Book Review: Rediscovering Scripture's Vision for Women
Book Review: Rediscovering scripture's vision for women by Lucy Peppiatt
Why did I read it?
I heard Lucy Peppiat preach at New Wine 2019, She really made me think and I decided to buy her new book. I had not heard of her before, but I presume that is because I was in a New Frontiers church and now I'm in an Anglican church. I wanted to read a different perspective of women in church from what I had been taught previously. I know the scripture's taught about women being under male leadership and male headship in marriage but in the last few years I have felt that this is not what Jesus taught from His ministry. I read the bible but I have not studied theology formally or studied original translations of biblical text so in this sense I have relied on preachers to deliver the truth. Previously, I had accepted what I was taught as truth but as I said before, the last few years I have not felt right about it. I was in-between is this rebellion or Holy Spirit guiding? This is the first book I have read about this subject and I felt confident in the author.
The book basic's
It contains a foreword, acknowledgements, introduction, 8 chapters, conclusion, bibliography and scripture index. It's 170 pages long.
Lucy Peppiat is the Principal of Westminister Theological Centre and she is an author - other books include Unveiling Paul's Women and Women and Worship in Corinth. I enjoyed listening to her preach and felt she was scripture based teacher. She has degree's in English, Theology, masters in Systematic Theology and a Phd. She is married with 4 children.
The book is written in an academic style. It reminded me of an essay, lots of groundwork and lots of detail but to be fair this subject needs theological detail and groundwork as there are so many questions, as well as, myths to uncover. This did make it hard for me to read as i'm not used to reading books written in this style. There were times I had to let it sink in and come back to it or re-read it. This is not a bad thing. There is lots of scripture and quotes taken from other theological writers. Lucy Peppiatt exams the scriptures from both points of view and is very thorough. She does not tell you what to think but guides you in unravelling verses and translations.
What do I think?
Wow it's really made me think not to take the bible literally. The context behind the writings are so important. I have a new found respect for the importance of translations of the original text and how important this is in understanding the bible. I always thought that was for someone else to interpret, someone who had a gifting in such areas and had not really thought about finding the truth out for myself. I think I believed that wasn't for me (a woman) and to trust the leaders (men) above me. I now think each believer (male an female) has to be vigilant to the teachings they listen and hold on too. It is really important to question and to know why you believe what you do. I think church leaders have a very important job and a responsibility to find and deliver the truth. I don't envy them, but we also have responsibility to the truth too. They will have to give an account to God and we will too.
I also have a new fondness for Paul the apostle - which I was not expecting. I didn't realise how revolutionary his teachings were. I hadn't truly grasped the freedom of his teachings. I had not paid much attention to the women in the early church and had no idea of the significance of their roles. In fairness I think previous churches/preachers side stepped over them. I had no idea there was ever a female Apostle! Let alone she was held in high esteem amongst the other Apostles.
It has made me think about the over arching themes of the bible and then taking verses out of context, applying them literally without knowing the full context in how they were written and what was meant. It has opened my eyes. It has also saddened me, the many women who have clear gifts from God that will not be able to fulfil their roles because of the church they belong too.
This book has made me think. I am not a scholar and would suggest reading the book if this intrigues or rattles you. Exam it for yourself. I'm glad the Holy Spirit prompted me to question and led me here, as it has made me think about the bible deeper. I know I'm not a scholar - I found it hard just reading this book let alone diving into the deeper depths of theology but I know I can trust the Holy Spirit to lead me and lead me well. Pray as you read it!
I'm not a robot, God has made me who I am and its good to question, to think and not just to follow blindly. I believe I'm on a journey of discovery in Christ, learning to become His follower, learning to discern and this is part of the journey. I do believe female leadership is Godly (It's also not for me) and that all Christians regardless of sex should be encouraged to follow their callings from God.
I'm really glad that I read this book and encourage others to do so!
I fully appreciate others will not feel the same about this, however it is not a salvation issue. How you feel about women's roles in the church does not make or unmake your acceptance of Jesus Christ as God's Son. I would pray you know the truth, as I imagine, you would pray for me.