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Women and God: Hard Questions, Beautiful Truth

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What does the Bible really say about women? Is God somewhat sexist? Is there a way to see what God says in this area not only as true, but also as beautiful? In this warm, conversational, sympathetic book, Kathleen Nielson asks the hard questions on this most emotive subject, showing how truth can not just be believed, but enjoyed. Women of all backgrounds, views, and ages What does the Bible really say about women? Is God somewhat sexist? Is there a way to see what God says in this area not only as true, but also as beautiful? In this warm, conversational, sympathetic book, Kathleen Nielson asks the hard questions on this most emotive subject, showing how truth can not just be believed, but enjoyed. Women of all backgrounds, views, and ages will want to read this crucial book.


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What does the Bible really say about women? Is God somewhat sexist? Is there a way to see what God says in this area not only as true, but also as beautiful? In this warm, conversational, sympathetic book, Kathleen Nielson asks the hard questions on this most emotive subject, showing how truth can not just be believed, but enjoyed. Women of all backgrounds, views, and ages What does the Bible really say about women? Is God somewhat sexist? Is there a way to see what God says in this area not only as true, but also as beautiful? In this warm, conversational, sympathetic book, Kathleen Nielson asks the hard questions on this most emotive subject, showing how truth can not just be believed, but enjoyed. Women of all backgrounds, views, and ages will want to read this crucial book.

30 review for Women and God: Hard Questions, Beautiful Truth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Francine

    This book made me cry out of love for Jesus. The best read I’ve done on the subject of women and God. Praise the Lord for Nielson’s gracious words!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    If you've ever read and been confused about some of the verses in the Bible concerning women, like those in Deut. 21 or 1 Cor. 14, this book "Women & God" seeks to provide clarity. I appreciate that this book was written as it's such an important and relevant topic, with the trending #MeToo, #TimesUp, and "The Future is Female". Does God see women as equal to men? The author does a good job of giving a "big picture" view, starting with Genesis and threading the gospel-focus throughout. Personally If you've ever read and been confused about some of the verses in the Bible concerning women, like those in Deut. 21 or 1 Cor. 14, this book "Women & God" seeks to provide clarity. I appreciate that this book was written as it's such an important and relevant topic, with the trending #MeToo, #TimesUp, and "The Future is Female". Does God see women as equal to men? The author does a good job of giving a "big picture" view, starting with Genesis and threading the gospel-focus throughout. Personally, I would have liked more in-depth answers to some of verses discussed, as I was often left with more questions. However, this book is a readable (not overwhelming in size or writing style) and helpful overview on the topic of women & God.

  3. 5 out of 5

    May

    Really, really, really good, careful and thorough treatment of what the Bible says about women. The author does this with great reverence towards what the Scriptures say as a whole and with great tact towards the spectrum of thoughts out there. Very practical, honest questions are not skirted but directly pointed to the Scripture, which at times is clear and at times left open to cultural and situational interpretation. What you come away with is a holistic picture of a loving God who created wo Really, really, really good, careful and thorough treatment of what the Bible says about women. The author does this with great reverence towards what the Scriptures say as a whole and with great tact towards the spectrum of thoughts out there. Very practical, honest questions are not skirted but directly pointed to the Scripture, which at times is clear and at times left open to cultural and situational interpretation. What you come away with is a holistic picture of a loving God who created women with a beautiful purpose of uniquely reflecting His image; this can be lived out in various contexts starting from the inner place of the heart and spreading out into the world. Highly recommend!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Danette

    "What does resonate with all we've seen in the scriptures is that women are to be valued as God's image-bearers along with men - and that all believers, filled and empowered with the Spirit of the risen Christ, together serve him until he comes again. God's ordering of male and female in marriage and in the church is meant to bring about unity. Unity through complementarity." 2019 - A book about theology "What does resonate with all we've seen in the scriptures is that women are to be valued as God's image-bearers along with men - and that all believers, filled and empowered with the Spirit of the risen Christ, together serve him until he comes again. God's ordering of male and female in marriage and in the church is meant to bring about unity. Unity through complementarity." 2019 - A book about theology

