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Why Not Women?: A Fresh Look at Scripture on Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership
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Why Not Women?: A Fresh Look at Scripture on Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  404 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Millions of believers are hungry for an uncompromising look at the roles of women in missions, ministry, and leadership. This book brings light, not just more heat, to the church's crucial debate through- historical and current global perspectives- a detailed study of women in Scripture- an examination of the fruit of women in public ministry- a powerful revelation of what ...more
Paperback, 279 pages
Published October 25th 2006 by YWAM Publishing (first published August 1st 2000)
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  404 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Adam Ross
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that covers all of the relevant issues, one of the best I've read thus far. The bulk of the book is spent on the contested passages (1 Cor. 11, 14, and 1 Tim. 2) in a number of chapters, in careful and extensive detail. The book is heavily documented too.

Growing up in circles that denied women the right to hold public office in the Church, I was told that all such arguments were nonsensical, and either denied the Scriptures or got around the problem by claiming Paul didn't real
Roxanneandvince Weber
Feb 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is, hands down, the very best book on women in Christian leadership I have ever read. There is no glossing over of difficult passages and no dependence on a handful of convenient scriptures commonly used to limit the role of women in the body of Christ. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for anyone, male or female, who has ever wrestled with the subject of women in ministry. This is an awesome, life-giving, healing resource. Read it!
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Amy by: Anna
A very powerful book. I'm not 100% sure I agree with everything but it challenged me immensely and gave me a lot to think about. I love how footnoted it was. Entirely readable but still academic.
Why Not Women? explores the role of women in "missions, ministry, and leadership." It emphasizes the very things that grounded my faith as young teenager: Jesus' radical, culture-changing attitude towards women.
The knowledge that this God looked upon women and treated them equally changed the way I app
Aug 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I walked into a small Christian book store and asked for a book that dealt with the issue of women's roles in the church. I was told they had no such book. I then began to look around and, bingo, I found a lone copy of this. It uses old testatment scripture to point out that God intended men and women to be equal from the beginning of his creation. It was mankind's sin in the world that caused the inequality. The book also uses new testament scripture to show Jesus, in addition to freeing us fro ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. I'm not sure that I agree with all of their conclusions, and some of their defenses seemed a little weak, but on the whole they made a very compelling case and I really appreciate their thoroughness in discussing practically every relevant scripture. My overall impression is positive: it was informative and encouraging in many points and at least left me with something to think about in those points with which I'm unsure of my agreement.
Jun 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those wondering why 2/3 of Christians must be silent
I found Hamilton's scriptural arguments the best part of the book. The "logic" arguments, devoid of the exegesis of scripture, were irrelevant in my opinion. Anyone who has studied matters of faith knows that human "logic" has very little to do with truth. For instance, the Mormons claim there is a Father God and a Mother God, because we would not have a single parent in heaven. That seems logical, but it is not biblical. However, I do think this book is an important read, if not just to underst ...more
Lena Satterlee
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book isn’t simply about women in ministry, although it gives a powerful and clear argument for releasing women in every way; it is more importantly about how to study the Bible and the necessity of understanding context and audience, especially as we interpret challenging passages. Even if you can’t agree with all the authors’ conclusions, this book is a must-read in my opinion to expose places our culture has shaped our thinking. Like the authors emphasize throughout the book, the completi ...more
Jillian Armstrong
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Why Not Women gives a clear, intelligible, and meaningful look at how we need to learn to interpret scripture in general and specifically how we should examine the role of women in ministry. Cunningham and Hamilton take a careful look at the context, culture and language of specific difficult passages and offer their trained guidance on how to make sense of them. I felt empowered and encouraged, I learned a lot and am thankful for the clarity and insight provided.
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book opened my eyes to the difference between the beliefs we hold from our upbringing and culture, and the beliefs actually based on the Word of God. It's exhaustively researched and infinitely practical.

In "Why Not Women", Loren Cunningham explains the history behind the oppression of women in Greek and Roman societies which led to centuries of discrimination in our western society, and even infiltrated the Church. He shows how Jesus and the early church were truly revolutionary in their
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I might write up a longer review later, but in short: I liked this book, I found it generally persuasive, although the arguments seemed to push certain ideas beyond where they should have gone.

The first four chapters, written by Cunningham, are a little too polemical for my tastes and add little overall to the book. There is also more promotion of his missionary organisation than feels necessary.

The remainder of the book, written by Hamilton, feels more scholarly in tone and less emotional. I ag
Oct 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, women
Now this was a fascinating book. The authors are conservative Christians, and yet they do manage to climb out of the unbiblical idea that women weren't and shouldn't be leaders of any kind within the Christian community. And they do it well, outside of one tiny, ridiculous swipe at Gay people in the intro (the only one there, and easily ignored for what it is).

