprehensive tome, but is a clearly written introduction to the debate taking place even within evangelical churches.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Miller

    I’m a complementarian and agreed with the majority of this book. However, I wish it would have presented more of the joy of living out of the roles and distinctions God designed. It seemed like everything was presented as “This is right. End of story,” and it is right, but it’s also good. It’s also for our joy and for our highest flourishing. God’s design for us is not restrictive but freeing and joy-inducing. I wish that would have been emphasized more in this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    3.672- because I can't know my feelings. “Like any biblical teaching, the truths about men and women can be misapplied, mishandled, or used as an excuse to mistreat others. This danger is especially poignant when the truths in question affirm the man as leader and head and the woman as helper and nurturer. The biblical pattern of male leadership is never an excuse for ignoring women, belittling women, overlooking the contributions of women, or abusing women in any way. The truest form of biblical 3.672- because I can't know my feelings. “Like any biblical teaching, the truths about men and women can be misapplied, mishandled, or used as an excuse to mistreat others. This danger is especially poignant when the truths in question affirm the man as leader and head and the woman as helper and nurturer. The biblical pattern of male leadership is never an excuse for ignoring women, belittling women, overlooking the contributions of women, or abusing women in any way. The truest form of biblical complementarity calls on men to protect women, honor women, speak kindly and thoughtfully to women, and to find every appropriate way to learn from them and include them in life and in ministry— in the home and in the church.” I have been avoiding writing this review. I have loved every one of Kevin DeYoung’s books that I have read. However this one left me with a vague sense of dissatisfaction that I can’t put my finger on. There was nothing that I read that I necessarily disagreed with— it all seemed very thoughtful and sound. My first impulse is to describe the dissatisfaction as part disappointment in what was left unsaid and part a general sense of feeling out of my element a bit, unqualified to evaluate it. So my review may wander a bit as I parse through my thoughts. I may come back and update it as I discuss this book with others and hone in on what I think. After reading Wayne Grudem’s book, Evangelical Feminism, three years ago, I feel I came away with a more solid understanding then than when I finished this. So maybe it would behoove you to read both! They agree theologically. Grudem’s book focuses more on how certain interpretations of these disputed verses undermines the authority of Scripture and leads you down a dangerous path of liberalism. DeYoung’s book is a simpler take and does not do as much comparing of egalitarian vs complementarian views. My posture in reading this book is, I’m sure, different than a lot of readers. I was not coming with questions, doubts, or experiences of hurt, abuse, or suppression. I don’t feel a calling to something that I’m told I can’t do. The prominent men in my life have always been loving, sacrificial, supportive, and held my opinion in high regard. The churches that I’ve been part of have not, to my knowledge, belittled women, deemed them incapable, or ignored them—they’ve always respected women and included them in many different forms of ministry. I recognize that that is not everyone’s story. I appreciate that Kevin DeYoung implores us to keep this mind: “We should all be aware that we tend to assume our experiences are normative and the divergent experiences of others are exceptional. This should make us quick to sympathize and slow to accuse.” To approach this subject, we must have a posture of listening and understanding and not of accusation or condescension. DeYoung’s purpose in writing this book was to address a very relevant topic and provide a practical resource for the layperson. An intentionally (nonthreatening) short, concise, palatable book about men and women’s roles in the church that people in his congregation would actually read. To the ‘short’ and ‘biblical’ I think he succeeded. The ‘practical’ or ‘applicable’ part is possibly what I feel is lacking and could have been more robust. DeYoung does much exegetical analysis of key ‘debated’ passages of Scripture that inform our understanding of men’s and women’s role in the church. (Worth noting here that this book is specifically in regards to church and ministry (some marriage), not work or social environments.) These passages are his chapter divisions in Part 1 and include Genesis 1-3, Old Testament survey, Jesus and the Gospels, 1 Cor 11:2-16; 14:33-35, Eph 5:22-23, 1 Tim 2:8-15, and 1 Tim 3:1-13. In Part II he answers common objections like “you are all one in Christ Jesus,” “submitting to one another,” slavery, women like Deborah, Phoebe, and Priscilla, and handling women’s callings. He also goes into detail about the differences between overseers, pastors, and deacons. A lot of his exegesis and discussion of the original language, grammar used, etc was a bit overwhelming to me at times. He always gave a clear conclusion but some of his process felt muddled. (I think Grudem handled this a bit better) Also, I think if I was coming at this with a prior stance, argument, or question I may have absorbed and contemplated these differently. A lot of the objections or interpretations he addressed were some I had never even heard of before, and so I found myself not spending too much time fully grasping all of his exegesis. I didn’t realize there were such different ‘tiers’ of complementarianism. It’s quite possible Grudem acknowledged them, but after 3 years I just didn’t remember them. Hence I feel somewhat unqualified to review this. Several reviewers have commended his critique of ESS— which I don’t even know what that is! So my opinion of this book might not be that valuable if the doctrine of men and women’s roles