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Nielsen navigates the tricky waters around many issues of God and women in the Bible. Whether you struggle to understand difficult passages of the Bible or wonder what your role is in the home or church, she presents Gods Word as a means to answer these questions. While not in-depth into each topic, Nielsen discusses some various views and rightly puts our focus where it needs to be when we encounter these topics- God’s Word!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anna Walker

    Highly recommend, especially for women engaged in any kind of ministry to other women. Has one of the best answers that I've ever read to the idea that a woman being a "helper" equates with a lesser role. Highly recommend, especially for women engaged in any kind of ministry to other women. Has one of the best answers that I've ever read to the idea that a woman being a "helper" equates with a lesser role.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I appreciate that she teaches how the Bible backs up the Bible and how it explains itself. Best to use this approach. Only really accurate approach! So she does a great job of showing God’s order and love for people. When dealing with the subjects of the New Testament, it’s best explained if we look at the Bible as a whole and let It defend and explain itself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    hollie

    An engaging and challenging read with strong biblical foundations, providing a perfect starting point for conversations about women in the Bible. Stand out sections are: - Chapter 5, about Deborah in Judges - Chapter 7, exploring Women's Bodies in light of Creation/the Fall/the Future (our Hope) - Chapter 8, about Women and Jesus - Chapter 10, tackling Women in the church An engaging and challenging read with strong biblical foundations, providing a perfect starting point for conversations about women in the Bible. Stand out sections are: - Chapter 5, about Deborah in Judges - Chapter 7, exploring Women's Bodies in light of Creation/the Fall/the Future (our Hope) - Chapter 8, about Women and Jesus - Chapter 10, tackling Women in the church

  9. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Pointing to the Gospel on each page Nielson discusses sensitive issues and big topics without shying away from them. Pointing to truths about women in full old testament and new testament context and how these truths point to the goodness and sovereignty of God this is a must-read for every woman and man.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yuliya Stepnova

    One profound biblical ‘healthy’ and beautiful book on womanhood. Loved it!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Menke

    I do not envy the task Kathleen Nielson had in writing this book. It had to be like navigating a minefield! But overall she did a fantastic job of getting to the heart of these issues in a way that magnifies the truth and authority of Scripture and also acutely feels the pain and hurt often associated with such issues. This book tackles all sorts of debated and contested issues when it comes to women and God: what do we make of God through those hard and graphic OT stories of polygamy, rape, and I do not envy the task Kathleen Nielson had in writing this book. It had to be like navigating a minefield! But overall she did a fantastic job of getting to the heart of these issues in a way that magnifies the truth and authority of Scripture and also acutely feels the pain and hurt often associated with such issues. This book tackles all sorts of debated and contested issues when it comes to women and God: what do we make of God through those hard and graphic OT stories of polygamy, rape, and other abuses of women; what does God really say about the woman’s role in the home and the church; how do we even deal with the fact that we refer to God as Father and Son (and why not Mother and Daughter), and much more. Nielson is writing from what would be considered a complementarian viewpoint but I appreciated that her views are far from the hyper-complementary ideas I have often encountered in complementarian environments. I appreciated the way she acknowledged single women, women in ministry, and women with strong leadership skills. Overall while I agree with all of her conclusions I sometimes struggled with how she got there. In her defense she had a lot to cover and not a lot of space to do it in so I think that’s where some of the “jumps” occurred. It constantly felt like she wanted to say more but couldn’t so she just hit the tip of the ice burg for each topic rather than really drilling down. This is a necessity but sometimes I felt like topics were too quickly summarized and moved on from. This is an excellent resource and great read for any woman who has wondered how to deal with some of these tough topics and also I would highly recommend it for pastors and elders as a great way to gain insight into the women of their church and thoughts they likely wrestle with.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marian Jacobs

