Featured Reviews, VOLUME 5

Junia is Not Alone – Scot McKnight [Feature Review]

Page 2 – Junia is Not Alone – Scot McKnight

Junia is not Alone is a particularly timely book, given John Piper’s absurd recent comments that Christianity should necessarily have a “masculine feel” (Editor’s note: Read our response to Piper’s comments here).  It is the power – as in the biblical powers and principalities – of patriarchy that has worked in subtle ways, like the textual politics that McKnight details here, to silence and marginalize women.  It is this power that is also the driving force behind Piper’s recent comments.  McKnight’s ebook is an important and well-spoken reminder that all powers, including patriarchy, have been doomed to failure in the resurrection of Christ.

The book concludes with a brief chapter on the ethics of how churches might begin to empower their women to speak, teach and preach.  I appreciate that McKnight seems to be working on the assumption that change the broader Church’s habitual silencing of women begins in our local congregations; first with education about the reading of passages like Romans 16:7 and about all the other stories of extraordinary women throughout the Bible, and then with the empowering of gifted women in our own congregations to teach and preach.  Larger, systemic changes will need to be made eventually, but I believe that transformation must begin locally in congregations and neighborhoods – as I have argued in my recent RELEVANT magazine piece on why I don’t vote – and the approach that McKnight sketches, albeit briefly, seems to be working from similar assumptions.

Despite its brevity, Junia is Not Alone is an extraordinarily important work, and recalls the rich American tradition of pamphleteering (think Thomas Paine’s Common Sense), which just might be rising again with the emergence of ebook technology.


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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

One Comment

  1. Thanks for letting me know about this book. 🙂