in the church is something you’ve done a lot of study on and are well-versed in all the facets. Though some of it seemed more confusing than clarifying, there were a lot of things that stuck out to me as good and helpful. For one, DeYoung is very clear that the Bible teaches that men and women have different roles but their worth is the same. God didn’t arbitrarily choose these roles. And he didn’t assign teaching to men because women are incapable or unstable. I think in our culture it’s hard for us to accept that. In our minds roles are assigned by competency. And if we can do the job better than someone else, it should be our job for the taking. But that’s our culture, not God’s design for the church. Just because God has designed teaching and ministerial headship to men does not mean he thinks we are unable to do any of it. And that doesn't mean all men are qualified to teach either. The Bible's job description for pastors excludes incompetent and domineering men. DeYoung runs through most of Scripture showing us all the passages that place women in high-esteem. How Jesus’s countercultural interactions with women show how he saw them, cared for them, and valued them. “Jesus never ‘put women in their place,’ but neither did he try to dislodge men from theirs. Jesus takes a back seat to no one in being pro-woman. And yet his being pro-woman never necessitated being anti-men or against sexual differentiation.” The concept of willing submission and sacrificial loving and leading pervades every chapter of this book. This relationship is essential in understanding biblical gender roles. It is a picture of Jesus’ own submission to the Father and his sacrifice done out of love. It is easy to submit to authority that puts your needs ahead of their own. God has reserved for women a unique ability to bring life into the world. I think a lot of feminists today push back against childbearing and feel like women are ‘reduced to’ having babies and that’s it. But could it be that instead of trying to ‘elevate’ women to doing men’s ‘jobs’ we have demeaned the elite role of bearing life that we already have. To carry and deliver a baby into the world is not insignificant; it is not a reduction. And to be sure, women are more than childbearers, and our worth is not attached to our wombs, but we can’t downplay the role God has given women in designing our bodies for life. “A woman’s worth is not tied to the children she has or her ability to have any children at all. We’ve seen all sorts of ways women in the Old Testament serve God and save God’s people from harm. And yet there is a unique God-given purpose that women find in bearing and caring for children.”  I love the example DeYoung pointed out about the story of Moses, one of the most prominent figures in the Old Testament: The midwives save him from death, his mother fashions a basket and puts him in the river, his sister watches over the basket and when Pharaoh’s daughter raises him as her own, his sister offers Moses’ mother as a wet nurse. “This great narrative of God’s paradigmatic redemptive work has been moved forward by women, and specifically by women looking after children. (And only one was the birth mother)” Unfortunately, sin’s curse has affected this realm for women, just as sin has affected the men’s realm in leading. Not all women can or do bear children. But the Bible, and this book, both show many other ways that women can still, in obedience to God, do significant ministry outside of being a biological mother. When we, as women, push back on God’s design for us, what is our motive? Do we feel undervalued and unappreciated? Do we want what the men have? Do we not think our God-given role is important or impactful enough? To really search our hearts and answer these questions is not easy. But it’s worth pondering that maybe we need to change our perspective of different roles from seeing lack in what God has given us and instead see the worth. Both men and women represent the image and character of God. Men alone cannot express all of who God is and neither can women. But each gender has specific characteristics and roles that work together to image God and I’m thankful that God has expressed both distinct genders as valuable and necessary. “Let’s not make the heartbeat of our message, ‘Women, sit down,’ when it should be ‘Men, stand up.’” I thought this was an important theme in this book as well. DeYoung calls men out for passivity. That a lot of times when women are functioning in the church like men that it is not out of an attitude of rebellion but because the men did not step up to do it. He mentions several times that it’s not so much what women can’t do as much as it is what men should do. Another aspect he briefly mentions is the biblical passages addressing appearance. That men should look like men and women should look like women. This is tricky in application when cultural differences are considered. He clarifies that these verses are not a prescription on hair length, clothing, and jewelry, but that in your own cultural context, men and women should be differentiated in appearance. God could have created humans however he wanted and he chose to create a gender binary of men and women. Gender difference is his design. This is an offensive position to a lot of people today. There is much to be said and discussed in such a sensitive area and this book (intentionally) does not try to address it all here. There are other books that would do a better job on LGBTQ topics. But I found this acronym useful that he has created to explain to his kids what godliness looks like as a girl or a boy: Appearance (1 Cor 11:6, 13-15)… clear that stereotypes are not our standards and we must be thoughtful about this in practice, but, for example, transgender and drag would both fall outside of God’s design for gender appearance Body (Lev 18:22)… our bodies were designed to fulfill the creational mandate of multiplying and filling the earth, to do otherwise would be rebelling against the Creator’s order Character (1 Pt 3:1-7)… he gives men the crown of true strength and women the crown of true beauty (with clarifications on what those mean in anticipation of