I knew I was going to like this book on the second page! Strickland had read a Christian book that said all women long to be princesses. She certainly hadn't felt that way! In fact, her mother had to bribe her as a child to wear dresses!
She then begins to deal with this modern, worldly stereotype of the Christian woman, revealing instead, God's plan for women. “So,” she says, “this book is a celebration of the diversity of God's calling to all people. … He wants you to contribute any way you can. You are not limited to gender based work...” (23)
She addresses cultural differences. If a society is cannibalistic or centers on terrorism, we will fight to change it. If the culture suppresses women, makes them wear total covering or forbids their education, well, that's just “cultural differences” and should be tolerated.
She speaks about prostitution, that it is supposed to be “liberating.” She says, “Eighty-six per cent of women who are involved in prostitution around the world would do anything else – anything else – if they thought they could.” (40) It is oppression, not liberation. She notes that Sweden has taken the radical move of criminalizing men. Being a prostitute is not illegal in Sweden but visiting one is. (44)
She is ruthless on those who proclaim women cannot preach. “This lie was, and is,” she writes “believed by men because it feeds some sort of ego and affords them power.” (44)
She explains that men and women were created equal (she addresses the Hebrew of Gen. 2:18,20). That undermines the idea of gender discrimination. Subordination of women was not part of God's original design for humanity.
Strickland is saddened that the church, rather than being the entity to model empowering women, it continues in its reluctance to do so. Rather than being salt and light, it is stuck in the Dark Ages and is a stench in the nostrils of God. (77) “...[T]rue biblical feminism is...based on the fundamental principles of equality and dignity. … The Bible simply does not support the doctrine of authoritarian male headship and female subjugation.” (66) She notes that Scripture texts used subjugate women need to be read in context and accurately interpreted.
On marriage, she writes, “The beautiful picture of marriage, of love and mutual submission, where two people become better together than they were apart, has been turned into a travesty of control and oppression. One person – always the woman – has to become less in order for the system to work.” (68)
Strickland takes a deep look at Scripture in the second part of her book. Jesus, she writes, “vigorously promoted the dignity and equality of women in the midst of a very male-dominated society.” (101) “He quite directly rejected the stereotype that a woman's place is in the home.” (105) She takes a deeper look at I Corinthians 14:26-37 and I Timothy 2.
Strickland is on a mission – to see His kingdom come. “Galatians isn't just a nice idea – it's the reality of how God wants the world to be.” (154) (Gal. 3:28, "...no longer male and female, you are one in Christ Jesus.")
Be prepared! Strickland has got it right! Women, if you think you've been relegated to second class citizenship in God's kingdom, read this book!
About the Author: Danielle Strickland is a Major in the Salvation Army in Canada. A gifted evangelist, she is widely sought after as a speaker. She and her husband, also a Salvation Army officer, have two young children. Read more about her on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danielle_Strickland
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.