You might think by making this category we're engaging in a chauvinistic view of history. This isn't the case at all: but because humans have a propensity for confusing what God has made clear, there are many women who shine out from different times and places simply because they've been able to rise above their society and culture to accomplish something great.
We don't applaud rebellion for the sake of rebellion, but we do applaud grit, integrity, courage, and virtue, especially if these are present in the face of opposition, fear, ignorance, and immorality. From Isobel Kuhn to Rosa Parks, from Marie Curie to Sacagawea, noble women have stepped in when no man was available to alter the course of history.
The Bible sets a remarkable precedent here. For all the accusations made against Christians that we suppress women and keep them at home (in the kitchen, specifically), it is in the Bible that we first see women treated as equal to men in terms of imaging God and of innate worth. Ancient Israel's pagan neighbors, as well as New Testament Greek and Roman culture, consistently mistreated women as second-class citizens, whereas Jewish and Christian doctrine honored them as co-imagers of God.
One of the most obvious instances in the Bible of a woman doing what the men wouldn't is Deborah, the judge of Israel who was the only one qualified to lead the nation at that time. Of course, a woman judge was the exception rather than the rule, but the fact that God put her in place reveals the nature of Christian gender roles: predicated on nature and God's will rather than on ability, worth, or strength.
If the Christian faith was dedicated on an ideological level to suppressing women, women would never be allowed or able to do anything but serve men. But women weren't created by God to be slaves, they were created to complement and complete what is lacking in men. This is a message of liberty, not subjugation.
Not all the biographies in this section are of women who were actually virtuous or did good things. Many of them were quite bad, but the category is "Famous Women," not necessarily "Good Women." We do, however, encourage you to read at least as much about good women as about bad women, to use them as examples, and to take heart that God useseveryone to His own purposes and for His own glory, not just good people, and certainly not just men.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviews here.
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