typical counters to this) Demeanor (1 Thess 2:7-8, 11-12)… everyone has a unique personality but generally speaking women are known for affection and gentleness and men for exhortation and charge  Eager Posture (Gen 2:18)… willing to be led or willing to lead sacrificially One thing I’ve needed to recognize is that I believe there has been some cultural conditioning for women to associate a certain feeling with some commonly used words when talking about gender roles. Some of these buzzwords you will find in this book are: submissive, quiet, obedience, helper. These are not bad words. But it’s hard not to feel a little trigger of defensiveness or indignation when we hear them. That does not mean we should, but with so much pushback on traditional gender roles, we can’t help but be influenced by our culture’s hatred for these words. Even though I agree with DeYoung’s stance on it all, I could still feel myself react to these words at times. I can’t let that dictate to me what is true but allow the Bible to be my authority even when the culture wants me to be outraged. What they think ‘submissive’ is, does not square with the biblical context and the sacrificial headship it is partnered with. The same goes for other words—quiet and helper are not what our first impression of these words are. The biblical context is essential. The most confusing part of this book for me was his chapter called Of Heads and Hair. I don’t know if it was just that he wrote it in a confusing way or if it felt like he was overcomplicating what seemed simple to me or what, but I didn’t find that to be the most clarifying chapter. The most important part I gathered from this chapter was that it was not about having long hair or a physical head covering to qualify a woman to be able to pray in church. But I wasn’t super clear on what it actually did mean today. I wish he would have given more examples of what he believes is a biblical way for women to speak publicly in front of men or biblical ways that men can learn from women. For example, is it biblical for men to read theological books written by women? I realize there are a lot of nuances or factors to consider in day-to-day decisions on biblical roles, but I felt like I wanted some sort of chart or list of do’s and don’ts. To be fair, he did list a whole bunch of things women can do but several reviewers have noted his inclusion of ‘sewing curtains’ to be a bit out of touch. There were several places he talked specifically about/to women but did not offer the equivalent of the ‘man’ side of the topic and vice versa. I think there was a lot more that could have been said in certain areas but I know that he was trying to keep the book short. IN SUMMATION: I’m still processing everything but… It’s a valuable read and a good introduction as it is properly subtitled, but a full study of gender roles would require further reading (see below for references). It’s hard to do justice to a book in a short review. I’m assuming many of you reading this were upset by things I’ve said or related here. It is a topic that benefits from defining words, clarifying meanings, and acknowledging tricky applications. I can’t disclose everything here that DeYoung did in his book. Don’t judge his arguments based on what I’ve presented to you. Especially considering my ‘unnamed dissatisfaction’ I would encourage you to read this and Grudem’s book for yourself and give yourself access to all the same information I had in writing this. I do not claim to have authority or specialized knowledge of this and would not want to lead you astray. I don’t think this is the best book you could read about men and women in the church, but I don’t think you will find anything unbiblical here. Some quotes: “The one feature of human existence that shapes life as much or more than any other—our biological sex—was God’s choice.” “We should not equate male leadership with female passivity.” “Most of the positive and negative examples of women in the Old Testament are positive or negative based on how they influenced men for good or for evil.” “What we can say from verse 3— and this is all we really need to say— is that headship does not have to be harsh (for God is the head of Christ) and to be under the headship of another does not have to be demeaning (for Christ is under the headship of God).”  (1 Cor 11:3) “His plan is for a watching world to look at husband and wife and see such gentle, joyful submission and such self-denying, loving leadership that it gets a picture of the beauty that is the relationship between Christ and his church. Nothing less than God’s full glory is at stake.” “Though a call may be honestly felt, making such an appeal the decisive factor is dangerously subjective. I have no problem with people referring to their vocation, pastoral or otherwise, as a ‘calling’ if by the term they simply mean to acknowledge a spiritual purpose in their word. But as a decision-making tool, trying to discern one’s ‘calling’ by internal feelings and impressions is an unsure guide. God’s objective revelation in Scripture must have priority over our subjective understanding of God's will for our lives.”  An inconsequential sidenote: I read an advanced reader’s copy and was assured that all spelling and grammatical errors would be corrected in the published copy. But the use of ‘woman’ for ‘women’ and vice versa is one of my greatest spelling error pet peeves and it occurred quite frequently. So let’s hope their editor finds all of them!!! **Received an ARC via Amazon** Further Reading: - Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? by Wayne Grudem - Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice by Strachan, Owen (& Jonathan Parnell) - a(Typical) Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ by Abigail Dodds Three books Kevin DeYoung recommended in this book that I have not read yet: - God’s Design for Man and Woman by Andreas and Margaret Kostenberger  - God’s Design for Women by Sharon James  - God’s Good Design by Clair Smith  To read more book reviews on a variety of genres and topics check out my book review blog: Shelf Reflection!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Batchelor

