Oct 28, 2012

When faith and culture collide

This year I've been reading the Bible through. Each night I read a portion of the Old Testament, the prophets and then the New Testament.

A while ago my mother gave me a book that dissected the Bible's treatment of women so I already knew portions of the Old Testament were hair-raising. Seriously. There's one story where the entire nation of Israel puts aside wives who were foreign born...and all their children...in an effort to "cleanse" the nation. So picture hundreds of families torn apart, women and children cast aside, so the men could be pure. Where did all those people go? The book doesn't say.

So I'm very interested in Rachel Held Evan's newest book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, which comes out today. Like the title states, Rachel spent a year attempting to comply with as many of the Old Testament rules for women as possible...including living in a tent during her period, covering her head during worship, and calling her husband "master". She's a Christian so this wasn't an attempt to satirize faith, but to examine the myth of Christian womanhood and discover what was really required of Hebrew women.  Of course, some in the Christian evangelical camp are already up in arms - with one notable bookstore refusing to carry it - but many are already using the opportunity to reexamine what the Bible actually is vs. what they want it to be. Rachel's book sounds like a thought-provoking read.

What books have made you think lately?


Jeremy Bates said...

I'm no Christian, but even I know that people who are not saved are bound to the law, not the redeemed (according to the Bible). Her book might be interesting, but is an exercise in futility lest one is unsaved. It should make for some interesting reading nevertheless, but taken from the context of the 21st century, it could not be applicable to the times.

Suzi said...

That sounds like an interesting read. I'm curious about how her year went. I bet it would be a good book club book and would generate some interesting discussion.

Suzi said...

I really do need to do a better job of re-reading my comments before publishing. I almost started typing, 'It sounds like it'd be a good book club book.' But then I noticed I used sounds like above. But yet, I repeat interesting. I am a horrible writer. :)

Andrew Leon said...

@Jeremy: You're half right: gentiles were never bound by the Law, which is most of the world. Christians should not be bound by the Law but by Grace; however, Paul does state that Christians can choose, basically, to be bound by the Law, but, if they do, they are bound by all of it and must follow it perfectly. There is no picking and choosing which parts you can follow. From that standpoint, this is a very important book, because SO MANY Christians choose to live under the Law rather than Grace.

I think this is going to be a fascinating book, not that I'll get to it any time soon. I'm sure my wife will, though.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

All I can say is Thank you God for Jesus!!!!

Reader said...

I really need to start learning more about faith. I think I need it in my life right now bigtime.

I like your blog by the way (follower for a while now, never commented).

I mostly read fiction (MG, YA). But I do read nonfiction (maybe 1-2 books per month). I read "The Power of Focus" which was interesting (I'm not a business person, but a lot of the messages were good all the same). And I read "Unstuck" which was interesting...if only if it would stick in my head so I actually would learn from it :)


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