book review of women of the word

Women of the Word: A Book Review

By Polly Conner

I’m a pastor’s wife who struggles to read my Bible.

It’s hard for me admit that but it’s true.

Like many disciplines in the Christian life, my interest and passion for the Word has waxed and waned but overall, it’s always been an area that has felt more like a discipline than a joy. It was (and still is) hard for me to understand how people have such a great passion for studying the Word. I just felt like I was missing something or doing something wrong.

book review of women of the wordWhen Crossway shipped me a copy of Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, I was intrigued. I KNEW I needed to read it. While understanding the Bible in a deeper way was not necessarily a felt need in my life, I knew deep down I was missing something in my Bible reading methods and wanted to dig in and figure out why.

I wish I would have read and started applying this book 10 years ago.

With a warm and winsome writing style, Jen Wilkin gives the reader a blueprint for Biblical literacy. While the basic methods of studying the Bible with purpose, perspective, patience, process, and prayer were not entirely new to me, Wilkin articulated and taught these methods in a way that was refreshing and easy to understand.

I wasn’t overwhelmed with abstract ideas and left to my own devices on how to apply the concepts. She gives tangible, easy steps to take and begin to really gain Biblical literacy–what God wants us to understand about HIM through his Word.

Wilkin also effectively reminds the reader that the Bible is not a self-help book about us. It is not a manual on how to live.

“We must turn around our habit of asking “Who am I?” We must first ask, “What does this passage teach me about God?” before we ask it to teach us anything about ourselves. We must acknowledge that the Bible is a book about God.”

In fact, a portion of her book was devoted to fleshing out the WRONG ways we read the Bible–many of which I am guilty of.

“We may have an earnest desire to build Bible literacy, but left untrained, we may develop habits of engaging the text that at best do nothing to increase literacy and at worst actually work against it.”

While it would be easy to despair in all the ways I have incorrectly approached the Bible, I was refreshed by Jen Wilkin’s honesty about her own struggle with studying the Word and honestly relieved to hear that true Biblical understanding does not come naturally or intuitively for anyone.

As someone who works with young women and equipping leaders in ministry, I cannot wait to get Women of the Word into their hands. If you can train and equip a believer in true Biblical literacy, then you are training and equipping them for a lasting faith that has limitless potential. This book is a great starting point in doing just that.

“There are many good reasons to invest in learning God’s Word, but there is none better than this: that with every purposeful effort, with every perspective-laced reading, with every patient step forward, with each process-ordered attempt, with every prayer infused interlude in the pages of Scripture, we move closer to his countenance, we come more directly in line with the radiance of his face.”

541760: Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our MindsBy Jen Wilkin


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