What exactly does the Bible say about men and women? Is it all men, men, men? What is the place of women? Should they simply submit and be silent? What better way to explore this than with a Bible study? ‘In the Image of God’ provides a loose framework to do just that!
No matter what your theological background, this study allows you to delve into this topic whether you have little or no knowledge about the Bible and what it says, or after years of being a Christian. With a helpful ‘Framework for Understanding the Bible’, this study sets out, from the beginning, the basics of the Christian faith, from creation all the way up to future hope.
Similarly, in each session, the flexible layout allows the reader to approach the topic from wherever they are. The aim of each session is clearly laid out, and then tasks, questions, and comments are given to begin a discussion of the particular subject. Several biblical readings are suggested, with many questions laid out, meaning that the reader can not only dig deeper into what the Bible is saying, but can also make the Bible relevant to them today. The book is scattered with shaded boxes containing comments from real people who have joined in the discussion, and their voices provide further channels for thoughts and discussions to be taken.
The Bible readings are selected from well-known biblical stories and lesser-known ones too. This gives the opportunity to approach recognisable stories in a new way, and to gain a greater understanding, and knowledge of, other stories that the reader may not be familiar with, creating an overall, more considered view of what the Bible says about the roles of men and women.
The book closes with suggestions for further reading, with a brief comment on what each book is about, allowing for an informed decision. There is also information on the Sophia Network, including their focus and their activities to date. All of this means that an exploration of the topics covered in this book doesn’t have to end when the reader reaches the end, but can be explored further!
What I love about ‘In the Image of God’ is its flexibility. There is enough material to get through on each theme while at the same time not containing too much. The reader can approach the Bible study from any background, being guided through the basics, yet being given room to expand, and to delve deeper if they so wish. The sessions are divided into manageable sections, so a group can pick and choose which they focus on. The layout means that, if in a group, the person leading the Bible study can add more questions, or tasks, or points of discussion.
This is a great resource for anyone who wishes to explore what the Bible says about the roles of men and women; it will challenge you, and it will provide you with great insight into God’s plans for humanity, while allowing you the space to make of this resource what you will, and to shape it around yourself.
Charlotte Hendy, 20, is studying Theology at Oxford University and also currently facilitates the first Girls’ Brigade Europe 18-30s Nexus in Oxford!