Beyond Reasonable Doubt: 95 Theses Which Dispute the Church’s Conviction Against Women
By T. Scott Womble
I recommend this 2008 book as the best resource for teaching biblical texts about women in "Christian Church" congregations. The book is an adept defense of the egalitarian position in the debate about women’s roles in the Church and home. A minister should, of course, utilize other resources: Philip Payne’s Man and Woman, One in Christ,
for example, is the most thorough treatment of the relevant Pauline texts. As a carpenter has both specialized tools which rarely leave the workshop, and tools that are kept in the belt for frequent use, the minister teaching about women’s roles should leave Payne on the desk with lexica and the like, but take Womble into the classroom.
My comparison with Payne is not intended to present Womble as lacking in scope, detail, or scholarship. On the contrary, its 491 pages cover the standard passages as well as a wide array of biblical, hermeneutical, theological, and ministerial topics. An example of a theological topic is “God is a Non-Gendered Being.” An example of a ministry topic is “Building Up the Church: Improved Decision Making.”
The truth on this issue is too often presented in unhelpful ways, but Womble offers a corrective resource. If I were to teach about women in one of the scores of Stone-Campbell congregations with which I am familiar, I would want each student to have ready access to Womble’s especially helpful 95 Theses. Five features lead me to this conclusion:
Reviewed by Dr. Jeffrey D. Miller, Adjunct Associate Professor of Bible
- It is clearly written and aimed at the interested churchgoer.
- Its short sections are well-suited to Sunday school and other small group settings.
- The book covers a variety of topics, hence something for everyone.
- Interpretation of biblical texts is the book’s centerpiece.
- Scott Womble teaches at St. Louis Christian College, a school not labeled as “liberal” or “fundamentalist,” as some have been unfairly branded. The book’s tactful presentation by a conservative author will not be off-putting to those who read with red flags already raised.