Monday, September 26, 2011

The Liberating Truth: How Jesus Empowers Women by Danielle Strickland

From the very first page, this book didn’t sit right with me. In the foreword by Vicky Beeching, she writes that she believes women should be allowed to be pastors, and that women not being allowed to be elders or senior church leaders is damaging theology (14). The author, Danielle Strickland very quickly writes, “Gender-based restrictions are simply old-fashioned and unhelpful tools that do much more harm than good. They need to be done away with, not simply because they contribute to the dissatisfaction of both men and women, but because they limit the people of God. ... This isn’t limited to women, of course. The enemy’s strategy of gender-based restrictions also extends to men and to marriage” (22). She goes on to compare the gender-based restrictions to Islamic women wearing burqas.
I honestly couldn’t read much more than that, that I did skim through the rest of the book. First of all, I do believe that God has chosen to place men in authority and that the role of pastor or shepherd over a church congregation should be a solely male position. I don’t see how a woman can take on that role and still be under a man’s authority. This wasn’t some design of God to oppress women but rather a protection. Secondly, while I believe some “gender-based restrictions” should be and have been done away with, particularly in some jobs such as education, science, math, etc, that does not mean that all “gender-based restrictions should be done away with. Doing away with all “gender-based restrictions” means allowing children to use which ever bathroom they feel like that day, or not even having separate bathrooms in public places. 
While this book has some good points, I cannot in good conscience recommend it. I feel it goes too far in trying to interpret Scripture, leaning towards an egalitarian point of view.

I received this book free from Kregal Publishers for the purpose of this review.

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