A Review Of Andreas And Margaret Köstenberger. “God’s Design For Man And Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey.” Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 380 pp. $22.99. -- By: Godwin Sathianathan

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 20:1 (Spring 2015)
Article: A Review Of Andreas And Margaret Köstenberger. “God’s Design For Man And Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey.” Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 380 pp. $22.99.
Author: Godwin Sathianathan


A Review Of Andreas And Margaret Köstenberger. “God’s Design For Man And Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey.” Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. 380 pp. $22.99.

Godwin Sathianathan

Associate Pastor
South Shore Baptist Church
Hingham, Massachusetts

God has given me two compelling reasons to explore Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger’s new book on biblical complementarianism: Emma and Sam. My children are too young to shape directly, but it’s not too early for mommy and daddy to start praying and preparing. What will daddy say when Sam asks why girls are so different? What will mommy say when Emma asks about the two boys holding hands in school? What counsel will we give Emma when a young man is looking to date her, or when Sam prepares to propose?

Today the modern church lives in two-fold confusion. First, the evangelical church is confused about what the Bible teaches on manhood and womanhood. Some have strong convictions—one way or the other—while many avoid the topic for fear of entering into another divisive debate. But what are the consequences of punting on this? What happens when boys and girls, men and women within churches are confused about who they are as male and female? Second, the broader culture is confused, sometimes violently, on masculinity and femininity. Will the idea of gender be eventually deleted from our societal vocabulary? And if so, at what cost?

A Unique Contribution

Thankfully, in God’s Design for Man and Woman Andreas and Margaret Köstenberger serve up the fresh, life-giving truth from the Word of God. They have written this book because they are convinced “it’s vital to wrestle with our identity as men and women for the sake of healthy marriages, families, and churches, but more importantly, for the true expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the world” (14).

God’s Design for Man and Woman is a unique contribution to the conversation in that its approach is biblical-theological. This means it traces the theme of manhood and womanhood across the canon,

from Genesis to Revelation. Many other important works, such as John Piper and Wayne Grudem’s classic Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood address the topic from other angles (e.g., exegetical, theological/historical, and practical). But no book-length study before this one maps out Scripture’s overarching pattern related to masculinity and femininity.

To be brief, the book is divided into eight chapters:

  • God’s Original Design and Its Corruption (Genesis 1-3)
  • Patriarchs, Kings, Priests, and Prophets ...
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