If one were to pick a topic, any topic and examine the validity of its arguments and then choose to pick a controversial topic, I don’t think one could pick one more controversial than the one Dr. Claire Smith picked in her new book God’s Good Design What the Bible Really Says About Men And Women. The past few years in particular have seen this conversation turn rather nasty on both sides, as one side attacks another and then the other side responds. This is not to say that both sides don’t have good points, but it seems that the conversation has taken more of a turn to focus more on heat rather than light. This also isn’t say that good work hasn’t been done on this subject because in my opinion it has. In my mind as a convinced complementarian the work of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood stands head and shoulders above the rest of the works being done on this issue, because it seeks to examine what the Bible teaches about men and women in order to help them be faithful Christians in all of life.
Is it okay if I’m honest with you for a moment? When I first heard about the opportunity to review this book, I was hesitant. Not hesitant because I don’t know what the Bible says about this topic, or nervous because I’m not convinced that my convictions are firmly rooted in the text of Scripture. I was nervous because I know very well that this issue is a very sensitive one where each side can very easily be not only misunderstood but also misrepresented.
After reading Dr. Smith’s new book, I came away with an appreciation of her commitment to the truth and authority of the Bible. Her book while a primer on the subject is not fluff but a very real, personal and serious examination of what the Bible teaches about men and women and their biblical roles. As a young adult, the author came to know Jesus but it was some years before she seriously studied what the Bible says about this topic. In this book, she takes her reader with her on her journey of studying the Bible. As she studies, she looks closely at seven key texts about men and women and how they related together in God’s purpose. The author also deals with common objections to the complementarian position and applies the teaching of the Bible simply and practically to relationships at home and in the church.
God’s Good Design What The Bible Really Says About Men And Women will serve Christian readers well. As noted above, the book deals seriously with the text not to bring it into question, but rather as one humbly submitted to the Scriptures in order to understand what they teach and apply that teaching to herself and to her readers. While some readers will take issue with some parts of this book, in order to reject those arguments, they will have to engage the arguments Dr. Smith presents from the Word of God.
While when I first heard about the possibility of reviewing this book I was hesitant to read it for fear of what she may not say, but thankfully, I was happily surprised and my hesitancy removed, as I read this book. In this book, the author takes seriously the Scriptures and demonstrates great care and thoughtful concern in how she phrases things on this sensitive issue. While reading this book, I often felt like I was having a conversation face to face with Dr. Smith and she was personally sharing her story with me. It’s the combination of biblical thoroughness, serious reflection and application that make this book a good primer for every Christian to read, reflect on and apply to their marriages, household and ministries. It is on this basis that I recommend this book, which in my opinion will bring with a breath of fresh air to this conversation. This biblically faithful book hits all the right notes, for the right reasons to the glory of God.
Title: God’s Good Design
Publisher: Matthias Media
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cross Focused book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in according with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.