    This book was wonderful and timely. I have perused other books on women lately only to be disappointed in their treatment of scripture. Nielson's theology, application, and understand of women's inner workings was on point. She was fair, but critical. She did not throw the baby out with the bathwater (my pet peeve....) I bought this book in kindle format but now I'm going to get it in paperback so I can loan it out. If you're swinging on the pendulum of women's issues in the home and church, REA This book was wonderful and timely. I have perused other books on women lately only to be disappointed in their treatment of scripture. Nielson's theology, application, and understand of women's inner workings was on point. She was fair, but critical. She did not throw the baby out with the bathwater (my pet peeve....) I bought this book in kindle format but now I'm going to get it in paperback so I can loan it out. If you're swinging on the pendulum of women's issues in the home and church, READ THIS BOOK!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie Biles

    Kathleen Nielson travels risky terrain over which few are willing go. This book provides biblically sound answers for difficult questions concerning women’s roles touching all aspects of life. I will mention that Nielson is a remarkable wordsmith and I find her writing absolutely delightful. She explains that this book is not an answer to the world’s voices “that often lump Christianity in the general category of ‘religions,’ in discussions of sexism-that is unfair attitudes or treatments based Kathleen Nielson travels risky terrain over which few are willing go. This book provides biblically sound answers for difficult questions concerning women’s roles touching all aspects of life. I will mention that Nielson is a remarkable wordsmith and I find her writing absolutely delightful. She explains that this book is not an answer to the world’s voices “that often lump Christianity in the general category of ‘religions,’ in discussions of sexism-that is unfair attitudes or treatments based on one’s biological sex.” But she does intend to show her readers the goodness of the God who made us-specifically the goodness of God to His female image-bearers. And that she does beautifully! The author guides us through the narrative of Scripture beginning with the creation of the first male and female. She unpacks the giftedness of strong godly women such as the judge and prophetess Deborah who gave herself to serving God in a critically hard time in Israel’s history. Then there is the unlikely Moabite prostitute Rahab who plays an amazing role in Israel’s history and ultimately is included in the lineage of the promised Savior. The chapters entitled, “Women, Sex, and a Question of Double Standards” and “Women’s Bodies” traverse the difficult but pertinent issues women are facing today. She explains how our bodies preach creation but they also preach the fall. Here she addresses the pain, abuse and exploitation that permeates the lives of so many females. Her explanation of how our bodies preach hope points the reader to Christ, the child who was born, who died, and who was raised up-all by God’s hand to be the Redeemer. In chapter 8 we meet Jesus who was unlike any other man. The author unfolds for her readers the interactions between Jesus and the women around Him. We see that He overturned the sexist attitudes and practices that were commonplace in His day. We meet so many suffering women in these stories who experience the presence of Jesus and are healed. Nielson graciously shows us the crucial part women played in Jesus’ ministry. She uses this solid biblical foundation on which to build her explanation of the beauty of the created order within marriage and in the church. This is a timely book and an amazing read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul Lewis

    This is a book I would recommend to anyone; both males and females. Kathleen does an exceptional Job letting the heart of God speak through the scriptures. This book is essentially an expositional survey of the parts of scriptures that would evoke the hard questions: Genesis story, the laws of Moses about women who are caught in adultery, raped and captured during war; Female Judges and view of women in churches and marriage. Each chapter is a necessary building block to explain the preceding cha This is a book I would recommend to anyone; both males and females. Kathleen does an exceptional Job letting the heart of God speak through the scriptures. This book is essentially an expositional survey of the parts of scriptures that would evoke the hard questions: Genesis story, the laws of Moses about women who are caught in adultery, raped and captured during war; Female Judges and view of women in churches and marriage. Each chapter is a necessary building block to explain the preceding chapters, without taking rabbit holes of circumstantial details (unnecessarily). Her approach is one of allowing the scriptures to speak for itself, which is necessary for such an emotionally charged subject; with the particular charge of the antiquated nature of scripture and patriarchal bias. Her foundation is quite noteworthy and the points she extends from it are equally important. This subject can simply focus mostly on what women cant do (because of the need to defend a position), she devotes the last 3 chapters of shining light of scripture on what a woman's involvement in the body of Christ looks like from a Complementarian understanding of the scriptures. Thoroughly enjoyed this read