The authors use the Bible itself, going back into its original languages and linguistics to cover topics like should women keep silent i
Becky Stewart
I highly recommend this book for the way it analyzes the difficult passages written by Paul using the original language of the writer, and within the original context and structure. For those (especially women) who already have an intuitive sense or personal experience of the detriment caused by the exclusion of women from ministry, the first few chapters of the book may have you saying "Well, duh!". If you start to get bored or frustrated with Loren Cunningham's section, skip to Chapter 5, as t ...more
Mom 2
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: men who don't offend easily and women who need to get free
I think women can be called by God to every office in the church that is named in the Bible - apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist. I think women have been called to these. I think some have answered, some have wanted to, and some have attempted. I haven't found a book that I think most closely describes my own take on it, but some get close, and provide excellent background study. I really love it when most of these freedom-giving books are written by men!
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A well-documented, thorough look at some of the most debated Bible verses regarding women's place in ministry and leadership in the church. It answered many of my own questions and literally set me free from bad theology which has pervaded the global church since it adopted a Greek- rather than Biblical-world view. A must read for both genders!
Mary Van Luven
Jun 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: womens-books
This is a powerful book because it stomps on the stereotypes of Christianity. Cultural beliefs of sexism are not rooted in Christianity, they began much before this time. If you are a christian woman, you need to read this so that you understand your power and authority. If you are skeptical of Christianity then you need to read this too.
Andy Hickman
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Encouraging recognition of women in ministry.

Cunningham, Loren, and David J. Hamilton. Why Not Women?: A Fresh Look at Scripture on Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership. Seattle, WA: Youth With A Mission Publishing, 2000.

Seth Little
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a clear presentation of good exegesis of some controversial biblical passages. The case presented is is somewhat less than airtight, but such may be the nature of exegesis. I trust that my own thinking is greatly affected for the better having read Why Not Women?
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
Excessively provocative topic in Christian circles. The factual handling of Scripture and original language writing was very informative. Knowing the info does not change the world I live in, but it is comforting to know that God esteems me highly even if it may seem people in the Church do not.
Michelle Baraka
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Excellent academic resource.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of where you stand on faith, man or woman, you MUST read this book. Excellent and exhaustive historical resource!
Katt Smith
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
I don’t think I can possibly overstate my recommendation of this book. I’m sharing this review because I want to strongly encourage - nigh on beg - every Christian friend I have to read it.

It is a deeply theological, well-researched, heavily footnoted, yet still incredibly readable look into some of the most challenging passages in the New Testament - passages that have confused me since I started reading reading the Bible for myself as a child. This book takes us back to the original contexts,
Ashley Ruhl
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book transformed me as a college student who was trying to grapple with my understanding of God versus the evangelical church's low view of women. It opened my eyes to the fact that there are many different interpretations of the Bible, leading me to the discovery that interpretations that are not oppressive to women, LGBTQ+, refugees, etc. exist. It has been awhile since I have read this book, so while I can no longer comment on specifics, I can say that it truly transformed me and helped ...more
Cathy Barlow
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
An interesting book that looks at the most used anti-women in ministry Scripture and uses the lenses of history to interpret them. My opinion on the matter isn't important but it's a good book about the unity required by all believers in yielding to God's plan for their life and not our own.

If you know someone who is adamant about women being lesser citizens in society and in church, I recommend this.

NB. It is dated - it was written in 2000, before 9/11 and I believe that dates it a bit since w
Matthew Morgan
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Informative but not enjoyable.
Emma Browne
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Most helpful and logical book on the topic of women in leadership. Every Christian should read it.
Catherine Winkelman
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
great book and great perspective! I loved the insight and learned a lot from this book!
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very thought provoking! Will definitely re read again and do more deeper research.
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clearly written, interesting and quick reading. This book goes into the Bible in the original text, as well as in our English translations, and contextually shows us how much God values women. God's word clearly states that male and female are equal, the two together are the image of God, men and women were created and directed by God to lead, serve, teach and in that support each other while glorifying our Creator. Both male and female are corrected and encouraged by God, and both are commissio ...more
The authors have said a lot of things that need to be said regarding the place of women in ministry. I have a great deal of respect for Loren Cunningham and Youth With a Mission and found myself in agreement with much of what he and his co-author said about women in ministry.

Yet, there were places where they lost some believability with me. Without going back to re-read, I cannot point out the specifics, but there were a couple of cases where they took a Scripture and seeming just decided to mak
Feb 07, 2012 rated it liked it
The book presents arguments and evidence for the egalitarian side of the "women in ministry" debate - i.e, they're advocating for women to be allowed to participate at all levels of leadership within the Church. I learned a lot and was introduced to some issues of Biblical textual criticism that I hadn't thought about before. Some of the evidence was presented in a "of course you would believe this" attitude which isn't as compelling to those who are not predisposed to agree with the authors. I ...more
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