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Finally Feminist: A Pragmatic Christian Understanding of Gender (Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology)
John G. Stackhouse Jr.
Baker Academic, 2005
140 pp., $18.00
Partners in Christ: A Conservative Case for Egalitarianism
John G. Stackhouse Jr.
IVP Academic, 2015
215 pp., $20.00
Stranger in a Strange Land: Susan Wise Bauer
Avoiding the F-word.
Editor's Note: Susan Wise Bauer decided to take a break from writing the history of the world (three volumes to date), so she took on a light subject: The Story of Western Science: From Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory. One of these days, or so I fondly hope, she will write another novel. Meanwhile, here's a guest column from the farm and publishing complex she presides over with her husband, who pastors a rural congregation in Virginia.
A decade ago, John Stackhouse sounded weary. "Aren't we 'done' with gender?" he wrote, in the preface to his 2005 study Finally Feminist. "Haven't all the relevant issues been raised, all the texts scrutinized, all the alternatives arrayed?"
In the newly revised and expanded edition of that same study, Stackhouse doesn't just sound weary; he's begun to sound slightly desperate. "Instead … of immediately consigning our opponents [in the gender debate] to the lake of fire," he implores, "let's remember Jesus. Let's remember that we love Jesus. Let's remember that we're trying to understand Jesus, and worship Jesus, and obey Jesus, and become like Jesus, and share Jesus the very best that we can … . Far too many discussions of gender have disappeared almost instantly down … slippery slopes into hellish excommunication." It doesn't help, he adds, to call each other "wicked or witless" or "immoral morons" (which suggests to me that his email over the last ten years has been less than edifying).
This is the context in which Finally Feminist has become the newly-titled Partners in Christ (InterVarsity Press); and even as he ably (and graciously) re-presents the core argument from Finally Feminist, Stackhouse seems to be showing the wear and tear of the last ten years of inter-Christian sniping.
That core argument, which I discussed in some detail in my 2007 Books & Culture review of Finally Feminist, has not ...