    I disagreed with several points throughout the book, and you may or may not as well. But either way, DeYoung’s winsome writing style will draw you in and make you want to agree with him. Overall, very good book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Mathews

    If you are familiar with CBMW and Piper/Grudem's old work, this is a short summary of the primary arguments that compilation deals with. Complementarians: You are better off using the original from 1991 if you wish to argue substantively for your perspective. This handbook's brevity does not do justice to the complexity of the topic. The author, attempting to make the content easily accessible, actually hurts his own argument with incomplete explanations, patronizing summaries (offering his view If you are familiar with CBMW and Piper/Grudem's old work, this is a short summary of the primary arguments that compilation deals with. Complementarians: You are better off using the original from 1991 if you wish to argue substantively for your perspective. This handbook's brevity does not do justice to the complexity of the topic. The author, attempting to make the content easily accessible, actually hurts his own argument with incomplete explanations, patronizing summaries (offering his view w/o showing evidence), and cultural assumptions. This booklet comes across as a pastoral "trust me" rather than a convincing argument for why his view should be accepted as accurate.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shane Walters

    Great Reading DeYoung does an excellent job at explaining a controversial subject. He pulls together the threads from all over the Bible on and comes to a very solid conclusion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ivan

    Good, accessible primer for how we follow Christ and serve the church as men and as women.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Richey

    Kevin DeYoung's book is supposedly not trying to argue for his position, so much as help those who already agree with him, think through how to apply it. I appreciate the idea of what he's trying to do, but, frankly, I felt like he just did it poorly. It was really hard to understand how his exegesis led to the applications that he made... it really seemed that he made exegetical and application decisions based on what he already practiced and then found that the text agreed with him, but I almo Kevin DeYoung's book is supposedly not trying to argue for his position, so much as help those who already agree with him, think through how to apply it. I appreciate the idea of what he's trying to do, but, frankly, I felt like he just did it poorly. It was really hard to understand how his exegesis led to the applications that he made... it really seemed that he made exegetical and application decisions based on what he already practiced and then found that the text agreed with him, but I almost never understood how he got there (a lot of "huh?"s and "what"s). There were a few sections with some merit, but not much. He somehow worked through 1 Corinthians 11 phrase by phrase ignoring the center of the chiasm (because of the angels). Was this because it didn't fit his point or because he didn't know what to do with it? Not sure, but structurally this is absolutely central to Paul's argument. He dismissed arguments about examples of women in leadership in the OT (Deborah, Huldah, etc.) very quickly and easily, yet seemed to think it quite significant that Jesus chose only men to be his disciples. When people in the Old or New Testaments align with their cultural context, it is somehow significant. You didn't have women leading Assyria, Babylon, or Persia either. There is a real lack of thinking through how the Bible relates to the culture in which it was written. My review is not really intended to be a critique of his viewpoint, but how much sense his view made (in other words, I'm judging it based on effectiveness not how much I agree with it). But I am fairly equally annoyed with most books on both sides of this issue. They are just so poorly argued and don't seem to me to be able to ask the right questions. It's rare I like books on this topic from either side of the debate. They just never seem to effectively deal with the process of moving from an ancient text in an ancient context to the very different world we inhabit today. Complementarians somehow (I don't quite know how they do this) end up taking texts written in an ancient patriarchal society and find that it affirms some strange hybrid of 1950s and 1990s America. Egalitarians somehow find that Jesus and Paul would agree with (and even somewhat proposed) 21st-century egalitarianism - something that never would have occurred to people in an ancient context. The Bible does not teach either, frankly. The Bible was written in a patriarchal context; it assumes a patriarchal culture - it does not explicitly undermine it - yet Scripture elevates and honors women in that context without condemning the basic way men and women and husbands and wives related to one another in the first-century world. But neither side of the debate seems to really get this. Paul is either intent on keeping women in their place or an enthusiastic egalitarian. Paul is a pastor speaking into difficult and complicated individual church situations. This is not a question to him and he is not thinking in these categories (he is thinking about men and women, husbands and wives, but he is not thinking about the question of complementarianism and egalitarianism). It seems to me that no one really effectively addresses why the churches Paul planted had these "problems" to begin with. I know they try (usually poorly, frankly), but to effectively work from the biblical text to its application today, you have to deal with Paul's first-century context in a way that (if you take Scripture as authoritative, as I do) understands the cultural gulf yet maintains Biblical authority and its ability to speak into ours.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Haley Dorris

