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Book Review

Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World - by McCulley, Carolyn

Chicago: Moody Press, 2008. 224 pp.
Whitney Hauser, wife of TMS student Jason Hauser

Feminism has affected me, and I didn't even know it, though I am not now and have never defined myself as a feminist. However, reading Radical Womanhood showed me that many of my own thoughts and attitudes about what it means to be a woman have been influenced by the ideals of feminism. In this book, Carolyn McCulley traces the history of feminism, showing its development in three waves and describing how each wave has made greater inroads into our culture, our homes, and our churches. She explains how ideas today about womanhood have been shaped by early feminist thinking. She combats modern feminist ideas with truth from God's Word, and shows women how to truly be feminine - by submitting to the Word, the Holy Bible, and living for the Lord. Carolyn McCulley draws on her own experience as a former feminist, and also has done extensive research on the history of feminism. She uses the writings of early feminists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton to expose the motivation of feminist leaders. Carolyn McCulley states "...while the crowning achievements of the first wave feminist movement were the legal reforms of coverture and suffrage, Stanton's writings reveal the ongoing target was the authority of Scripture.

This is still true today." She goes on to say, “As a movement, feminism arose because women were being sinned against. But feminism also arose because women were sinning in response. That's a classic human problem: Sinners tend to sin in response to being sinned against.” The author then points us to the real solution, “The glorious hope we have is that Christ came to rescue us from this spiral of sin and sinful response." surrender their lives to the Lord in the midst of the worst circumstances imaginable and “have found God to be true to His Word.” As one who has found God to be true to His Word myself, I soaked up the author's ability to use the truth of Scripture to counter the “wisdom” of the secular world. It is clear she holds a high view of Scripture and reveres its teaching above any modern secular view or book or ideal. It is important to know the history of feminism and to perceive how it has affected our society and our lives. Knowing this and being students of the Scriptures, will enable us to contend for the faith (Jude 1:3) and to practice discernment (Hebrews 5:14). This is a helpful book for women and men seeking to live lives conformed to God's ideal plan for us as we minister in a post-modern world.

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