Reading Reflection:

Modern Reformation Magazine, Vol. 21/NO.3/May-June 2012 I received my copy of Modern Reformation in the mail today and am so pleased with their theme for the May/June issue: No Girls Allowed. It addresses the lack of women learning theology in our day. This is such a passionate issue for me. As I grew in my faith and wanted to learn more about God, I found that many women dismiss theology as an academic field that does not relate to their life. Much of their Christian reading (if they were reading anything) was focused on the obvious “women” issues: feminism, homemaking, and parenting. While these are important topics, there is more to a woman than this. Oftentimes, I am more enriched reading books written by men because the theology covers more aspects of my life. Of course there are great books out there to help us with our roles as wives and mothers, but why limit our learning to these two parts of our identity? Theology is simply the study of God. Women play a huge role in showing the face of Christianity to the watching world and need to be better equipped with God’s truth in their own lives. But the focus has to be on God, particularly the revelation he gives us in Christ through the gospel, not our own skills as a wife, mother, or hostess with the mostest. All of us are theologians. As Gerstner so aptly put it in his book, Theology for Every Man, the question is whether or not we are good ones. God has bothered to reveal himself in Scripture, have we bothered to read and learn it? Modern Reformation reveals in the Top Ten Best-Sellers For Christian Women that we are consuming a lot of self-help books. Part of the reason may be that this is what the publishers are pumping out, yet they wouldn’t be publishing what we won’t buy--right? The concern is that we are consuming a lot of law and little gospel. Modern Reformation interviewed author Kathleen Buswell Nielson on this issue. As the director of women’s initiatives for The Gospel Coalition, Kathleen was pleased to discuss the upcoming TGC women’s conference this summer that is for women, but not all about women. The theme is “Here is Our God! God’s Revelation of Himself in Scripture.” I am excited to attend this conference and to hear from the many wonderful women who are committed to teaching solid theology and Bible study. As discouraged as I have been about the lack of biblical study among women, there is reassuringly some wonderful resources being published for us. I regularly enjoy reading Brooke Mintun’s contributions both in Modern Reformation and on their White Horse Inn blog. She has a great article in this issue titled Chick-Lit, encouraging us women to balance our romance novel diet with theologically sound, educational non-fiction. Right on! There is also an article written by Simonetta Carr that incites mothers to “grow in our understanding of doctrine so we can continue to lead our children on the correct path (borrowing from Michael Horton) from drama to doctrine to doxology to discipleship. Skipping doctrine, which is the correct understanding of the biblical drama with its redemptive emphasis on the gospel of Christ, is an easy path but one that inevitably leads to moralism (if not outright unorthodoxy). Children need to have the gospel repeated to them on a daily basis, because it’s unnatural to human minds” (19). There’s some parenting advice for ya. The opening line of LeAnn Trees’ article is “Theology matters.” Yes it does! She shares how Thomas Boston’s teaching on the providence of God (in his 1737 Sermon Series that later became a book, The Crook in the Lot) helped her cope through the horror of losing her 16-year-old son in a skiing accident. Yes, theology matters. There are so many more treasures for me to read in this issue. There’s an ode to women by Herman Bavinck (well, the real title is A Gift of God Out of Adam). I can’t wait to sink my teeth into that article over tomorrow’s coffee. Also, there’s a great article by Michael Horton critiquing the hyper-masculine trend afoot in evangelicalism… Although I sometimes get discouraged about the Christianity Lite that is sold in the local “Christian” bookstores, I am heartened by Modern Reformation addressing this issue, the upcoming conference full of women passionate to teach and learn biblical truths and its applications, the many great books that are now being published for women’s studies, as well as my wonderful community of readers and commenters here at Housewife Theologian. I’m grateful for more women who want to learn theology, and all the wonderful men who have grown out of “no girls allowed” club.