    Kevin DeYoung no doubt accomplished what he intended to do - provide a short yet biblical explanation of manhood and womanhood, particularly in the church. Unfortunately, I am closing the book with many more questions, but that may have more to do with my deep desire to understand this more, and less with DeYoung’s writing. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for more insight into the topic, even while I did not agree with his every conclusion. I greatly appreciated what I took to be D Kevin DeYoung no doubt accomplished what he intended to do - provide a short yet biblical explanation of manhood and womanhood, particularly in the church. Unfortunately, I am closing the book with many more questions, but that may have more to do with my deep desire to understand this more, and less with DeYoung’s writing. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for more insight into the topic, even while I did not agree with his every conclusion. I greatly appreciated what I took to be DeYoung’s main point, that an accurate application of biblical manhood and womanhood leads to the flourishing of men and women in the church. The Lord’s design for men and women is certainly honorable and good, intended to serve both genders equally well. DeYoung carefully breaks down several biblical texts on this topic with each chapter, all while using common language and not too complicated of jargon. I found his explanation of the text be thoughtful, prioritizing Scripture as authoritative and trustworthy. DeYoung also addressed some particular applications of his own denomination and church. While I appreciated his honesty of where it was coming from, it left me, a reader of a different denomination and church, confused on how heavily I should weigh the interpretation as authoritative. It also made me further wonder how church tradition influences church polity, and how that may enhance or diminish flourishing for men and women. I found the Appendix to be the most intriguing chapter in the book as DeYoung responds to John Dickson’s understanding on what Paul meant about “teaching” in 1 Timothy 2. I agreed with DeYoung that the interpretation of the word should not be taken too narrowly or too broadly, and DeYoung set out a compelling answer as to why Dickson is too narrow. I did think, though, that DeYoung ended up narrowing his own understanding of the restriction of authority and teaching to men to just the worship service, perhaps in contradiction to other parts of his book. Again, this left me with more questions. Personally, the subject is so difficult not because of God’s design or the biblical text, which I fully trust, but because of the many differing opinions and the strength of responses from people on all sides. I long to see the church be more generous in this topic, trusting that many men and women are seeking to be honorable to one another and the Lord, not to tear one another down.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Josh Sieders

    I was eager to read this book. This topic is difficult and I always appreciate KD's ability to take complex theological topics down to a lay person level in a winsome, engaging, and compelling way. This book was no different, though I suspect it will leave some wanting more. It lives up to its promise of being short, practical and biblical, but it definitely left this reader wanting more (even while I appreciated its aim and brevity). It's hard to be wholly objective when a book is written from a I was eager to read this book. This topic is difficult and I always appreciate KD's ability to take complex theological topics down to a lay person level in a winsome, engaging, and compelling way. This book was no different, though I suspect it will leave some wanting more. It lives up to its promise of being short, practical and biblical, but it definitely left this reader wanting more (even while I appreciated its aim and brevity). It's hard to be wholly objective when a book is written from a viewpoint you already hold. I doubt many will be convinced if they hold a different position, and I suspect this will be a helpful tool in teaching in churches that hold a complementarian one already. Rather than write a long review, here are some of the things I liked and didn't like: Pros - complementarianism presented as beautiful - addresses all of the key biblical texts (briefly) - addresses all of the common objections (briefly) - critiques ESS (briefly) - acknowledges comp churches have done a poor job of including women in ministry - expands the idea of what many comp churches encourage women to do - insists that masculinity and femininity mean something, even if difficult to define - explains how these traits need to be lived out in culture, but that culture changes - attempts to apply concepts that most are too scared to try (but everyone wants to understand) Cons - talks mostly about marriage (masculinity and femininity are most obviously defined in this relationship. Perhaps true, but leaves a lot of application completely unexplored) - leans traditional in application (very limited, and softly treaded, but still) - does a good job of addressing slavery argument (bible doesn't condemn it, but undermines it) but doesn't sufficiently grapple with the patriarchical historical context of the entire Bible - or rather, it uses that as the biblical pattern (which makes sense) but doesn't really map it on to 21st century western civilization - I think it could do more to critique the damage that strands of complementarianism have done. Some wrongs need to be righted, even if they were completely unintended. I still say 4 stars and perhaps that's because I appreciate how he gave comp churches and believers a helpful tool for understanding and teaching their interpretation. I believe he acknowledges the blind spots of comp's past but due to brevity and the aim of the book, he was unable to address them more fully. I was hoping for a book that would pull the comp movement forward past some of its wreckage. This is a step, but there is much more work to do.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    The beginning chapters of this book, exploring manhood and (especially) womanhood throughout Biblical narratives, were excellent. I found it helpful and encouraging to see examples and patterns of women expressing authentic femininity throughout Biblical history — I might add that the ways in which they expressed their femininity differ crucially from the way American culture often displays (disparages) Biblical feminism. Despite minor disagreements, I also appreciated the practical meat of the The beginning chapters of this book, exploring manhood and (especially) womanhood throughout Biblical narratives, were excellent. I found it helpful and encouraging to see examples and patterns of women expressing authentic femininity throughout Biblical history — I might add that the ways in which they expressed their femininity differ crucially from the way American culture often displays (disparages) Biblical feminism. Despite minor disagreements, I also appreciated the practical meat of the book. I don’t see Biblical backing behind a full-fledged Presbyterian view of leadership, which adds unnecessarily to the Biblically mandated office of deacon; for that reason, I disagree with the conclusion that women should be excluded from that role. On the other hand, Kevin DeYoung’s application points for men/husbands specifically were so refreshing to read — if Christian men read and internalized that profoundly Christlike view of male headship, the Church would be in a much better spot. The application for women was valuable too, although I think the book could have been clearer on the fact that not only *can* women contribute to the church in unique ways, the church *needs* their unique contributions! There are gifts only women have and ways only women can serve, just as there are gifts and areas of service unique to men. Both are deeply necessary and both must be regularly and emphatically recognized. Side point: it’s easy to think of Christian men throughout history as inevitably sexist due to their cultural context, but I was heartened and corrected by DeYoung’s use of radically feminist (in the true, Biblical sense) quotes from church fathers and others.

