Dr. Mathews’s book is an eye-opening journey from creation, through biblical narratives and debated texts, on to a revealing discussion of church history right up to the present. Gender issues raised in this book (much of them alarming) impact every man and woman in the church and threaten future generations of believers. They tarnish our witness, weaken our relationships, and hinder our mission in the world. This is a vitally important read!
Overcoming the sin of sexismwhat we call in my culture “machismo”is an ongoing struggle in our churches, homes, and communities. Alice Mathews has gifted the church with a biblically sound, theologically sophisticated, historically relevant, and pastorally sensitive book. This is required reading for all who would advance the gospel of Jesus Christ and his reign.
Alice Mathews has written a thoughtful, reflective, and carefully crafted work. The examination of both historical and contemporary factors in determining the roles of men and women is informative and convincing. This book is an excellent resource for both educational and personal study. An important read for anyone who has the courage and wisdom to reexamine this often controversial issue.
Alice Mathews provides readers with a thorough rethink about gender roles. Her compelling claims help to enhance and enrich the discussion about the practice of men and women in the home and in the ministries of the church.
Clear and fair, this is a helpful hard-hitting introduction to questions about gender roles. Alice Mathews draws on her familiarity with the breadth and depth of biblical, theological, and historical scholarship related to these controversial issues to provide an instructive summary, regardless of whether your position is still in process or seemingly settled.
Regardless of your position on the gender roles issue, this book will challenge your thinking and provide fresh perspectives on this important issue in the church. Dr. Mathews has inspired countless women to live out their spiritual gifts over the years. For the kingdom’s sake, we should read and examine what she so carefully offers in this important book.
Alice Mathews helps the entire church rethink the concept of gender and gender roles with fresh biblical, historical, theological, and cultural insights. She releases us from our natural binary impulses to reconsider our God-given human responsibilities as people loved and created by God. This is a timely book for those battling in traditional gender wars.
In this book, Dr. Alice Mathews harvests a lifetime of serious scholarship and practical ministry experience in the church and academy to make a cogent casebiblical, historical, theological, and practicalfor the liberation and employment of the spiritual gifts of all God’s gifted and called people, both women and men. I recommend her work with enthusiasm and confidence and would like to see it in the hands of every seminary student in the country.
Discussions on gender dominate much of our present culture, and not just in the academy or on the extreme fringes of social media. This book refutes simple gender-based hierarchical approaches that have emerged from some parts of the church and provides a richer and more holistic understanding that is faithful to both Scripture and tradition. This model of informed discourse will serve the church for years to come.
Over my forty-five- plus years as a Christ follower, I have grieved that so many Christians, especially leaders, refuse to do the hard work of sorting out key issues related to gender roles in the church and home. Gender Roles and the People of God should be included on every Christian’s must-read list.
Alice Mathews has made a major contribution to the ongoing dialogue regarding women in the church. Both the tone and content of this book reflect a teacher’s desire to encourage careful thinking rather than to push a particular point of view. She demonstrates a refreshing optimismbelieving that rethinking gender roles can lead to renewed effectiveness of men and women working together in building God’s kingdom on earth. What a possibility!
Engaging, respectful, honest, and biblical, Dr. Mathews avoids strident tones and, as a friend, helps us reread familiar passages and rethink old ideas. If you believe that only Scripture should limit a person’s ministry, you should read this book.
Alice Mathews’s combination of laser-like clarity and loving charity toward the hierarchicalists she disagrees with is enlightening and refreshing. Spanning Scripture, theology, tradition, ecclesiology, and ministry, with a touch of sociology, this is one of the most succinct and yet comprehensive syntheses of the best scholarship you’ll find on the subject. It is truly a liberating book.
While many books have simply focused on key biblical texts, Gender Roles and the People of God also explores other issues that add to the complexity of the subject, including modern cultural and theological developments that shape the way people read ancient texts and think about God and gender. This book is certain to help many Christians wrestling with gender issues.
It is a pleasure to endorse Dr. Alice Mathews’s book. It is a tender, compassionate explanation of the teaching of Scripture on this delicate subject. Her desire is to be fair to what our Lord has taught in his Word, not to win an argument. I urge Christ’s church to center its thinking on this topic with Alice’s firm base on Scripture rather than numerous alternative routes that are often used to discuss this topic.
Don’t miss this engaging and well-written book. Read it for its timely and important insights. And read it for its exceptional model of how to study and interpret Scripture. This is a valuable resource for the church, and I will be recommending it often.
Dr. Mathews has written an urgently needed book on gender roles that is thoroughly biblical, both theologically and culturally sensitive, and pastorally prophetic. Above all, her vision of homes and churches led by a “Blessed Alliance” of men and women under the authority of Jesus is deeply hopeful.
Alice Mathews has spent decades assisting Christians to rethink what they have been taught about gender roles. Very few people have thought as long or as carefully about these issues from a biblical perspective. She provides us with a worthwhile and lively summary of a lifetime of experience and teaching from a woman who has walked the talk.
Readers of this important book by Dr. Mathews will find it helpful and hopeful. Helpful because in this one volume we have a clear interaction with and integration of the hermeneutical, theological, historical, and sociological issues that have impacted the current debates in some of our Christian communities. Hopeful because we see afresh God’s creation of and call to women and men together to be full participants in the life and mission of God for the sake of the world.
This brisk survey by Mathews (Marriage Made in Eden) proves that Christian hierarchies have distorted the complementarian image of gendered creation, one that was always part of God's intended purpose and not a concession to human sinfulness. The author admits, "this book began as classroom lectures in a course called 'Women and Church Leadership.' " The book reads as such, with its 13 chapters concluding with questions for discussion and reflection. According to Mathews's interpretation of Genesis, gender is an element of being created in God's image, and male and female are to be ezer kenegdo, or helpers to each other, subservient only in response to the other's needs. Her major point of analytical assessment is the heavily referenced Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a work she finds resolutely committed to a patriarchal, gender-based hierarchy—arguments the author dismisses as misogynistic and ideological. However, her own judgments on female church leadership probably speak more directly to Protestant perspectives. VERDICT An accessible feminist overview of historical patriarchy in Scripture and the church.—SC