That is a question for the ages, isn't it? Fortunately, my friend Dr. Natalie Wilson Eastman, from the Redbud Writers' Guild, has written an in-depth but practical guide to biblical interpretation. For those of us who don't have a doctorate, but long to know how to interpret what the Bible says on any given subject, Natalie has graciously brought key principles for exegesis—the art and science of getting to what the Bible says—to a lower shelf. And she's done it for "women who want to know for themselves." Genius.
Using the case study of women and leadership in the Church, Natalie gives us a manual for how to discern biblical truth for ourselves. Although we had a few technical difficulties, I managed to pull this video on what a "starting point" is when we approach theology and the Bible. Listen in:
Truth be told, I believe we are responsible for how we wrestle with God's word and whether we are obedient to what we discover. This is best done in our church communities, as we come together to discern, each person's study informing and shaping the discussion.
Although Women, Leadership, and the Bible holds a higher price tag than most books at $31.50 (but only $9.99 on Kindle), it's a go-to guide you'll use for the long haul alongside your Bible. Inside its pages, you'll hear the stories of a variety of women who hold differing viewpoints on what the Bible says about the presenting issue of women and leadership, and you'll easily identify the nuts-and-bolts steps to your own study:
And the appendix in the back will point you to quick checklists that will keep you on track while doing exegesis on a Bible passage and other resources that will enrich your study of women leading in the church. Believe it or not, the author even pulls all of this off with touches of humor and inspiration along the way. At the end of the book, she quotes the movie "Brother, Where Art Thou?" when she writes:
"Congratulations! Now, you are bona fide! You have prospects!"
To which I reply: it's high-time for women to believe and become confident that they can interpret the Bible for themselves, and to be given the tools to do so. Dr. Natalie Wilson Eastman does a beautiful job of equipping us and sending us on our way.
Enter to win a giveaway copy here on Julie Holly's blog through July 14.
Your turn: Are you settled in your mind on what the Bible says on women leading in the Church? If not, what issues or passages are you still struggling with?