Book Reviews: Dethroning Male Headship

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Dethroning Male Headship by Shirley Taylor (One Way Press)

book taylor200Much has been written about the role of women in the church, especially since the Southern Baptist Convention adopted the Baptist Faith & Message 2000. In Dethroning Male Headship, Shirley Taylor outlines the history of such teachings and notes the 1988 publication of the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as key to understanding the issue.

She defines two primary views on woman’s position in the church and at home—egalitarianism and complementarianism. Taylor explains egalitarianism means women and men are created “equal—no buts” and have no pre-assigned “roles of authority or submission based on gender.” She indicates writers of the Danvers Statement coined the term complementarianism, meaning men and women have specific, complementary roles which “define manhood and womanhood.” For the male, that translates into authority. For the woman, it involves submission. She is declared “equal—but” and is to hold lesser positions at church and at home. Some have expanded complementarianism outside of religion and teach that men have authority over women in all situations all of the time.

Dethroning Male Headship offers a well-documented look at the results of male headship in the home, the church and society. Taylor provides numerous scriptural references, including passages not only to specific women but also to the Ten Commandments and the Apostle Paul’s teachings. Although the co-founder of the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition strongly favors egalitarianism, she challenges readers to study the issue and formulate their own views.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, first vice president

Baptist General Convention of Texas


The Reason for My Hope: Salvation by Billy Graham (Thomas Nelson)

book graham200Released to coincide with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s “My Hope” campaign, the renowned evangelist begins what may be his final book by asking readers not to give up hope. The consummate evangelist of the 20th century uses the first five chapters to lay out the gospel message methodically.

The remaining chapters deal with the unique faith—or lack of faith—of people in the 21st century. He uses the example of Facebook as proof that people regard belonging more than believing. He also talks about “faith blending,” pointing to the example of Chrislam, which mixes aspects of Christianity and Islam. He follows with the chapter “No Happy Hour in Hell,” speaking directly to a generation that generally rejects belief in a literal hell.

This book is full of personal, contemporary and historical stories to illustrate its message, and it challenges readers to think about their spiritual condition and relationship to God.

The book closes with the chapter called “My Hope.” Graham finds hope in Christ’s Second Coming. He expresses his hope that reading this book will drive readers to God’s book, where they can find eternal hope in heaven. This is a must read.

Skip Holman, minister of discipleship

Northeast Baptist Church

San Antonio

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