CBMW Review of my Bourgeois Babes Book

CBMW Review of my Bourgeois Babes Book January 30, 2014

Over at CBWM Griffin Gulledge offers a very gracious but not uncritical review of my ebook about women in ministry called Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry.

Griffin takes issue with a few of my exegetical decisions here and there, esp. about 1 Cor 11:2-16, but is sympathetic to the course I try to navigate, and he rightly notes that the book is not an exercise in complementarian bashing. I also learned that I’ve been identified with a position called “exegetical egalitarianism” by Andrew Wilson, which is new to me, but sounds fair enough (also included Ben Witherington and N.T. Wright).

In the end, Bird’s tone in this book is one of its most commendable features. Although I would hope readers would not follow Bird’s conclusions, I hope all can adopt his irenic spirit. I would recommend this book to none for its conclusions, but to all for its reasoned and well-intended opposition to biblical complementarity.

That is probably one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I count among my friends Mimi Haddad (CEO of CBE) and Denny Burk (Editor of JBMW) and while I disagree with both on many points – and they with me – I do not feel the need to choose between them as friends and ministry partners (though I would not send them to do a church plant together). One thing I’ve learned and am still learning is that if you cannot persuade someone with your arguments then try to persuade with your way of life in Jesus Christ. Such as I aspire to do so, though others will have different estimations of my success on that front.


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