  23. 5 out of 5

    E

    This is sort of a reworking/revamping of a book DeYoung self-published years ago (Freedom and Boundaries: A Pastoral Primer on the Role of Women in the Church; he estimates 50% of the material is new). It should be said that the title is a bit misleading. The work in fact zeroes in very narrowly on the question of women (or not) in ministry. It addresses only a few texts and answers only the questions that are debated between complementarians and egalitarians today (or even between complementari This is sort of a reworking/revamping of a book DeYoung self-published years ago (Freedom and Boundaries: A Pastoral Primer on the Role of Women in the Church; he estimates 50% of the material is new). It should be said that the title is a bit misleading. The work in fact zeroes in very narrowly on the question of women (or not) in ministry. It addresses only a few texts and answers only the questions that are debated between complementarians and egalitarians today (or even between complementarian camps, in a few cases). But it does so very, very well. It is clear and practical. It is affirming of men and women's differing callings without being condescending or, well, weird. It says hard things but not harsh things. It puts forth a vision of ministry in the local church that is attractive and optimistic.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Drake Osborn

    Helpful for it's clarity and unapologetic humility. Quite reductionistic at times, particularly in the application, but the author acknowledges as much. The Biblical exegesis represents in simple terms the traditional understandings of difficult texts relating to men and women in the church, with an eye on viewing every text in a properly theological framework rather than as simple gendered rules and restrictions. Gives proper space for when the author is chosing from good exegetical options and Helpful for it's clarity and unapologetic humility. Quite reductionistic at times, particularly in the application, but the author acknowledges as much. The Biblical exegesis represents in simple terms the traditional understandings of difficult texts relating to men and women in the church, with an eye on viewing every text in a properly theological framework rather than as simple gendered rules and restrictions. Gives proper space for when the author is chosing from good exegetical options and when he is affirming what is generally accepted by the majority of christian interpreters through time. A helpful appeal to the reasonableness of nature towards the end strengthened the author's ethos for me. Not polemic, not trying anything groundbreaking, and properly advertised: a short biblical introduction.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kaden Classen

    A professor once told me that Christians ought to strive to be both unflinchingly conviction and full of godly graciousness. This book embodies both of those. DeYoung's ability to convey complex and tense theological discussions to the lay audience is unparalleled. His illustrations are stellar. He contributes to the discussion himself--I've never heard better arguments for reserving the deaconal office to men only, though I still disagree with his conclusion. He aims to cultivate a heart that l A professor once told me that Christians ought to strive to be both unflinchingly conviction and full of godly graciousness. This book embodies both of those. DeYoung's ability to convey complex and tense theological discussions to the lay audience is unparalleled. His illustrations are stellar. He contributes to the discussion himself--I've never heard better arguments for reserving the deaconal office to men only, though I still disagree with his conclusion. He aims to cultivate a heart that loves and rejoices in complementarianism, not just a culture that holds to complementarian principles. This is a great book to read if you need a primer on the subject, want to love the doctrine more, or just want to learn to engage tense discussions with graciousness and conviction.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mitchell Dixon

    A great primer for an introduction to a complementarian view of roles in the church and at home. DeYoung does a great job at making small, practical books of big topics accessible to lay-level people. While I don't agree with every position he takes, I think I would feel very comfortable giving this to members of my church to begin to understand God's design for male and female roles. A great primer for an introduction to a complementarian view of roles in the church and at home. DeYoung does a great job at making small, practical books of big topics accessible to lay-level people. While I don't agree with every position he takes, I think I would feel very comfortable giving this to members of my church to begin to understand God's design for male and female roles.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brielle English

    A helpful primer on the topic of men and women in the church. Deyoung has a way of bringing simplicity to complex and controversial topics. He shows that complementarianism, rightly practiced, is beautiful.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charles Williams

    I'm a big fan of KDY, and his newest is a real gem. Here's a concise, clear, and winsome intro to an eminently practical (and perennially discussed) topic in the life of the church. I'm a big fan of KDY, and his newest is a real gem. Here's a concise, clear, and winsome intro to an eminently practical (and perennially discussed) topic in the life of the church.

