Questions concerning the maleness of Jesus and the implications of this for women have been the subject of interesting theological conversation. Is Jesus' male personhood central to his meaning as the Christ or not? In this welcome volume Neil Williams provides a thorough discussion of this significant theological question and carefully draws out its implications for the church and the world demonstrating that the advent of Jesus is good news for all people.
John R. Franke
Clemens Professor of Missional Theology, Biblical Seminary, Hatfield, PA
This book is highly informative--but even more so--a mind opener. You will surely have to stretch your mind, whatever your present views are. Williams deals with the vast field of the problem in a very responsible and innovative way.
Head of Department of Systematic Theology and Theological Ethics (retired)
University of South Africa
In this provocative and carefully nuanced book, Neil Williams tackles one of the most controversial issues among conservative Christians. His exploration of the theoretical and practical relevance of the maleness of Jesus balances serious theological analysis with a sensitivity to the pastoral challenges that surround this debate. Williams shows the similarities between the hermeneutical trajectory that characterizes arguments on this topic and other biblical themes, such as slavery and the Sabbath. Moreover, his attention to the larger matrix of theological issues--including the Incarnation and the Trinity--makes an important contribution that ought to be appreciated by all of those involved in this ongoing evangelical dialogue.
F. LeRon Shults
Professor of Theology and Philosophy, University of Agder, Norway
At first glance, it might seem that the question of the necessity of the maleness of Christ to the incarnation is an abstract theological issue. Williams shows just how important the issue is, not just for our understanding of redemption but also for our understanding of gender relationships. His book not only deftly addresses the question of Jesus' gender, but is a model for how to think through important theological and ethical issues with intelligence and civility.
Tremper Longman III
Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies , Westmont College
This is a breathtaking book. Williams offers not only an invaluable excursus on the Sonship of Jesus and its implications for gender, role differentiation, marriage, and patriarchy, but it also offers a way of doing theology that invites many disparate voices and theological debates to the table. And rather than increasing cacophony, Williams judiciously draws out the competing views of each voice/view to a stunning symphonic shalom. For some, this work will be spurned as an accommodation to culture's shifting sands--but if so, Williams counters with a steady and gracious critique of all positions, including his own. There is no one path that is problem free. The way forward in this conversation on gender is with the kind of scholarship, wisdom, and grace offered by this courageous labor.
Dan B. Allender, Ph.D.
Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President, Mars Hill Graduate School
Author, Sabbath and The Wounded Heart
Williams combines uncommon common-sense and interdisciplinary synthesis to address a perennial challenge for some quarters of Evangelicalism: how male-centered modes of expression that characterize both Scripture and much of the history of the church must be in conversation with the social and scientific paradigms that have demonstrated clear explanatory power in recent generations. Williams is both courageous and careful in outlining his argument, steering clear of the anxious belligerence that often characterizes discussions on this topic. There is no other book I know of that combines such clear respect for Scripture, a participant's understanding of Evangelical concerns, and a dialogical temperament with important contemporary paradigms of thought. Williams truly raises the bar on the discussion of the "women's issue" and sets a new agenda for Evangelical treatments.
Senior Fellow, BioLogos
Author, Inspiration and Incarnation