by Arionne Yvette Williams
The author shares some personal stories that would have been better left out of the book altogether. I can see that the author is trying to be relatable, but it made me lose confidence in the author.
Some of the lessons are contrived and not at all what I think the focus of the Bible verses should be.
For instance, the story about Ruth is an inspiring tale of a woman who changed her whole life by following Naomi into a new land and a new faith, finding a new husband and a new family. Ruth is the original Cinderella going from rags to riches in her economic situation AND her family relationships.
But the author says that the lesson here is that Ruth “changed her own life,” and that “with God’s help… her life would never be the same.”(pg.9) It sounds like God helped a little, but Ruth did all the fabulous work in her life makeover. The lesson has a very ‘Woohoo, get it girl!’ kind of vibe.
I think the focus should be that GOD changed Ruth’s life. Ruth herself was just obedient to God’s guidance and the wisdom of Naomi. God was the one who changed her life and brought her healing and prosperity. The message from the author is “What new story will you write for yourself?”(pg.9) instead of the message I think would be more Biblical, ‘What new story will God write for you if you are obedient to Him?’
It’s a very subtle difference, but an important one. I know the author is just trying to be encouraging and positive. The writing is relatable and fun bringing these Biblical women and their experiences close to us, but the Bible theology is not quite there.
The author says, “At its core, this story is about the human spirit’s desire to triumph over tragedy.”(pg.8) That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard! At its core, the story of Ruth is about GOD!! About how GOD provides and protects, how obedience to GOD is rewarded, how GOD comforts and heals and restores. At its core, EVERY story in the Bible is about God, NOT about “the human spirit.”
Each lesson seems to have a little of God in it, and lot of self-reliance and the psychology of positivity. This book has plenty of the worship of humanity, with a little worship of God thrown in to make it sound Christian.
For instance, the very next lesson is about Naomi, and how she was grieving for all she had lost after the deaths of her husband and sons. She shares her grief with her friends, and is comforted by their support and compassion. However, only in the very last sentence of a three-page lesson does the text finally mention that Naomi could find comfort in the power of God. The entire lesson is about finding comfort in a community of friends, which of course is important and good, but should be secondary to the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
There are a few good pieces of advice and insights, but the priorities are completely off. God is not the primary focus in most of the lessons. It’s humanism meets the Bible, and it rubbed me the wrong way and I wish the focus were on Christ.
No wonder the title of this book is “Women of the Bible and YOU.” Because the focus is on humanity, instead of God.
Just for a little second opinion…. I showed this book to my mother (a pastor’s wife for 40 years with a degree from a Bible college), and she said, “That’s a bunch of bologna straight from the pit of hell.” I have to agree.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.