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The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God's Good Design

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Many Christian women wouldn't identify themselves as "feminists." However, according to Courtney Reissig, we've all been influenced by the feminist movement in profound ways, unconsciously reflecting our culture's notions about what it means to be a woman. Helping readers navigate a wise path in the midst of a confused world, this book chronicles the journey of a wife, ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 31st 2015 by Crossway Books (first published May 1st 2015)
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Autumn Privett
Feb 15, 2016 Autumn Privett rated it did not like it
Let's be honest, the term "feminism" has a lot of baggage. That is why it is important to go back to the original source for the term to understand its initial aim. This book is very anti feminist. Reissig equates feminism with rebellion against men and, ultimately, against God. This is not true. I will say that not all of the beliefs that fall under the banner of feminism are good things to emulate, but we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Because without feminism women could ...more
I thought this book would be right up my alley, but I couldn't finish it. I quickly realized that the author and I are on different pages, as she is a self-described complementarian and I'm much more of an egalitarian. Here are descriptions of those two in her words:

Complementarians: "...believing that God created men and woman equal, yet different. And our differences complement one another." p.29

Egalitarians: "...our differences do not impact our function in marriage and in the body of Christ.
Amanda R
Nov 09, 2015 Amanda R rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
There are two things you should know about me. First, I am a Christian woman. Second, I am a proud and very deliberate feminist.

So how do I reconcile these two facts? It's difficult, that's for sure, but not impossible. I've come around to the complementarian school of thought (that men and women are different, but equal) rather than egalitarian (that men and women are the same in terms of strengths, abilities, etc.), which is basically what the Bible teaches us. I do believe that men and women
Sep 12, 2015 Kiara marked it as did-not-finish
I tried but I really couldn't get into this. She spent so much talking like she was quoting a manual on the Proverbs 31 woman and didn't really argue unbiasedly. It seems to me that her version of feminism isn't the version that's evolving right now, and instead is the kind that has long been abandoned.

*thank you netgalley and Crossway for this eArc*
“Our understanding of who God created us to be as women as everything to do with our display of him to a watching world.” In light of that, what is feminism?

Feminism is equality equals sameness. Do we define womanhood to the tasks we accomplish? Our desires are good but are they misplaced? Is true freedom found in our choices without consequences? Or is true freedom found in our creator?

First it is important to understand the beginnings of the feminist movement. What started it? You may be surp
Apr 28, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Biblical womanhood is a hotly contested topic lately. Back and forth we go between the extremes of "women should have equal roles in church and marriage" and "a woman's only place is in the home baking casseroles for potluck suppers." I find it frustrating to rarely find a middle ground and to instead feel stuck in the legalistic and rule-oriented patterns. This book was different. Reissig's premise is that all of us have absorbed feminist ideology, although we may not realize it. Basically, if ...more
Oct 30, 2015 Terri rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
So, you're looking at this title wondering, "Did she accidentally fall into being a feminist?" "Did she wake up and discover she is a feminist and needs out?" The title is ambiguous, so allow me; Courtney Reissig is a "complimentarian," as opposed to "egalitarian." So that's the premise for the book.

Before I get all sorts of ugly comments and shoved in the "man-hater" box let me state that I am a stay-at-home mother of seven who managed to homeshcool them all to amazing success in the arts and s
Dec 22, 2015 Deb rated it it was amazing
Do you feel fulfilled as a woman of God? Do you struggle with your biblical boundaries in serving your church? What exactly does biblical womanhood look like?

If you have pondered these questions, then the book “The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design” by Courtney Reissig is for you. Courtney begins her book by sharing her own view of the feminist movement and how it affected her thinking as a young woman. She explains the difference between complementarians and egalit
Mei Yii
Apr 26, 2016 Mei Yii rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mei by: lillian
Just a few pages into the introduction and I was hooked. Having gotten a degree in Arts, I am familiar with feminism being widely discussed, reflected, and more and more accepted (and expected) in media (films, writing, comics etc). Without being conscious of it, most of us, as the author Reissig states, are probably feminist in some way. She discusses how feminism has evolved over the past few decades and what significance it has in our current lives and the life God intended us to have as ...more
Mar 06, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
As the women's ministry leader in a young Acts 29 church plant, this book has been so necessary. I come from a staunchly feminist background and since becoming a woman steeped in God's word and my understanding as His image- bearer, I have struggled to reconcile these two things. Ultimately, I have always submitted to God's authority, but still had questions.

She helped me think about my heart and how our culture is steeped against God's good design, and feminism is an off-shoot of that. I loved
Emmanuel Boston
Aug 20, 2015 Emmanuel Boston rated it it was amazing
Courtney Reissig has gifted the world an excellent book on womanhood. From start to finish this book is a well-measured, winsome work given with grace for the sanctification of Christ’s Bride and clarifying of a Christocentric Complementarian vision.