  29. 5 out of 5

    C

    A helpful explanation and application of the Bible's teachings on the roles of men and women in the church. DeYoung outlines the general principles and dives into many specific instances. Notes Part 1: Biblical Exploration A Very Good Place to Start (Genesis 1–3) Word "desire" in Gen 3:16 is desire for mastery (same word is used in Gen 4:7b). Patterns that Preach (Old Testament Survey) In OT, only men exercised official leadership. Judges were national deliverers more than formal officers with constit A helpful explanation and application of the Bible's teachings on the roles of men and women in the church. DeYoung outlines the general principles and dives into many specific instances. Notes Part 1: Biblical Exploration A Very Good Place to Start (Genesis 1–3) Word "desire" in Gen 3:16 is desire for mastery (same word is used in Gen 4:7b). Patterns that Preach (Old Testament Survey) In OT, only men exercised official leadership. Judges were national deliverers more than formal officers with constituted authority. Deborah didn't exercise a military function, but came alongside Barak when he failed to go into battle by himself. Deborah willingly handed leadership to Barak, and shamed him for his hesitation. It was to Barak's shame that his enemy would have to be killed by a woman. Deborah didn't have priestly or teaching authority. Several women prophesied in OT (Miriam, Deborah, Huldah), but they didn't have institutional authority and didn't exercise same kind of public ministry as male counterparts. Esther wasn't the ruling monarch, nor did she rule Israel. Athaliah was only queen over Israel, and was so by usurpation. She was removed when rightful king (Joash) was restored. Revolution and Repetition (Jesus and the Gospels) Jesus' revolutionary attitude toward women stopped short of including them in spheres of responsibility that were designed for men. He wasn't just conforming to cultural customs; He had no problem breaking social taboos, and He upheld fundamental OT principles. Of Heads and Hair (1 Corinthians 11:2–6; 14:33–35) 1 Cor 11:3 describes hierarchy of authority (Christ has authority over humanity; husband has authority over his wife; God the Father has authority over Christ). Woman's head covering in 1 Cor 11:5 may have been a type of shawl or scarf (not veil; face coverings weren't common) women put on when praying or prophesying. Roman women in late antiquity were to be modest, and for a mature woman to wear her hair unveiled was a sign of sexual immodesty. 1 Cor 11:14-15: Nature doesn't tell us how long a man or woman's hair should be, but it tells us that men should dress and act like men, and women like women. Our culture gives us guidelines for what masculine and feminine looks and acts like. 1 Cor 11 doesn't ground head coverings in God's original design. It also doesn't give details on what head covering should look like. 1 Cor 11 means a woman praying or prophesying in congregation must show that she's submitting to male authority. That could be wearing a wedding ring, dressing like a woman, taking her husband's last name, and/or having respectful demeanor. It isn't necessary for all women to wear a head covering; what's necessary is for women to dress like women do in their culture; to look like women. 1 Cor 14:24-25 means that women were allowed to prophesy, but not join in the way of prophecy. Passing on teachings of apostles while explaining and applying Scripture was authoritative instruction in a way that prophecy wasn't. 1 Cor 14:34-35 is about sifting words of prophets, which could include analyzing life of prophet and cross-examining prophet's speech and conduct. This activity was off-limits to women, who could end up interrogating their husband or someone else's husband. Evaluating prophecy involved teaching and exercising authority over other prophets, activities denied to women. A wife couldn't submit to her husband if she was asking him to submit to her judgment about his prophecy. Paul didn't allow women to speak in this context, but told them to ask probing questions to their husbands at home. Women were to be silent in context of evaluating prophecy, not to be absolutely silent in all areas of corporate worship. DeYoung has allowed women to share a testimony, give an announcement, offer a prayer in corporate worship. Depending on congregation, it may be more appropriate for women and non-ordained men to contribute only in small-group settings. A Marriage Made in Heaven (Ephesians 5:22–33) Roles of men and women are to reflect (in certain ways) Christ's spiritual marriage to His Church. The Heart of the Matter (1 Timothy 2:8–15) Women are to dress with modesty and self-control. They're not to flaunt wealth or draw attention to external beauty. They're to "dress" with good works. 1 Tim 2:8-15 doesn't prohibit braiding hair or wearing gold, pearls, or expensive clothes; those are just given as examples of ways women in that church were being immodest. Problem isn't nice and expensive clothes themselves, but their abuse (when they become sensual or showy) (see also 1 Pet 3:3-4). Prohibition against women teaching and having authority over a man (1 Tim 2:12) explains how they're to learn in quietness and submissiveness (1 Tim 2:11, 12b). 