Olivia Folmar Ard

Book Reviews

Here, I will share with you my 3.5, 4- and 5-star reads. Let's fangirl together! 

Note: Unfortunately, I am no longer able to accept review requests. Between writing, working full-time, attending courses for my second bachelor's degree,  and freelance projects, I just don't have the time. Once I finish reading and reviewing the ARCs I've already received, I will be reviewing personal library items only.

Is the Bible Good for Women? by Wendy Alsup

Is it possible to embrace the inherent dignity of womanhood while still cherishing the Bible? 

Many people, both inside and outside the church, are concerned than an orthodox understanding of the Bible is threatening and even harmful to women. After all, the Bible has a number of passages regarding women that are deeply troubling and hard to read. 

But is that assessment correct?

In this fascinating look at God's work of redemption from Creation to today, Wendy Alsup explores questions such as:


  • How does God view justice and equal rights for women? 
  • What does it mean to be made in the image of God? 
  • How have the centuries distorted our interpretation of how God views women? 
  • How did Jesus approach the Old Testament and how does that help us read difficult passages today? 
  • What is the difference between a modern view of feminism and the feminism that Scripture models? 
  • How does the Bible explain the Bible to us? 

Using a Jesus-centered understanding to look at both God's grand storyline and specific biblical passages, Alsup gives practical and accessible tools for understanding the noble ways God speaks to and about women in its pages and the dignity He places on His daughters. 

My Review

I consider myself both a feminist and a devout believer in the Christian faith. However, my lack of understanding of certain theological concepts and the cultural/linguistic context of many parts of the Bible, including concerning passages about women, have often left me feeling, for lack of a better term, "squicky." Throwing in the centuries of men's misuse of Scripture to oppress and abuse makes things even more complicated. 

This book was a godsend for me. Alsup writes in a clear and concise way that is accessible to the seasoned believer and the areligious skeptic alike. Her arguments are well-organized and supported, and helped me resolve several points of tension I've felt between Scripture and the loving, just God I know I serve. While Is the Bible Good for Women? is not an exhaustive work, it is a wonderful resource for those who, like myself, have often found themselves conflicted over this issue. I recommend to everyone, Christian or not, who regards the Bible with suspicion when it comes to gender issues. I especially recommend to those who were reared in traditions that used Scripture out of context to subjugate, demean, or oppress women, as Alsup does a wonderful job of discrediting those who have distorted God's word.