Parenting by the Book Review: Captivating Book Review
by Sylvia Cochran
John & Stasi Eldredge
Thomas Nelson Publisher
By Sylvia Cochran
CAPTIVATING was authored by John & Stasi Eldredge, known in Christian circles as premier lecturers, counselors, and speakers. Although grounded in Scripture, there are those within the faith who consider Eldredge a radical, especially since he espouses the idea of liberating Christianity from the stranglehold that religiosity for its own sake has imposed.
CAPTIVATING is considered by the authors to be the logical sequel to WILD AT HEART. At the heart of the book is the understanding that just like man has innate desires, so women also have theirs. In their writing the authors make compelling points for the idea that women desire to be romanced and become an integral, non-reproducible part in a grand scheme, while at the same they ache to have their true beauty seen and appreciated. The authors point out that just like men represent the leadership aspects of God, women represent His vulnerability and beauty.
CAPTIVATING is considered a controversial book for many who only have a cursory understanding of the ideal woman, as it is portrayed most notably in Proverbs 31:10-31. It is crucial to the hesitant reader to understand that just like Biblical passages may be twisted and turned, so some of the statements made in this book are open to interpretation and, regretfully, some even within the Christian community have chosen to misinterpret them and thus are warning others away.
Denying God’s unwavering commitment to the free will of His creation, and chafing at the notion that women (and men) are indeed worth loving by their divine creator – even as they are not able to “earn” their salvation by any means – such critics have gone to great lengths to tear apart the fabric that John & Stasi Eldredge weave in this book.
Other readers have found what they termed feminist leanings and thoughts in CAPTIVATING which unsettle them. Sadly, it is these Christians who do not see that in Jesus there is perhaps the greatest example of a feminist who ever walked the earth. Was it not He who associated with women – even those of looked down on ancestry – and conversed with them in their homes?
Is the book perfect and the theology sound all the way through? No, the book is not perfect and the theology may be subject to questioning in some cases. Does this invalidate the message? By no means! Instead, this is the kind of book that has the power to have the reader question their understanding of theology as they have experienced it thus far, and it will challenge them to dust off the cobwebs of preconceived notions and even viewpoints that have no grounding in Scripture. As a matter of fact, it may turn you into a bona fide Berean!
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