1 Tim 2:12 could be summarized "God desires women to be silent and submissive in the church, which means that women shouldn't be public teachers over men, nor exercise authority over men." Reasons are given in 1 Tim 2:13-14. "… she will be saved in childbearing …" (1 Tim 2:15) could 1) refer to Mary giving birth to Jesus, Savior of women and men, or 2) mean that women are justified by embracing their God-given design, which, in general, includes having children. Summary of 1 Tim 2:8-15: Just as in the home, husbands should love their wives and not be harsh, in the church, men should pray without anger or disputing. Just as in the home, wives should be submissive to their husbands, in the church, women should learn in quietness and submission, without teaching men or having authority over men. Leaders, Servants, and Life Together (1 Timothy 3:1–13) Words "overseer," "elder," and "pastor" all refer to same office. NT defines 2 church offices: overseer/elder/pastor and deacon. Elders must be men • Consistent pattern of male leadership in Bible. • An elder must be a 1-woman man, faithful to his wife (if married; though marriage isn't necessary; see Paul and Jesus) (1 Tim 3:2). • Women are prohibited from teaching men or exercising authority over men in 1 Tim 2, right before qualifications for elders in 1 Tim 3. Elders must teach and exercise authority. "Gynaikas" in 1 Tim 3:11 could be translated "wives" or "women," but "wives" is more likely. It would be odd for Paul to introduce a 3rd office in the middle of his instructions about deacons. Requirement to be "husband of one wife" makes more sense if v 11 says "wives." If Paul were giving requirements for female deacons (deaconesses), we'd expect him to say something about their families (e.g., be a one-man woman). Elders' wives aren't mentioned because they can't assist their husbands in their teaching and ruling duties in same way wives of deacons can assist with their husbands' service. V 11 means that deacons' wives must be noble women. What women may do in church • Minister to sick, dying, mentally impaired, physically handicapped • Share faith, resources, home with strangers • Write, counsel, mentor • Organize, administer, design, plan • Come alongside others • Pray • Serve on church committees • Come alongside elders and deacons in difficult situations involving women or those needing a woman's perspective • Minister to single moms, new moms, breast cancer survivors, abuse victims, widows • Bring meals, send care packages, throw baby showers • Sports ministries • Lead women's Bible studies • Teach theology to women • Plan mission trips • Teach children • Serve in nursery Women may teach children's Sunday school, because they teach their own children. Women shouldn't teach males who are men or no longer under parents' authority (in US, after high school or in college). Regular teaching in mixed (men and women) Sunday school and small groups should be done by men. DeYoung thinks women may pray or share in a church service, as long as they're not taking responsibilities most people would associate with pastoral duties. He thinks women may serve on committees, as long as those committees don't exercise authority over men in church or denomination. "The most important message is not what women cannot do, but what men must do." "Let's not make the heartbeat of our message, 'Women, sit down,' when it should be, 'Men, stand up.'" Part 2: Questions and Application Common Objections Gal 3:28 doesn't say there are no differences between men and women, and doesn't destroy gender-specific roles in the church. Paul nowhere says that male and female are no longer important categories, and by explicitly forbidding homosexuality in Rom 1:26-27 he shows gender does matter. Gal 3:28 means that salvation is equally available to Jew and Gentile, male and female, and all ethnicities. Slavery • Slavery in Bible times wasn't about race. • NT doesn't denounce slavery because its primary goal is spiritual, not political and social revolution. • Slavery in Bible times wasn't always undesirable, considering alternatives; people became slaves to escape poverty, to get out of debt, become Roman citizens, etc. • Slavery wasn't always a permanent condition; there were often ways to earn freedom. • Bible doesn't condemn slavery, but neither condones nor commends it. • Bible condemns capturing people and selling them into slavery. • Paul encouraged slaves to gain freedom if possible (1 Cor 7:21) and encouraged masters to treat slaves as brothers (Philemon 1:16). Prophetesses (Deborah, Miriam, Huldah, Noadiah, Anna, Philip's daughters) • NT prophecy wasn't identical with other forms of Word ministry. NT prophets occasionally gave Spirit-prompted utterances that needed to be weighed against accepted teaching. Philip's daughters and prophets at Corinth weren't apostles or authoritative teachers. • Ministry of OT prophetesses was different than prophets. Miriam ministered to women. Deborah and Huldah prophesied more privately than publicly, to those who came to them. Noadiah opposed Nehemiah. That Priscilla's name is listed before her husband's has no bearing on her authority. Her instruction of Apollos was with her husband, and in private. There's no indication she exercised teaching authority over men. That Phoebe is called a "diakonos" may mean she was a deaconess, or simply a servant; word is ambiguous. Either way, there's no indication she was teacher or leader over men. Junia (Greek Junian) was probably a man. "Outstanding among the apostles" (Rom 16:7) suggests he/she was held in esteem by apostles, not that he/she was apostle. Even if she was female and apostle, that doesn't mean she was an apostle like 12 apostles; "apostle" can be used in less-technical sense as "messenger, representative." Growing Up as Boys and Girls "We must be careful not to equate biblical manhood and womanhood with one-dimensional cultural stereotypes."

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erica Schrader

    I thought this was a great book (with the exception being his view of ERAS) that accomplishes what DeYoung set out to do - provide a short, practical book on complementarianism, and the roles of men and women in the church. I also appreciated the appendix which offered his rebuttal to Dickinson’s book.

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