Item description for Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology) by John G. Stackhouse, Craig Evans & Lee McDonald...
Overview A succinct proposal for an alternative Christian understanding of gender that takes seriously the biblical support and the earnest Christian people on both sides of the debate.
Publishers Description Discussions about gender continue in many Christian denominations. With good people and solid arguments on each side of the divide, there seems to be little hope for a synthesis or even constructive dialogue. In this brief book, John Stackhouse proposes a way forward. Stackhouse provides biblical, theological, and practical arguments for his own understanding of the issue: Equality is the biblical ideal, but patriarchy is allowed and regulated by a God who has larger kingdom purposes in mind. Thought provoking and distinctive in its clarity and honesty, Finally Feminist will be extremely useful for deepening the gender conversation in the church.
Citations And Professional Reviews Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology) by John G. Stackhouse, Craig Evans & Lee McDonald has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Books & Culture - 01/01/2007 page 28
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Studio: Baker Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.46" Width: 5.58" Height: 0.36" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2005
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
Series Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology
ISBN 0801031303 ISBN13 9780801031304
Availability 0 units.
More About John G. Stackhouse, Craig Evans & Lee McDonald
John G. Stackhouse, Jr. (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Faculty Development at Crandall University in New Brunswick. He is the author or editor of ten books, including Humble Apologetics, Can God Be Trusted?, No Other Gods before Me?, Evangelical Ecclesiology, and Evangelical Landscapes.
Reviews - What do customers think about Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)?
A fine introduction to a Trajectory Hermeneutic Jan 9, 2007
A somewhat less-than-satisfying exegetical look at the case for women's ordination. This book, and the "trajectory-hermeneutic" that it espouses has been highly influential among evangelical egalitarians (those persons who submit to the authority of Scripture but who do not see any role differentiation among men and women in public ministry.) There is a certain logic to Stackhouse's argument as he traces a redemptive-historical trajectory from the Old Testament to the New to the present day that affirms women's full equality to men. He says the same trajectory is present as the Bible deals with the issue of slavery: In the Old Testament, slavery was a normal and biblically-organized institution. In the New Testament, Jesus and Paul equalized everyone on the basis of the Gospel - "there is no slave or free" - but did not explicitly argue for the dissolution of the institution of slavery. In modern times, as the surrounding culture matured, Christians used the Scriptures to vigorously proclaim the institution as a whole to be morally bankrupt. In other words, slavery should be seen as morally bankrupt on the basis of the authority of Scripture, but because in OT/NT times the institution was such a foundational part of the culture, few would have seen these texts as requiring freedom for slaves. This in itself is a simplified version of his argument, but he applies this same type of thinking to the issue of women in ministry. In the OT you have a basically patriarchal society supported by the Bible, in the NT Jesus radically humanizes women and brings them alongside him in ministry in virtually every way, but there are still limitations placed on their service in his and Paul's ministry. But, whereas even this was seen as radical and almost revolutionary in apostolic times, biblically-speaking, their example and teaching was meant to redeem the then-current culture as far as possible. Only later, as culture matured, would they provide the normative basis for full equality. I confess a certain willingness to hear this argument dispassionately, as I think the conservative church has committed the exact opposite error; we have over-applied the biblical limitations on women in ministry to the point that competent, godly, extroverted women have almost no place to serve in the church. These women are often viewed as being dangerous and as trying to usurp man's God-given dominion in the church. (I have a friend who calls this the conservative church's "mishnah" on women in ministry.) But, at the end of the day, I find Stackhouse's argument to be rhetorically-compelling but not necessarily exegetically-satisfying. It is one of those books I wish were longer, and wish he dealt more substantially with the "control" texts of this issue: 1 Cor 14, 1 Tim 2 and 3. At the end of the day, I find myself still an uneasy complementarian (those who see full equality of men and women but with some diversity of role within the church.) But, I carry this label in a very uneasy way because my application of this view would be very different, with much fewer limitations - actually only one - than many others who wear the complementarian label loudly and proudly.
I say just go for it. Jul 10, 2006
Finally Feminist is an easy read - only 129 pages.
