Book review: Housewife Theologian

Aimee Byrd and I stumbled into each other’s blogspace a few years ago, I can’t really remember how or when. I do remember feeling as if I’d discovered yet another kindred spirit as I read of her passion for God’s Word and for theology and for women to know the Word as theologians. Aimee and I had the opportunity to meet at The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference last year and I was delighted to discover her virtual passion transfers over to her real life. In the short conversations we enjoyed we managed to discuss our blogs and our ministries as well as teaching Bible study and everything in between. In other words, she’s the real deal, as fervent and thoughtful in real life as she is onscreen.

Upon the news that she would be publishing a book entitled Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary, I immediately conveyed my congratulations, admitting that one such book would be exactly the sort of book I would write should I ever write a book. I’m not sure whether or not Aimee considered that a compliment but I will say that I am glad Aimee wrote it and not me and the message is certainly the better for it!

What is the message of Housewife Theologian? What motivates Aimee (and me) to teach Bible study and write and blog (ok, so it is Aimee who writes and blogs, me not so much)? The message is this: we are all theologians in the sense that what we believe, or not, about God affects every part of our lives. The question is, what sort of theologians are we? To that end, Housewife Theologian explores various facets of a housewife’s world, from beauty to marriage to sin to vocation, just to name a few, asking how the gospel informs and motivates and transforms. Aimee maintains the gospel makes a difference and she aims to show us how.

Theology carries an unfortunate connotation, particularly among women. We think it reserved for the opinionated and argumentative among us. Or maybe we consider it the realm of the academic or the professional. We tell ourselves that we’re saved, we have Jesus, and, frankly, isn’t that enough? How we sell ourselves short! Aimee’s book confronts that connotation head on and encourages the reader to not only carefully examine her theology but to ask herself what sorts of implications her theology carries in her real life.

Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary is an honest, intelligent book. No fluff here! Aimee writes with a self-deprecating authenticity that is engaging and at times really funny. She challenged me, she made me think, she asked the hard questions. I told my Bible study class at the start of our session this fall that my desire is for us to be strong women of the Word, women unafraid of theology and doctrine, women full of zeal and confidence because we know whom we have believed. My desire for my Bible study girlfriends is Aimee’s desire for the women who read her book. In fact, she has framed the book with the goal of small group discussion and discipleship.

If I have one quibble, and I hesitate to even call it a quibble, it is this: that women who do not view themselves as housewives will assume the book is not for them. The term housewife, Aimee readily admits, is a little quaint and slightly old fashioned. She asserts, however, and I agree, that all married women are housewives. That being said, this book is not merely for married housewives. It will speak into the lives and journeys of all women, married, widowed, or single. Young or old we women need the message of this book. Buy it. Read it. Share it. Talk about it.

Here’s Aimee in her own words discussing the theme and message of her book…

 

A big thank you to P & R Publishing who provided me with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

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