Friday, November 21, 2008

Highlights from Köstenberger's Jesus and the Feminists

Some of you have mentioned Piper and Grudem's Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (New Edition, Crossway, 2006). This is a highly recommended book, but I am embarrassed to say that I still have not purchased it. (My wish list is too large and some of my family can't understand why I need any more books.) Anyway, I appreciate the comments you all have shared about this book.

Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger, Jesus and the Feminists: Who Do They Say That He Is? Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2008. Softcover, 253 pages. $19.99

[Crossway | WTS | Amazon | CBD]

As far as it goes with Jesus and the Feminists, I would like to share a few excerpts that should help you to gain a clearer understanding of Marny Köstenberger's direction. There are excerpts made available online of Introduction and Chapter 1. These few pages will go along way in bringing you up to speed with the lay of the feminist landscape. I offer here a few highlights from these and a few other pages in the book.
We will see that what emerges from feminist scholarship on Jesus is not one version of the true Jesus but many different accounts of who feminists perceive Jesus to be. (16, emphasis mine)

The message of the Bible for us as women is certainly vital, though often countercultural. Attention to its teaching is essential for us to live spiritually vibrant lives in a world that vies for compromise, accommodation, and independence from the authority structures in which God wants us to serve. (16, emphasis mine)

Many influential feminist voices have risen to challenge the long-held conservative interpretation of Scripture regarding women, and it is my hope to honestly address and wrestle with these alternative views on Jesus in order to enable women to clarify and lay aside the misunderstandings or misrepresentations that linger. This direct confrontation should help to clear up the confusion and wavering in women who desire to serve him in committed submission. True freedom comes from obedience to God’s will. (18, emphasis mine)

All sides can agree that concerted efforts should be made to combat abuse of male authority, which is still found in many homes and cultures today. In the end, this is not merely an academic issue but one that has enormous practical consequences. This is one of the great strengths of feminism, which has always strongly rejected male domination and the abuse of women. (33, emphasis mine)

Conclusion
We must take our place in a stance of submission to God's Word, putting ourselves beneath it rather than sitting in critical judgment over it. Women as well as men must draw near to God's Word "to listen" rather than "to offer the sacrifice of fools" (Eccl. 5:1). If that means self-sacrifice and self-denial of the world's promises of independence and human rights and liberties, so be it; for the true follower of Christ has forsaken such false promises, knowing Christ's words to be trustworthy: Matthew 16:24-27). (220, emphasis mine)
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Book Giveaway: Jesus and the Feminists by M. E. Köstenberger


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