Here are things that I liked about the book: 1. He calls himself a feminist. That is refreshing. I have heard quite a few egalitarians deny that they are feminists. If I were egalitarian, I would admit to my feminism, as he did. I commend him for that honesty. I think that egalitarians should follow his good example in that regard.
2. He calls the complementarian position patriarchy. That is also a correct assessment. Many complementarians want to downplay the patriarchal nature of our position. We need to get over that, and admit that we see the Bible to be promoting a form of patriarchy. Let's be honest about that, ourselves.
3. He correctly points out that the patriarchs of the OT were not always living up to patriarchal ideals. He is correct on that score, too.
4. He correctly points out that those "difficult passages" in the NT - esp. the ones written by Paul - support the complementarian interpretations. It was a relief not to be drug through the tortured explanations that I have heard from other egalitarians. I thank him for sparing us that pain.
6. I especially appreciate the fact that he did not drag the Trinity into it, and came down solidly on the side of orthodoxy. He did try to make it out as if the comps started that line of reasoning, when it was really the comps responding to egal twisted theology on that subject that started it. :-) Who cares at this point, right?
5. He has a nice writing style.
There is more, but those are the main things that I liked about his presentation.
What didn't I like?
1. He decided that patriarchy itself is evil by nature, and that God does not like patriarchy. God may think that, but how does Stackhouse know for sure? It would help his case if God had pronounced clearly that He hates patriarchy; it would help the case for feminism if God quit setting up social structres - such as the church and the home - along patriarchal lines.
2. He decided that feminism is good, and is the structure that God is setting up in His kingdom - in the church, the home, and in society. Yes, it is Christian feminism that he is talking about, not secular feminism - even though he does not seem to see the great weaknesses in feminism, including how hard it is to keep women out of the home and in the workplace.
3. It would help his arguments if feminism - at least as practiced and promoted for the last 50 years - did not have such a checkered past. It would be easier to believe that feminism is what God is doing in the world if feminism weren't so evil itself.
4. He stated that patriarchy enslaves women, and feminism sets them free, but from what? I know what the Maoist and Leninist forms of egalitarianism were meant to set women free from, but what about biblical feminsm? Does God really want women to put their children in daycare, or hire other women - servants, they would be - to care for their children? How unegalitarian that is! He actually proposed that women hire other women to care for their children. Heck, where we ministered, that is considered clasismo! Wealthy women can afford to take other women from their homes, so that the rich are well cared for.
5. He was selective about who he included in the OT hall of patriarchal shame. Why not include examples of how patriarchy actually did protect women and children? I think of the example of Abraham getting a bride for Isaac, Ruth being redeemed by Boaz, Abigail being protected and rescued by David from an evil husband, etc.
anyway...read the book. It may help some to correctly define themselves.
There is a lot more that could be said, but those are my main impressions.
Donna L. Carlaw
disappointed Jan 26, 2006
He did not talk about " Feminist" part equally with the other , and he quoted lots of paragraph from Bible just try to declare " such things are not aganist women ...." these are not proofs of "Both sides are right" . The content doesn't fit with the Title. God did not create the man(Adam) and the woman(Eve) in the same way ! They are complemented but never be equal! Stop brainwashing us!
A scholarly and serious-minded evaluation of scriptural text Jan 13, 2006
The latest volume in the Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series, Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender is a thoughtful examination of evangelical Christian perspectives on gender. With an evenhanded eye for detail, theology professor John Stackhouse, Jr. reveals why "both sides are right" - the Bible is both feminist and patriarchal. Extensively researched, Finally Feminist seeks to outline both the egalitarian and complementarian elements of biblical text in its search for a balanced and accurate paradigm to better understand what the Bible has to say about women. A scholarly and serious-minded evaluation of scriptural text.
From Plymouth Brethern to Finally Feminist Dec 9, 2005
John G. Stackhouse has created a beautifully crafted book: smart, clearly written, informative, insightful and challenging. Developing an assessment of gender roles in the church derived from his own experience raised in the Plymouth Brethern (where my own grandfather, William Chawner, was a prominent lay preacher), Stackhouse develops arguments in biblical interpretation and social analysis that are bound to inform many, offend some, and engage all.
His sensitive, informed, and clear explanation of how authoritative texts should be interpreted has cross-over value in many fields within and outside Christian theology.
This book is a "must read" for people interested in the issues.