IS THERE ANYTHING UNIQUE ABOUT BEING A WOMAN? GOD’S WORD SAYS YES! Men and women are absolutely equal in dignity. They are also significantly different. Women are only honoured (and fulfilled) when both truths are celebrated. Read this revised edition of Sharon James’ God’s Design for Women if you want to find out about:
· The positive impact Christianity has had on women throughout history
· The various waves of feminism right up to the #MeToo movement · The Bible’s teaching about equality and complementarity · A survey of views on women’s ministry
· An overview of biblical ministries of women · A biblical perspective on work, singleness, marriage and motherhood
November 2020: a new review from Lesley Ramsey of Moore College, Sydney, well worth reading here: https://equalbutdifferent.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=767664915a9ec9d39d926c726&id=73abfb06eb&e=3b8d4853f7
October 2019: Elinor Magowan has a review on the FIEC website
My heart sang as I read this book: I found myself wanting to read more and more of it! It brings a much-needed, compassionate but uncompromising focus to what is a vital topic in these troubled times. Sharon James’ handling of the material is intelligent, honest and winsome: the breadth of her research builds upon biblical integrity and invites women into a Christ-centric freedom. She avoids the pitfalls of gender-stereotyping and also holds out the gospel to those who have been wounded in this fallen world. In highlighting all that God intends women to be, her close attention to the biblical text allows for neither smugness nor the need to apologise to society at large, which is both refreshing and liberating. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book for women everywhere who want to confidently walk with Jesus in their God-given identity. Genevieve T Jennings, Pastoral Worker, Eden Baptist Church, Cambridge
With a historical scope that encompasses the classical era up to the #MeToo movement, Sharon James has mined the Scripture that has proclaimed Christ in every generation and found harmony and beauty in truth. This is a rare, wise and essential text to be read by men and women.
Ben Virgo, Christian Heritage London
A timely re-write, taking us from Creation, through history, to the perplexing times we inhabit now. Sharon helpfully traces the feminist movement showing how thinking has changed so rapidly and fundamentally, leading to a rejection of biblical truth where Christians are now viewed as hateful and intolerant. Our challenge is to ‘have confidence to live out, and tell out, what God says about sexuality, and about how to live a truly happy and fulfilled life’. This book will equip women of all ages to do so, and will also give confidence to Christian men to live out their God-given calling, in right relationship to women.
Julia Jones, Director of Women’s courses at London Seminary, and missionary support worker with Grace Baptist Mission
Insightful, instructive and inspiring, this is a book which brings a refreshingly calm, warm and intelligent voice to the present debate on the identity and role of women. Sharon James’ breadth and depth of reading are impressive and the clarity with which the Biblical view of womanhood is presented is elevating and attractive. There is no avoiding any of the ‘hard questions’ which are dealt with fairly and judiciously. Without doubt this is one of the most readable and helpful books on the subject: a must for both men and women. Highly commended. Melvin Tinker, Vicar of St John Newland, Hull
How are women to navigate the challenges of society, community, church, singleness, marriage and motherhood, in a positive and Biblical way? Sharon provides careful, comprehensive answers which inspire action; she doesn’t dodge the hard questions and is able to critique masterfully how we arrived where we are in the 21st century. Her historical and current examples show what women living out God’s design have contributed to society and the church in the UK and overseas. This book is eminently readable but not lightweight. It will leave you with questions to ponder that will impact the day to day as well as the bigger life decisions you make. Sharon is committed to women in ministry from a complementarian perspective and, refreshingly, wants to see that worked through well in church life. This book will inspire you to fulfil the God given design for women, individually and collectively; to remove the idols of our time and to shine like stars in this generation which so needs women of all ages and backgrounds to live, work and serve courageously, compassionately and sacrificially to the praise and glory of our Saviour. This book is much needed and shouldn’t sit on your shelf, but be read, discussed and applied.
Elinor Magowan, FIEC Women’s Ministry Coordinator and Pastor’s wife, Carey Baptist Church, Reading
Sharon James has given us a biblically faithful and pastorally sensitive affirmation of God’s clear design for women. In this updated version she engages with many of the contemporary debates. At a time of great confusion, she helps us to think in a positive and balanced way about this vital subject. This book is highly recommended.
Paul Mallard, Pastor, Widecombe Baptist Church Bath
I cannot commend this book highly enough. It is Biblically based, theologically robust and easily accessible to readers of all levels. Through insightful exposition and practical application it makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the debate and is so relevant to christian women living in the 21st century.
Gail Curry, Director of Baptist Women, Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland
Praise for previous editions:
‘written in a compelling, compassionate, down-to-earth style that is immensely readable’ Grace Magazine
‘If you are going to read one book on biblical womanhood this should be it. Sharon James’ book is clearly written out of years of study as well as years of experience in a pastoral context’
Themelios, International Journal for Theological and Religious Studies Students)
‘essential reading for both women and men in our churches’ Evangelicals Now
‘A must for the woman who has young teenagers coming up and maybe going off to university with all the pressures that are coming their way’ Christian Woman
‘a very readable yet scholarly book, which shows what a joy and privilege it is to be made a woman’ Equal But Different
‘A word in season to give us courage to strive to be what God meant us to be’ Helen Roseveare, Missionary Doctor and Author, 1925–2016