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

    Like another reviewer, I left this book with just as many "hard questions" as I had when I began reading. Kathleen Nielson regurgitates all of the age-old, patriarchal inferences and understandings of Scripture that lead to the sexist practice of female submission under male headship and authority. She does answer the question, "Is God Sexist?" with a resounding "no." But this "no" leaves the reader scratching her head. In effect, she proves just the opposite. And while I do not believe God to b Like another reviewer, I left this book with just as many "hard questions" as I had when I began reading. Kathleen Nielson regurgitates all of the age-old, patriarchal inferences and understandings of Scripture that lead to the sexist practice of female submission under male headship and authority. She does answer the question, "Is God Sexist?" with a resounding "no." But this "no" leaves the reader scratching her head. In effect, she proves just the opposite. And while I do not believe God to be sexist, I do believe Nielson's interpretation of the Scripture is. This is a great book if you are looking for someone to validate a patriarchal view of the role of women in the church. Nielson speaks often of how "we" are challenged by "the world" and "the media" and "secular society" with many unbiblical beliefs. I am not the "we" of whom she speaks. I am a follower of Christ and the Bible that takes a different view; and I am reading the same Scripture that Nielson reads. Unfortunately, I did not find her answers as "Beautiful Truths."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Smith

    A wonderful examination of Biblical truth. She acknowledges the truth is, as it always is, difficult to stomach, and yet approaches it with humility and respect. Truly Nielson encapsulates a perspective moderated by a holy fear of the Lord, while providing insights so warm that they inevitably invite you to delve into the difficult places in the Word. I used this as a basis for a women's Bible study, and it was a wonderful experience. We used six of the chapters and the passages she exposits. We A wonderful examination of Biblical truth. She acknowledges the truth is, as it always is, difficult to stomach, and yet approaches it with humility and respect. Truly Nielson encapsulates a perspective moderated by a holy fear of the Lord, while providing insights so warm that they inevitably invite you to delve into the difficult places in the Word. I used this as a basis for a women's Bible study, and it was a wonderful experience. We used six of the chapters and the passages she exposits. We studied the passages throughout the week, and then we came together for a time of rich discussion. Are you a woman who struggles to delight in what the Bible says about you? You're not alone here, but hope is not lost. Nielson will help you learn to do as Psalm 119 repeatedly urges: to delight in the testimonies of God. All of them.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol Arnold

    Recommended. Mrs. Nielson does an excellent job in this book of discussing the issue of what does the Bible really say about women? She starts at the beginning and covers Genesis 1, 2 and 3. Then she looks at several women in the Old Testament and how they are portrayed in the pages of scripture. She discusses how Jesus related to women and goes on to cover women's roles in marriage and the church. She does not shy away from controversial subjects and passages such as submission or women's role Recommended. Mrs. Nielson does an excellent job in this book of discussing the issue of what does the Bible really say about women? She starts at the beginning and covers Genesis 1, 2 and 3. Then she looks at several women in the Old Testament and how they are portrayed in the pages of scripture. She discusses how Jesus related to women and goes on to cover women's roles in marriage and the church. She does not shy away from controversial subjects and passages such as submission or women's role in the family and church. She does all this by thoroughly examining what the Bible says. She does it with gentleness and respect for all positions while not backing down on what she believes the Bible teaches.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jon Daiello

