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(p)review: Does Christianity Squash Women?

Susan, ’02 Westminster MA graduate, former Admissions coordinator at WSC, choir director, Womens’ Bible study leader, editor of the soon to be completed Meredith G. Kline Memorial Book (check back later), sometime employer and longtime friend of Brannan and Phil, wife, mother and grandmother, reviews Rebecca Jones’ recent book,

DCSW?Does Christianity Squash Women? (Broadman & Holman, 2005)

With remarkable ease and wisdom, Rebecca Jones takes a provocative look at the Bible and femininity in Does Christianity Squash Women?. Written with twenty-first-century freshness, she examines the development of women’s issues through the Bible and then considers their implications for present-day Chrisitan living. What’s discovered is not a box of confinement but rather a fulfilling path to freedom and purpose. “When we accept God’s authority to define us,” says Jones, “we discover what it means to be a woman.”

Everyday I read in my local newspaper advice column about women who define sex as “dating,” think of their hearts and bodies strictly in autonomous Susan and grandkidsterms (“It’s my body after all”), yet yearn for some lost romantic relationship, confused by the unexpected consequences of autonomy without boundaries and commitments. Years of feminism have apparently not given women the freedom they desired, but a new bondage. Even Christian women are not sure anymore where they fit in. Enter Rebecca Jones and her book, “Does Christianity Squash Women?” Anchoring the biblical framework for male and female in Genesis, and identifying all through the Scripture God’s intentions for women, Rebecca Jones takes the reader through the issues that are a concern to the 21st century Christian woman – What’s the point of marriage? What is the place for sex? Where is a woman’s “place?” in the home? In the church? At work? What is woman?

Each chapter includes thinking questions that help the reader probe beneath the usual “churchy” responses women raised in Sunday school are prone toward, and into a serious grappling with the issues facing women today. Each chapter also includes a short listing of additional (and excellent) resources for those interested in deeper study. The reading style is contemporary, fresh, and accessible, the theology strongly biblical; reminiscent of the works of her father, Edmund P. Clowney, to whom the book is dedicated.

~Susan Erikson

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