Saturday, December 7, 2013

Book Review: Partners in Marriage and Ministry

"And since the Bible does not define 'femininity/womanhood' or 'masculinity/manhood,' we should avoid dogmatism, stereotyping, and the making of restrictive lists in these area also." -Ronald W. Pierce, Partners in Marriage and Ministry

It may be surprising for many to discover that manhood and womanhood are not defined in the Bible. After all, we know many passages that speak directly about marriage and women in ministry. In Partners in Marriage and Ministry: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality, Ronald W. Pierce unpacks the most infamous biblical passages on these subjects, and the results may surprise some.

Beginning with the creation account, we begin to see that God's design for the sexes is mutuality, a plan the was disrupted by the Fall. But humanity's disobedience has never changed God's heart. In exegeting chapters such as 1 Corinthians 7, Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 11, and 1 Timothy 2, he really digs in to the cultural context, audience, and true intentions of the texts, further revealing God's desire for gender mutuality. Though at times theological, he brings his points to application with "Principles for Today" chapters at the end of every new topic.

In closing, Pierce states, "Mutual partnership was present in God's design of men and women when humanity was first formed. Moreover, it continues to stand at the very center of the gospel message of Jesus Christ." I agree completely, and Partners in Marriage and Ministry is an excellent resource to further understanding about biblical equality.

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