I have a confession: I knew I would like Jen Wilkin’s new book, Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds (Crossway), before I read it. Having become familiar with Wilkin after finding her blog, I was struck by how she proclaims difficult truths without alienating readers. Her teaching—on display as a leader at the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas—is saturated in scriptural insights and demands serious attention.
There is an increasing number of Bible resources for women rooted in sound theology, thanks to teachers like Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. Women of the Word goes further in equipping women with the tools to study Scripture rightly.
Wilkin identifies two significant problems among Christian resources for women: They tend to be emotion-driven and human-centered. Too often, women approach Scripture asking not “Who is God?” but “Who am I?” The latter question certainly has its place, but, as Wilkin objects, “Any study of the Bible that seeks to establish our identity without first proclaiming God’s identity will render partial and limited help.”
She warns against a list of mistaken approaches, such as the “Xanax Approach,” which “treats the Bible as if it exists to make us feel better,” and the “Magic 8 Ball Approach,” which demands that “the Bible tell us what to do rather than who to be.”
Wilkin then offers a five-step primer for studying Scripture, which she calls the “Five Ps”: Study with Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process, and Prayer. The goal is to help women grow in Bible literacy. Although the approach is rigorous, Wilkin is quick to extend ...