Gender and Grace
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InterVarsity Press / 1990 / Paperback
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Gender and Grace

InterVarsity Press / 1990 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW1297


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Product Description

What does it mean to be a ''normal'' woman or man? What are appropriate sex roles in marriage? In parenthood? In the workplace? Those questions have become harder and harder to answer. Van Leeuwen provides a sane, thought-provoking guide out of our confusion. After gauging the influence of biology and culture, she demonstrates that there yet remains room for a good deal of personal freedom and Christian responsibility. Paper from InterVarsity, 225 pages.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 1990
Dimensions: 5 1/2 X 8 1/4 X 5/8 (inches)
ISBN: 0830812970
ISBN-13: 9780830812974

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Publisher's Description

Winner of a 1991 Christianity Today Critics' Choice Award (1st place; contemporary issues). How are men and women different? How does being a male or a female affect us at work? What are the roles of husband and wife in marriage and parenting? What does Christianity have to do with any of these things? Sexual identity lies at the core of the crucial questions that everyone asks of life. Yet today those questions are harder and harder to answer. Traditions about the "real man" and the "woman's place" have been challenged. Scientists debate what nature actually dictates for male and female. And theologians engage in heated controversy over what the Bible really says about female submission and male headship. In this sane yet provocative book, an informed social scientist and committed Christian thinker braves a jungle of confusion to offer unusual insight on the part genes, culture and faith play in making us the men and women we are -- and ought to become.

Author Bio

Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is professor of psychology and philosophy at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. She taught at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan) for many years, and she has been a senior editor of Currently she is a contributing editor for Van Leeuwen has written, cowritten, and contributed to several books, including (with L. Kidder, McGraw-Hill, 1975), (Eerdmans, 1985), (one of several contributors, Eerdmans, 1993), (co-editor, Westminster John Knox, 1996), (co-editor, Westminster John Knox, 1998) and (with Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, Mardi Keyes and Stanley Grenz, Baker, 2000).

Editorial Review

Gender and Grace is simultaneously one of the most challenging and most reassuring examinations of male-female relationships written from a Christian perspective. A professor of interdisciplinary studies at Calvin College, Van Leeuwen brilliantly integrates insights from faith and science, maintaining that the Bible provides the basic framework on which all our more detailed solutions to human problems must be founded.

"We cannot invoke biology to excuse our moral failures as men and women," she points out. She dispels many popular notions about "naturally" determined gender roles through her illuminating analysis of genetic and anthropological findings in the light of biblical principles. Among her conclusions: men and women are more alike than different; nature and nurture mutually influence each other; the Christian calling to advance God's kingdom on earth may conflict sharply with cultural expectations concerning family relationships and work patterns.

The latter half of the book considers the practical implications of gender studies for contemporary Christians. Harmonious egalitarian relationships between men and women are not determined by the absence of gender roles, but by "the degree of proximity, cooperation, economic equality, and role flexibility that men and women share" in a given culture. Our modern Western pattern of the absent breadwinning father and isolated domestic mother developed relatively recently, in response to the Industrial Revolution. This pattern is neither particularly traditional nor particularly biblical.

Van Leeuwen calls upon the church as the family of God to help individual families discover how their unique constellation of gifts can best serve God. Best of all, we are reminded that feminists and patriarchalists are equally in need of redemption. The author eloquently affirms the grace of God enabling Christians to renounce the anger of many secular reformers and to work for a more just society with voluntary self-sacrifical love.

Many women and men may have to live with reduced incomes, less prestigious careers, or less active social lives if they creatively share and divide family and economic responsibilities in order to seek first the kingdom of God. Gender and Grace is truly bread for the journey.


---Anne Ramirez
---Used with permission from Christians for Biblical Equality

Editorial Reviews

"All Christians who make the advancement of God's kingdom their highest priority will profit from this book."
"With unusual competence in both psychology and Scripture, Van Leeuwen brings fresh insights to crucial questions."

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