Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book Review: The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood by Susan Hunt & Barbara Thompson


I was bought this book for Christmas by my dear husband Steve, as he likes to encourage me with books that can help me learn better how to put into practice the principles in God’s Word. I began reading rather arrogantly assuming that I may not be challenged or taught anything new; that it would most likely be more of what I had already read on this topic. But I was wrong, not only for my pride, but also for thinking that I have understood the full impact of God’s design for women. We have been wonderfully created to be helpers - to our husbands, family and community, and this book explains the importance of discipling women in the Biblical image of womanhood.

Mrs Hunt and Mrs Thompson begin the book with a discussion about how God intends the covenant community to be the culture in which we are equipped to live out the implications of our feminine design. I found this has given me a greater understanding of the grace and mercy of God in the helper design, which defines Biblical womanhood. I can see how the Gospel empowers and compels us to exercise our design. I was reminded again that we are called to pass on the legacy of Biblical womanhood - it is an inheritance that we must steward well and pass on to the next generation. This provides the basic framework for understanding why a “Titus 2-type” discipleship among women is so crucial.

Next they explore the glory of God’s goodness  and how we should demonstrate that in our covenant way of life. To glorify God, which is our primary purpose, we should reflect His mercy, grace, slowness to anger, steadfast love, faithfulness and forgiveness. Although, ultimately, Jesus is the full revelation of a life of God’s goodness, the example of Ruth and Naomi is explored because it demonstrates the relationships of daughter, sister, neighbour, wife, mother and pilgrim. The authors then explain how Ruth and Naomi demonstrate the principles and legacy of gratitude, unity, mercy, intimacy, life and fruitfulness and how to apply this example in our own lives and situations.

The most fascinating concept for me discussed in this book  is a covenantal philosophy of women’s ministry. As community and compassion should characterise our helper design and are characteristics of the covenant of grace it can give focus and definition to women’s ministry which should be a life-giving, supportive ministry. It should be designed to serve not only the women of the church but the whole church! Mrs Hunt and Mrs Thompson explain the core covenantal values for a women’s ministry and their application well but I hope to read more about this exciting Biblical principle.


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