Where Faith And Life Meet -- By: Candi Finch
JBMW 14:2 (Fall 2009) p. 68
Where Faith And Life Meet
A Review of Carolyn McCulley, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World. Chicago: Moody, 2008.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fort Worth, Texas
I have a confession to make. I am slogging through my fourth year of doctoral studies, and there are times when I have a tendency to forget that what I study is about real issues that impact real people. I forget that where the rubber meets the road between faith and practice is the important link between a Christianity that impacts its world or a Christianity that only studies its world. It is hard to remember that fact at times when you wrestle over minute nuances of theology or spend the majority of your time reading works most of the people in your life have never heard about—or would never pick up even if they had. However, the negative impact of feminist theology on churches, universities, and families is a real and urgent issue. It is not some esoteric topic to banter about in a seminar classroom. If one considers the ideas of such feminist theologians as Rosemary Radford Ruther or Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza regarding anthropology or Christology, it is possible to forget that their thinking is impacting men and women right now who have probably never even heard their names. It is a trickle-down effect. Just as many “modern” women may have never read Betty Frieden’s The Feminine Mystique, they are still dealing with the repercussions of her ideas in their homes. Should a woman stay at home to raise her children? Are there gender roles in a marriage relationship? These are questions that Frieden’s book voiced and awakened into the American consciousness.
Carolyn McCulley’s work, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World, is a wake-up call for anyone who forgets that living according to God-ordained gender roles is violently under attack in today’s society and has been under attack for many years. The women who surround you—your friends, neighbors, acquaintances—all live out on a daily basis what it means to be uniquely “woman” in the twenty-first century. The married, working mom standing beside you in the grocery line may have never thought about the implications of Ephesians 5 or Colossians 3, but you can bet that she has struggled at times with the meaning and balance of her roles as “mom,” “employee,” “wife,” and simply “human being.” For Christian women today, it is difficult, as McCulley states in her subtitle, to live out a feminine faith in a feminist world. But the world desperately needs to see Christian women living out their faith! A lost woman may n...
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