Popular magazines, fashion and television glorify the “modern” woman as dressing in tight or form fitting clothing. The modern “woman” our culture teaches is be dressed in clothes that show off her body, and men are to do the same. In our culture there is a lot of confusion about what modesty is even in the church. Into this culture authors Tim Challies and R.W. Glenn wrote Modest Men and Women: Clothed in the Gospel to speak to this important issue.
When some read the title Modest they may immediately think this book is about clothing, but to do so is to miss the point of the book. This book isn’t about our clothes but about our hearts which gravitate towards sin. Modesty is an issue because we are sinners living in a sinful world where we make sinful choices about what we wear under the guise of attracting people towards ourselves. Modesty is an issue precisely at this point, because attracting people’s attending toward ourselves and away from God is not only wrong its idolatry.
The authors state that they wrote this book “not because we have a bone to pick with women or because bathing suits make us nervous but because we want to help men and women both discover the joy and freedom of gospel modesty in all of life” (7). The authors write because modesty “is neglected” (10). The focus of this book is on the fact that “Christian modesty must be rooted in the gospel of grace” (12). Along the way the authors confront legalism and modesty an issue that many struggle with. In confronting cultural issues the authors confront the culture head on with the Gospel challenging Christians that “when the gospel controls your modesty, you won’t see it as a way of putting God in your debt because you don’t need to twist God’s arm to accept you—he already accepts you freely and fully in Jesus Christ. This gives you both the ability and the desire to respond to him by joyfully being modest in appearance and character” (36).
Modest is an important book for readers to consider because it confronts an issue every Christian man and woman deals with everyday whether they are in a mall, at work, or in church. This book will help Christians to think through what a grace-centered approach to modesty is which is why I recommend Christians struggling with immodesty and those who think those who wear tight or form fitting clothing are second class people read this book. In this book Glenn and Challies help us avoid pitfalls related to modesty by focusing our attention on the life-giving and life-transforming grace of God that transforms not just what we wear, but also our hearts, and renews our minds so we can walk not in the flesh but in obedience to God and His Word.
Author: RW Glenn and Tim Challies
Publisher: Cruciform Books (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Cruciform Press 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 accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”