by David and Tim Bayly on February 6, 2010 - 12:27pm
(Tim, w/thanks to Mick) Here's a top-ten reading list for those looking to reform their understanding of the meaning and purpose of the sexes as God created them.
- Scripture, starting with these texts
- Henrik Ibsen: A Doll's House
- Paul King Jewett: Man as Male and Female
- Stephen B. Clark: Man and Woman in Christ
- Walter Neuer: Man and Woman in Christian Perspective
- Steven Ozment: When Fathers Ruled
- G. K. Chesterton: What's Wrong With the World
or The Thing
- Doug Wilson: Reforming Marriage
- George Eliot: Middlemarch
- Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons
Now, ten explanations...
of my recommendations:
- Scripture: Some may quibble with my selection, which is fine. Anyhow, this is my own list of the texts I think should be carefully examined in order to come to a Biblical, and therefore a right understanding of the meaning and purpose of sex.
- Ibsen: There's no better place to make a short investment of time toward a good
understanding of the wickedness of feminism evident from its beginning.
A propagandist of the first order, Ibsen gets to the nub of the issue
quickly. Try reading it one evening with a reading group, each taking
his and her part. It's a play, so it shouldn't be difficult to complete.
- Jewett: A Fuller Theological Seminary prof, Jewett's work serves as the locus
classicus of the feminism that claims to honor Scripture. But it’s a
fools task. As the late feminist Mary Daly put it, "Christianity is
hopelessly patriarchal." Jewett was one of the few honest enough to say
Scripture said it and Scripture was wrong. Don't waste your time on any
other feminist tracts.
- Clark: If you read nothing else, you simply must read Clark. He's far and away
the best on God's Creation Order of man and woman. Nothing comes close.
Buy your own copy and mark it all up.
- Neuer: A translation from the German, Neuer is shorter than Clark, but also
helpful as a Biblical theology of sexuality. Don't read Neuer unless
you've first read Clark.
- Ozment: Men who liken themselves to the Reformers rarely understand how central
to the Reformation was the restoration of the dignity of fatherhood.
Ozment is a Reformation scholar of the first order and his fascinating
work provides the historical goods on the battle for fatherhood at the
heart of the theological reform of the Reformation.
- Chesterton: If you think working through the Divine meaning of manhood and womanhood
can't be delightful; and if you're a woman bent low under the attack of
our culture on those who have given themselves to being a housewife and
mother, reading Chesterton will go a long way to restoring joy and
merriment to your life.
- Wilson: If I get one go at a man who claims the Name of Jesus while despising
work, authority, marriage, and children, it's Wilson for sure. There's
no better book for reforming unbiblical marriages and men. Our church
has always had multiple copies on hand and yours should, too. But be
warned: Wilson's perspicuity and manliness in controversy has blessed
him with many enemies.
- Eliot: This is a long and detailed introduction to the world of women. Men who
are insensitive brutes or disembodied intellectuals would do well to get
here the understanding of their sisters, mothers, and wives they may
never have reached in real life.
- Turgenev: Women and men who want to come to a deeper understanding of what Freddie Mercury was talking about when he sang "father to son to son" could do worse than this by Turgenev. Across time and space, rebellion and father hunger are constants in the life of man.
If I go to eleven, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
makes it. A work from the mainstream
evangelical world, RBMW has the weaknesses of a compilation of essays
and it's best understood as an exercise in dialog with feminists
claiming to be evangelicals. Of particular note are two chapters: Piper
and Grudem's "Questions and Answers" and "The Church as Family" by Vern
* * *
Readers may also want to check out Rick Phillips' just-published The Masculine Mandate.