This book is not about feminism. At least not primarily. This is a book about God; about Christ and his love, his righteousness—something which should be apparent from the subtitle “Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design,” but if you’re anything
Emily Zammit
Mar 04, 2016 Emily Zammit rated it did not like it
I rarely post reviews, but I felt it was necessary to give a counterargument to this book. I bought this book at a Christian conference, thinking it was about how feminism and Christianity can intersect, how the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. But Reissig takes on the latter view. What I thought was a book about being bold in one's feminism while staying true to Christian womanhood was an outright attack on feminism. It seems Reissig can blame all of the world's problems on feminism ...more
Amy M
Sep 11, 2015 Amy M rated it it was amazing
“Many women buy into the idea that equality means sameness – even if they do so in the slightest of ways.” – Courtney Reissig

t’s wisdom like that found in the quote above that kept me glued to this book, reading and rereading it before writing this review. In The Accidental Feminist, Courtney Reissig truly hits one out of the park. Her discussion of biblical womanhood cuts through the stereotypes that have grown up on both the complementarian and egalitarian sides, and she speaks biblical truth
Ellie Benson
At one point in my life I may have fallen into identifying with Feminism and not really knowing it and some of that may still remain. Not the “bra burning”, anti-men feminism but the more subtle “rights for women” feminism, the Susan B. Anthony’s of the world. I still love Susan B. Anthony, I still identify with her a lot but the problem when as a believer I allow my identity to be something other than the Gospel. See, in my personal opinion Feminism is not the cause of all of society’s ills, ...more
Ginger Mae
Aug 11, 2015 Ginger Mae rated it it was amazing
I’ve read quite a few books like this one…or so I thought. Books on practical womanhood have always appealed to me but frequently they leave me feeling rather ambivalent at best. So many of them fall to one extreme or another. Some are hyper-conservative, patriarchal-focused, legalistic to-do lists that boil down to submitting to a man, any man or else you are not a complete woman because you are a rib that has not ‘returned to Adam’s side’ (don’t laugh – that’s a real example). Others are very ...more
My friend, Dawn, recommended this book to me and I am so thankful she did. I think everyone should read this book, and if you are a Christian, you absolutely should read this. Women, it has something for everyone. Men, I believe it would be useful for you in understanding the women in your life, especially if you are married.

This book is a very quick read, but has so much in it. Mrs. Reissig gives a brief history of feminism and explains how feminism has effected different parts of our lives as
May 15, 2016 Tima rated it really liked it
Not every woman considers herself a feminist. But the feminist movement has changed or influenced every one of us. Our culture and how we were raised play a large part in how we, as adults, view and interact with the world around us. The author, wife and mother, writes Biblical counsel for the women today as they encounter feminism and helps to answer the question about what it means to be a Christian woman in today's world. At the end of each chapter are some questions for further reflection.

I felt like this came off as pretentious instead of light-hearted. Let's get real. Feminism is a hot topic issue right now and you can't really come across as "accidentally" feminist.
The book dwelled too much of Proverbs 31 besides being examined and deconstructed by every other woman without revealing any new information. It also seemed like she was trying to compromise and convince women that things were okay and we should just enjoy being a woman because that's how God made us.... That's not
Alice Morgan-Brown
Jul 31, 2015 Alice Morgan-Brown added it
Recommends it for: Women in general
Recommended to Alice by: ERLC Explainer
Cortney, I just listened to you on ERLC Explainer. It was a message I have always tried to explain to others when I was a mathematics supervisor in the 1980's (a position seen as for men only). The part that I heard filled my heart and gave me an added perspective. I am an associate minister at my church. I see your book as a very powerful Women Conference. I pray that I will continue to pray for you and your message.

I am also writing a book entitled "How to Bounce Back when Everything Falls Apa
Darren Duke
Jan 28, 2016 Darren Duke rated it really liked it
Shelves: family-life, culture
This book is a very helpful and practical treatment of this issue that is always in vogue in America. I appreciated the excellent mix of tone and theological depth. The central focus on the glory of God in the saving of condemned sinners by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is very clear and effectively undergirds all of the advice the author provides. I recommend it for all women wrestling with feminism and its challenges to their faith in Christ. I recommend it particularly for ...more
Sam Stotts
Jan 24, 2016 Sam Stotts rated it it was amazing
I appreciate this book. I appreciate specifically the chapters called "Do we have to talk about submission," "God's design for the home," and "Women in the church." The thing I loved most about this book is that she teaches that our identity is rooted in grace, not what we do. Who we are is not based on our marital status, well-designed homes, impressive careers, or how we relate to anyone else. As Christian women our identity is rooted in our hope in Christ.
Also, shoutout to a fellow Arkansan!
Sarah Theis
May 18, 2016 Sarah Theis rated it liked it
The theology behind this book is spot on. Some of the content was a little slow to get through, but the last chapter takes the cake with understanding this topic.
Brenton rated it it was ok
Dec 18, 2015
Indira rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2015
Mary S.
Mary S. rated it it was amazing
May 28, 2016
Eliza rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2016
Brystan rated it it was ok
Oct 10, 2015
Julia Aniston
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Nov 05, 2016
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Aug 14, 2016
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Courtney Reissig is a wife, mother, and writer. She has written for the Gospel Coalition, Boundless, and Her.meneutics (the Christianity Today blog for women), where she is a regular contributor. She is also the assistant editor for Karis, a women's blog hosted by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. She lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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“Marriages are made by the abundant grace of God. Children are born, raised, and cared for by the mercy of a God who cares for us and our little ones.” 1 likes
“do not get to define our identity. Rather we gain our identity in the identity of another. He has every right to tell us how he wants us to live as human beings, and specifically as women.” 0 likes
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