    The author has done an excellent job exploring the value of women shown in the Bible. I was expecting her to dive into the deepest issues quickly, however she takes a towing approach to lay a solid Biblical foundation, approaching issues one chapter at a time each more ‘touchy’ than the one before. I have benefited greatly by this book and am glad I read it. Thank you Kathleen for your study, thought provoking, and action shaping book. My perspective and attitude has been moved more God-ward bec The author has done an excellent job exploring the value of women shown in the Bible. I was expecting her to dive into the deepest issues quickly, however she takes a towing approach to lay a solid Biblical foundation, approaching issues one chapter at a time each more ‘touchy’ than the one before. I have benefited greatly by this book and am glad I read it. Thank you Kathleen for your study, thought provoking, and action shaping book. My perspective and attitude has been moved more God-ward because of your work.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Easy to read & refreshingly serious. Nielson gives scripture its due authority and always points readers back to the gospel & the goodness of God. She covers a broad range of topics on being female with a Christian worldview, a few of which I haven’t seen addressed anywhere else in my reading. My favorite takeaway: our focus should always be on teaching women to know Christ & cherish his word. Everything else - our identities as female image-bearers & all the roles we play as women - will follow Easy to read & refreshingly serious. Nielson gives scripture its due authority and always points readers back to the gospel & the goodness of God. She covers a broad range of topics on being female with a Christian worldview, a few of which I haven’t seen addressed anywhere else in my reading. My favorite takeaway: our focus should always be on teaching women to know Christ & cherish his word. Everything else - our identities as female image-bearers & all the roles we play as women - will follow.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lee Button

    Some of the transitions from one point to another are difficult to follow but the content is thoroughly biblical. Mrs. Nielson defeats arguments against the egalitarian view by stating in a confident manner the complementarian position. She goes from the Garden to the Church addressing God's whole plan for women. The book is timely and clear, a valuable resource for women who want to know their value to the family and the church. Some of the transitions from one point to another are difficult to follow but the content is thoroughly biblical. Mrs. Nielson defeats arguments against the egalitarian view by stating in a confident manner the complementarian position. She goes from the Garden to the Church addressing God's whole plan for women. The book is timely and clear, a valuable resource for women who want to know their value to the family and the church.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Gould

    There are a lot of great nuggets in this book. But, as the title even acknowledges, women come to books like this asking hard questions and I think the book only worked if you came to it wanted to be persuaded of a specific answer. I’ve been challenged and encouraged, but still am asking those hard questions.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stacia

    Nielson did an excellent job tackling some passages in scripture that make you scratch your head. I also appreciated her approach to some new testament passages focusing on what women can do rather than the normal approach of focusing on what women can't do in the church. She was extremely Biblical and did a great job exegeting the passages. I highly recommend! Nielson did an excellent job tackling some passages in scripture that make you scratch your head. I also appreciated her approach to some new testament passages focusing on what women can do rather than the normal approach of focusing on what women can't do in the church. She was extremely Biblical and did a great job exegeting the passages. I highly recommend!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    While I liked the idea of this book I think the execution could have been better. The author addresses all the difficult topics but doesn’t delve too deep. I think she meant the book as an overview but the result was that it made sensitive issues seem slightly trivial and not worth the time to explore more fully.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie Marschner

    I have read this book twice now, and appreciated it just as much the second time through. This book deals with the role of women right from the beginning, from creation, through the law, and then in the church and marriage. Great read for anyone who has the impression that God somehow values women less than men.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chandra

    I think this book is worth a read by women and men. She does a good job synthesizing a lot of info and gave a fresh perspective on some things. I didn’t agree with everything and there’s no way for us to know all the answers but I think this is a good place to start.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

    This book is worthy of its beautiful cover. Nielson takes women's issues straight on and I appreciated her frank assessment. I think the book began strong and continued to increase in quality right to the end. This book is worthy of its beautiful cover. Nielson takes women's issues straight on and I appreciated her frank assessment. I think the book began strong and continued to increase in quality right to the end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shannon D

    Not bad. Nothing earth shattering - fairly elementary look at women in Scripture and women in the church now. Good at stressing God’s equal love for women as for men (even in the Old Testament). Toes the Complementarian party line exactly.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ashton Trimble

    Really helpful explanation of complementarianism. An interesting read, definitely given me some food for thought.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dessie

    I LOVED this book!! I would recommend this book to anyone who has any questions about what God says about women.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    Review to come

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