Gods Good Design, by Claire Smith

God’s Good Design, What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women, by Claire Smith

Smith shows that if the passages in the New Testament are taken at face value, they aren’t hard to understand at all.

Having just finished a book with highly questionable scholarship, the book is refreshing in its clarity. The audience seems to be people who are familiar with the topic, are able to understand the relevant Scripture, and can follow straightforward logic. The writing style is friendly and engaging.

Right from the start, she jumps in and tackles the difficult passages. The exegesis is lucid and fair to the text, aware of all the current controversies, and honest to the text. While not paving much new ground, Smith establishes or re-establishes the core, central, and clear meaning of each of the texts dealt with. Interpretation of the particularly thorny passages are concluded confidently, but not dogmatically.

While I would not consider Smith the most exacting exegete, the questionable pieces are free and small, really only opening a door to problems more than being actual error.

Overall, recommended as a first book on the topic. If you have already done reading in this area you can safely pass it by.

God, Marriage, and Family by Andreas J. Köstenberger

An excellent treatment of the subject material, deals fairly and graciously with alternate viewpoints. At points it suffers from assertion without proof or assertion with inadequate proof, but this is rather minor and the points where this happens are not seriously under dispute by people who would be making use of the book either for themselves or counseling others. Difficult subjects, like divorce are examined head-on and all of the relevant positions and Scripture are discussed. The authors place themselves solidly at one place in the spectrum of options and show clearly why they have come to that position. Thus the book is quite helpful in helping a person come to a reasoned conclusion.

Well recommended.