God's Good Design: What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women

God's Good Design: What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women
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Smith, Claire

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Publisher's Description

Although Claire Smith was a young adult when she came to know Jesus, it wasn't until she went to Bible college that she noticed parts of the Bible that challenged her feminist views. Studying these passages led to radical changes in her life.

Too often we put these same passages in the 'too hard basket', or we make up our minds without taking a close look at them for ourselves. But we must let God's word determine these issues, and not the culture in which we live.

Claire takes us through the same process she went through herself, looking closely at seven key Bible passages about men and women and how they should relate together in God's purposes. Along the way she deals with many common objections, and applies the teaching of the Bible simply and practically to our relationships at home and in church.

The warmth and simplicity of the book means it will benefit every Christian—whether you have looked at these passages a thousand times, or you've never thought about them in your life.

About the Author

After working for some years as a nurse, Claire Smith spent many years at Moore College closely studying the Bible, completing a BTh, MA (Theology), and a PhD in New Testament. These days she spends her time writing and speaking at conferences. To relax, she writes letters to the paper and talks theology with the two men in her life—her husband, Rob, and their son, Nathanael (both avid musicians). She will also happily watch any sport on TV (although her favorite is rugby).

Book Details

238 Pages
Publisher: Matthias Media USA
Publication Date: March 2012
ISBN 13: 9781921896392

"Is it possible to say anything fresh or new about Christian feminism and Christian complementarianism? Not only has the debate been thrashed out in countless essays and books that begin to sound painfully predictable, but each ‘side’ is convinced it has ‘won’. Into this maelstrom of publications, Claire Smith’s little book comes with a refreshing sanity, a happy eagerness to let Scripture speak, and a simple style that will frustrate the pundits and make many ordinary Christian readers rejoice over this breath of fresh air, this godly and biblically faithful call to rejoice in God’s Good Design."
- D.A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield

"Claire Smith’s thoughtful, careful work deserves a full read from beginning to end. She aims not to advance an argument but to listen well to God’s word about men and women and their relationships with each other. This book models some of the most important exegetical principles: close attention to the Bible’s words; study of texts in their immediate and full contexts; consistent effort to say no more or less than the Bible says; and personal humility and joy in receiving God’s word. I commend this book not as a checklist for a view but as a worthy guide along the path of listening well to God’s voice in Scripture."
- Kathleen B Nielson, author and conference speaker, Georgia

"Claire Smith’s fine scholarship makes her an excellent guide to the teaching of Scripture on the subject of men and women. She has a desire to be true to God’s word and to show how God’s word enhances human life. This is no abstract discussion—Claire has a rich and thoughtful experience of what she writes about. This is a book worth reading!"
- Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney

"Claire Smith tackles passages that some have claimed are ‘too hard’, and she does this with the clear conviction that this is God’s good word to us. This is a helpful resource for the church because it works through the Bible passages verse by verse, letting them set the agenda for the ministry of men and women, rather than simply making assertions from elsewhere. It is evident throughout the book that Claire has been working on these texts for many years. She writes so plainly and clearly, and she addresses common objections and pastoral issues. This clarity makes the book widely accessible."
- Jane M Tooher, Director of The Priscilla and Aquila Centre, Moore College, Sydney

"Gallons of ink have been spilt over issues of male and female roles in church leadership and the home. Few authors have provided such a careful, accurate and convincing treatment of the biblical texts involved. This outstanding book is comprehensive, thoroughly readable, full of useful application and apologetic, and will provide us with a magnificent resource for our churches for many years to come. I could not commend it more highly!"
- William Taylor, Rector of St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London

"God’s Good Design is a ‘must buy, must read’!It is a must for instinctive ‘complementarians’ who sometimesfumble over crucial texts. Claire Smith’s unpacking of 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 is faithful, lucid and compelling.It is a must for ‘egalitarians’ to challenge them to front up to these texts. Their frequent objections are faced and answered.It is a must for any church and denomination. There is a strong correlation between a healthy, growing church and the recognition of distinctive ministries for men and women. Where women usurp men’s proper ministry and are not themselves given their own unique and vital ministry, churches frequently decline.It is a must for our society. One of the greatest threats facing us today is the breakdown of marriage and family life. The exposition of Ephesians 5 and, wonderfully, of Proverbs 31 sets us on the road to recovery.It is a must!"
- Jonathan Fletcher, Vicar of Emmanuel Church, Wimbledon

"This is a most loving contribution to the gender discussions of today. And we who follow Christ cannot afford to pretend the Bible is too difficult or debatable on these matters without losing traction on many others.Claire Smith walks us through the biblical texts so intelligibly, winsomely, pertinently and persuasively that we have fresh cause to thank God and put his wise ways into practice."
- Simon Manchester, Rector of St Thomas’, North Sydney

"This is a great book that systematically lays out all God says on this important issue. It is thorough, comprehensive, accessible and compelling. It avoids the trap of saying more than God has said, but carefully says no less. It therefore confronts men as well as women and calls us back to God’s good design. And it’s helpful to have an author who can so sensitively engage with such depth on so profound a topic in the context of truly knowing the pain and gain of wrestling with these things! Read the last chapter first. It helps to keep in mind who it is that writes. I’ll be one of the first to stock this important, relevant and careful book on our church bookshop."
- Andrew Heard, Lead Pastor, EV Church, Erina

"This book is a welcome addition to the ‘gender’ landscape. Claire Smith’s careful and meticulous attention to the biblical text is of immense service to those who are not afraid to dig deep below the surface in order to fathom truth. This book is thorough, comprehensive and scholarly. I wholeheartedly recommend it to men and women who yearn to live within God’s good design for relationships in church and family."
- Lesley C Ramsay, Evangelist and Bible teacher, Sydney