The subject of women in the church is both important and controversial. John MacArthur is not afraid of either. In this revised work, MacArthur examines what the Bible teaches in I Timothy 2:9-15. He discusses topics ranging from the attitude and appearance of women, to their role in and contribution to the church. God's High Calling for Women can be used alongside or apart from the audio series available from Grace to You in either a personal or group study.
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This book is dire. Lots and lots about women should not do - no dressing like a prostitute at church, ladies, no going to church to find a man, no dressing like a prostitute at church, no authority, no dressing like a prostitute at church... about 25% of the book is spent on this.
So what is God's high calling for women, other than not wearing stripper shoes on a Sunday morning?Apparently God's high calling for women is 'the role of subordination and subjection'.
The arguments used by the author are so full of flaws and blatant, deliberate misreadings of Scripture that I find the book highly objectionable.The author claims that 'when Eve stepped out from under the protection of Adam, she was highly vulnerable and fell'. No. Eve was tempted by Satan and chose to disobey God. Genesis 3 makes it clear that conflict in the relationship between man and woman came as a result of the fall.
The argument that women should not prophesy in church begins with mentioning a Scriptural basis and then misinterpreting a whole lot of other Scripture. 'There were loads of women prophetesses in the Bible, but they don't count because they were women and women have never been prophetesses because only men get to do that!' It's not exactly the world's best argument. Why not just discuss the relevant passage in the NT and leave it at that? I'm not a fan of Scripture being twisted to support an argument. Not everything needs to backed up with sixty different irrelevant quotations. I think the author needs to remember the story about the man who decided that he would live his life by the first verse he set eyes on when opening his eyes to a random page, and opened the Bible to 'he went and hanged himself'.
I'm also not a fan of 'here is a passage from Paul's letter... Odd numbered verses should be considered in light of the cultural traditions of the day, but even numbered verses should be taken literally'. Although there are many parts of the Bible where an understanding of the culture of the day does shed light on the Scripture in question, choosing whether or not to consider this based on whether or not it fits your argument gets you nowhere.In summary, this book says almost nothing about God's high calling for women. It says a lot about what women shouldn't do (REMEMBER, NO PROSTITUTE DRESSES IN CHURCH) but pretty much nothing else (there is a very brief mention of the need for women to be well-educated in Scripture so that they can raise their children to know God's word, but this takes about a fifth of the time devoted to the no stripping in church thing).
TLDR: full of blatant misreadings of Scripture, and about as enlightening as a broken lightbulb. And remember: no dressing like a hooker in church.
No. I had expected better from a relatively well-known Christian writer, but I was very disappointed with his method of (mis)reading Scripture.
A little less smug male self-satisfaction would have been nice. It would have made the book a little more palatable.
There were occasionally a few nuggets of wisdom hidden in the dungheap. Just not enough of them to make it worth spending two hours filtering dung with my ears.
I should make it clear that I'm not fundamentally opposed to some of what the author tries, and fails, to say. I actually agree that the New Testament teaches that women should not take on public preaching roles in church and that it is a blessing for a woman to be able to raise her children to know God and the Scriptures. I'm also pretty sure that church is not the place for dressing like a prostitute. I just have a really big problem with how MacArthur twists Scripture to the point where some of what he says (i.e. Eve fell because she disobeyed man, not because she disobeyed God) utterly contradicts the word of God.