Hannah Anderson’s new book, Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image, is an exercise in theological application.
However, I wouldn’t give this book to a new believer. Instead, I would give it to them and then invite them to read each chapter with me. Here’s why.
In our churches, we are often guilty of leading our women only to the “pink” passages of Scriptures, the author says (think Prov. 31 woman and Titus 2). The result? Christian women lose their footing as they stumble to live up to standards of biblical womanhood. The solution? Help women discover their identity in Christ as his “image bearer.”
The concept of the imago dei (image of God) is basic enough to the biblical storyline, but fleshing it out for a woman’s walk is a monumental task that few theologians have dared to undertake … or undertaken successfully.
Primarily because there is no one single passage that clearly outlines what women look like when they image God. Instead of focusing on passages that specifically address biblical womanhood (i.e.: 2 Tim. 2, 1 Cor 14, 1 Pet. 3 ), the author turns to the comprehensive testimony of Scripture and what God’s image means for all humanity.
Anderson centers her book on God’s character and activity as:
When we live as the humans God intended us to be – called “imago dei living” – we are never more like him. We become, in the author’s words, “fully human” reflecting his character and activity to a watching world for his glory.
What I liked about this book
The author frames the question of the application of the imago dei outside of the context of gender, yet still arrives at many of the same conclusions to which complementarians would agree.
And while some complementarians might quibble with Anderson’s simplistic historical descriptions of first and second-wave feminism, I believe they would affirm the central thesis of her book: biblical womanhood, above all, should start with the Savior.
The author’s clear warning of the imminent danger in choosing alternate identities. Alternate identities promise freedom and happiness, but they always end in captivity. Anderson shows how this historic myth of “superficial authenticity” – perpetuated since Eve picked up that forbidden fruit in the garden – has robbed women throughout time of the blessings of living out their true identity as an image bearer of God.
The author’s gentle nudging for women to be life-long learners. Anderson exposes the false dichotomy our culture places on equating education with a career. Whether you work inside or outside the home, God intended you to be a student. This is a welcome challenge for Western women to set aside intellectual laziness and chase knowledge, for when we do, we image God who is Wisdom personified.
The author’s correct understanding of true humanity. Humanity is not simply being born human, but rather walking in “imago dei” living. When sin corrupted the image dei within us, we became less than human. Jesus, as the human par excellence, shows us what God intended for us in creating us as human beings, and when we bear his image, we begin to become fully human once again.
The author’s ability to boil down theological truth into application – particularly as it’s fleshed out in unequally yoked marriages, sinful life patterns, and the everyday monotony of diaper changing and laundry duty. The real work of Anderson’s book, however, can be glimpsed in her rich footnotes.
Dear Mrs. Anderson, please continue to write for women who desire to know Christ first and foremost in our lives. And while you’re at it, we’d like some more of that rich footnote action in the form of some companion articles!
I’d also like to express my gratitude to Moody Publishers for being one of perhaps two Christian publishers to give voice to new evangelical female writers. In a world of theology whose voice is decidedly male, we need strong female voices who are successfully modeling how to combine critical thinking with a commitment to the authority and relevancy of the Scriptures.
Want to win a copy of this book? Moody is giving away one copy to a lucky Hive Resources reader! US Residents only. CONTEST CLOSED. Winner announced below.
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imago dei living helps to live and respond out of my identity in Jesus, not out of my works for Jesus.
Joanne Viola says
The image of God helps me to remember my identity in & through Him. I am reminded of what I am not & what I am so I respond to life differently. Thanks for the opportunity!
Suzy Edwards says
Living out the image of God in my life is most evident when the Holy Spirit controls my tongue to make me say kind words when I actually want to make some harsh retort. Also when he gives me love for someone whom I would not naturally love – which enables me to show kindness. I am (unbelievably!) seeing God change who I am. I love it!