The Accidental Feminist by Courtney Reissig {Book Review}

The Accidental Feminist.

I must confess, the title drew me in. Because, really? How can being a feminist be accidental? Right?

The Accidental Feminist by Courtney Reissig {book review by Teri Lynne Underwood}
Crossway graciously sent me a copy of the book {as they do so often with no demands or expectations} and while I sat in the Auburn Arena watching 400+ cheerleaders learn and practice for evaluations and competition, I soaked in the wisdom of Courtney Reissig and her dead-on interpretation of how feminism has seeped into every aspect of our lives—including the Church—and how most of us don’t even realize it.

The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design is not a quick and breezy read. There were moments when I stopped reading and spent time praying and pondering what Reissig wrote and what her words meant in my life. On more than one occasion I reached for my Bible as I was challenged to review my own interpretation of Scripture and mindset about several topics.

From the introduction where she writes,

We are all feminists in need of recovery. We have all shaken our fists at God and wanted something different from his good design for us. (22)

I knew this book was going to force me to dig deep and to think.

Our understanding of who God created us to be as women has everything do with our display of him to a watching world. (23)

Reissig explores the historical concept of feminism and how each new version has changed our thinking about our role as women—in the home, in the community, and in the Church.  But her insight isn’t harsh or judgy. As she pushes the reader to contemplate the ways we have moved from God’s good design, she also invites us to reclaim the full beauty of our role as image-bearers (Genesis 1:27).

You were created as a woman to image God to a watching word. When you deny that, or treat it as irrelevant, you are not reflecting the glory of your Creator like you were designed to do … The very fact that you were created in God’s image has implications for how you live the rest of your life. (43)

Reissig addresses all the “biggies” among women today: from submission to body image and homemaking to roles in the church.  Carefully applying the whole of Scripture to each topic, she invites us all to identify the ways our culture (including feminism thought) has influenced us.

The Accidental Feminist by Courtney Reissig {book review}

I highly recommend this book for two primary reasons:

  1. The Accidental Feminist pushes the reader to evaluate her beliefs in light of the whole Bible.  In today’s Christian world, it has become not just easy but expected that we will apply selective use of Scripture to affirm our positions. I have been guilty of doing just that. Whether or not the reader will agree or disagree with Reissig’s assessment of feminism is less of an issue to me than the invitation to the reader to learn to evaluate all her views and beliefs through the lens of biblical truth rather than cultural influence.
  2. The Accidental Feminist presents a well-researched, well-argued position for the complementarian view of biblical womanhood. Far too many writers who assert complementarian theology rely on emotion and simplistic reasoning to affirm their position.  Reissig is candid in telling her own journey of study and application of Scripture to reach her conclusion.  While I have many friends who are not complementarians, I believe this book can offer them a sound argument for this perspective and give them a deeper insight of why we believe as we do.

The Accidental Feminist is both well-written and clearly structured.  Reissig covers controversial ideas with grace and humility while clearly articulating her views undergirding it all with Scripture.

If you are looking for a resource to help you understand more about the way feminist though has influenced not just our culture but also the Church or if you are struggling to understand what your role as a woman in this crazy world is, this book is a valuable tool.  


Teri Lynne

In what ways can you see feminist thought affecting our culture and our churches?

{I received a copy of this book from Crossway with no demand or expectation of review.  All thoughts and opinions are fully my own.}

This post does contain affiliate links and should you purchase through them I will receive a small financial compensation.

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