As our culture rushes away from its traditional – not to mention Christian – moorings with regard to all things gender-related it becomes increasingly important for us to have a clear understanding of God’s intentions in creating humanity male and female. I expect that we will see a growing number of books from Christians addressing this concern, and Designed for Joy is among the newest.
Extending and popularizing the work of John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and CBMW for a new generation, Designed for Joy is a team effort in which younger writers offer a Christian perspective on manhood and womanhood that is wonderfully attractive, that reflects mature biblical reflection, and that speaks directly to our contemporary culture.
- In his Introduction Owen Strachan sets the context with a refreshing glimpse at how the gospel ought to shape this entire discussion.
- In chapters 1-2 Jonathan Parnell and Joe Rigney explain what Christian manhood is in its ideal.
- In chapter 3 David Mathis presents a model of husband that is patterned after Christ.
- In chapters 4-6 Trillia Newbell, Gloria Furman, and Christina Fox offer a lovely view of femininity and of the Christian wife and mother.
- In chapter 7 Tony Reinke sketches the work of the Christian father.
- In chapter 8 Andy Naselli provides a very helpful biblical view of child discipline in the home.
- In chapter 9 Denny Burke offers some timely counsel on “Training our Kids in a Transgender World.”
- In chapters 10-11 Marshall Segal and Grand and Grace Castleberry offers good news for singles and counsel with regard to sexual purity.
- In chapter 12 Courtney Reissig provides some excellent insight and counsel in her ow testimony, “My Recovery from Feminism.”
- In chapter 13 Brandon Smith challenges young men to maturity, responsibility, and faithfulness.
In his Afterword Jonathan Parnell offers some summary reflections by way of an engaging dialogue.
Each chapter is well-written, crisp (scarcely 130 pages of text), gospel-informed, and biblically shaped. Each chapter is enjoyable, well worth reading, and each makes its own contribution. Both Men and women will find a fresh and challenging view of their respective roles and one that will indeed, if modeled, result in increased joy. Opinions will vary, certainly, but what struck me as most outstanding were Andy Naselli’s excellent summary of the biblical teaching on child discipline in the home and Courtney Reissig’s wonderfully insightful counsel to the Christian woman with regard to feminism and the often overlooked lingerings of feminist tendencies and attitudes – counsel that gets to root issues. But in each chapter the gospel-shaped call to be what we were created to be is refreshing and compellingly attractive.
Every next generation of Christians needs this counsel, of course. But given the depth of today’s confusion with regard to all things male and female it becomes especially important. Designed for Joy is biblically informed and easily accessible for every reader, an excellent resource for Christians everywhere. Every church library should have a copy. Better yet, buy it by the box, and give a copy to every family in your church! Use it for small groups, Sunday School classes, and family devotions!
Fred G. Zaspel