Equal and distinct.
These are two important words as we talk about people and relationships. Equality reminds us of our sameness and distinction points out differences with something else of a similar type - the same, but different.
So when we talk about gender roles and church leadership, these words are truly beautiful to describe our relationship with each other.
But we don't always understand, or hear it, that way.
Hence a reason for a book about it.
Embracing Complementarianism is written by Graham Benyon and Jane Tooher to help Christians, and particularly leaders, who share complementarian conviction of church leadership, to look at biblical teaching on the topic and more deeply understand how these convictions shape our love for each other and our ministry.
Simply put, complementarianism is the belief that God made men and women equal and distinctive: equal in value and dignity, and distinctive in certain responsibilities and roles."
Throughout the book, the authors note many concerns in this discussion, such as recognizing the individualistic society we live in and how this topic is often focused on keeping the ministry of women within boundaries. They acknowledge differing practical applications within the spectrum of a complementarian conviction. But mostly their goal is to guide us toward love and unity.
As they describe the office of elder, I appreciated their emphasis on qualification. So often roles are described as what women can, or can't, do. But it's less about women and much more on who is qualified. This rightly means that not all men are qualified, but those who would meet the biblical criteria.
I also benefited from the question they raised about how each church values ministry, and which ministries they seek as important. If a local church places sole emphasis on teaching ministry, then it follows that women would feel a bit isolated in their own ministries. So, it was interesting for me to consider what ministries my church values and how that is expressed through church life.
This book shared a lot of good, biblical teaching, it was a nice refresher for me on the aspects both of the complementarian debate and of God's good design for His church. I appreciated their heart in seeking to build up the church by directing us toward unity, godliness and discipleship.
I'm not particularly a fan of dual-author books, so that was a hang up for me. I kinda like to hear one person's voice when reading their words, and I don't favour the back and forth trying to figure out who is saying what. But, that's just me.
# of pages: 160
Level of difficulty: Easy - Moderate
My Rating: 4 stars
*A big thanks to the Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and for the opportunity to post an honest review!