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The Fall of Patriarchy: Its Broken Legacy Judged by Jesus & the Apostolic House Church Communities [Paperback]

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Item Number 437847  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   392
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 4, 2005
Publisher   Fenestra Books
ISBN  1587363747  
EAN  9781587363740  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Many Christians believe that male dominance is dictated by the Bible. In his provocative new book, Del Birkey challenges this oft-held assumption, critiquing the debilitating battle between Scripture and tradition. Patriarchy is the inevitable theological result of the biblical Fall, Birkey argues, leading to devaluation of and violence against women worldwide. As a fallen system, patriarchy cannot be a legitimate component of biblical Christianity.

Filled with compelling historical and scriptural evidence, The Fall of Patriarchy is a must-read for everyone who has decried the scandal of patriarchal power in Christian ministry today.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent and in-depth reading  Jul 9, 2007
I have to say that Del Birkey has done an excellent job writing this book and I'm very glad I purchased it. He goes into great detail on the history of patriarchy in the church and the world. He is not afraid to call patriarchy/male headship what it really is - a false doctrine. He gives plenty examples of how both Christ and Paul were against patriarchy. He tackles some of the proof texts used by those that continue to support patriarchy in the church. He also includes a lot of information on the NT house churhes and church history. This book is definitely a challenge to those who claim that any form of patriarchy is a Christian doctrine.

Although I think this is a GREAT book I feel it would not be the best first book to purchase for someone who is new to the subject of gender equality in the church. But for someone who had done some basic studying regarding gender issues in the church and desires additional information then I would recommend "The fall of patriarchy".

For someone looking for a good first book on gender equality I would recommend "Who said women can't teach?" by Charles Trombley or "25 tough questions about women and the church" or "10 lies the church tells women" both by J. Lee Grady. You can also check out: for other books on the topic.
Must Read for All Christians  Nov 18, 2006
This was the best book I have ever read on current theological issues. I am a conservative seminary graduate who is concerned about church renewal. Birkey is thorough, logical, and has a grasp for the heart of God and His plan for gender reconciliation-- ESPECIALLY within the church. My opinion of what he is saying is that patriarchy is divisive. He clarifies that there is the residual prejudice stemming from the fall ("he will rule over you")that people embrace rather than disassociate themselves from, endorsing the sinful nature as prescriptive and not descriptive; God records and permits behavior (i.e. polygamy, slavery, female subordination, etc. ) but the grace of God working in the hearts and minds of believers through the gospel eventually dismantles these injustices. Awesome reading, I believe it to be among the classics in church history.
Excellent source of information...  Mar 30, 2005
This book is a very thought provoking, thorough expose of just what exactly the partiarchy IS. Birkey does in fact have some new and insightful things to say about this topic.
The first chapters he covers just what exactly the partiarchy is and the damage it causes. Like violence against women, racism and permissive sexism. I would go as far to say he is also pretty harsh on those that try and "christianize" the partriarchy, when its basically an impossibility in his view. He talks about Jesus against the partriarchy, but does it in an interesting way. Instead of the usual "Jesus talked to women, women were disciples, etc, etc" he talks about how Jesus spoke to the religious leaders as examples of the partriarchy. The white washed tombs of religiously also represented the lack of life in a perpetual patriarchy. He also does a lot of research on the early church fathers. Before reading this book, I had independantly read the early church fathers and frankly, did not have a very high view of them because it was obvious they had bought into secular societies view of women then. And that crept into their theology (read: pushing women out of the church leadership and establishing and overarching hierarchy of dominate males). He harshly critisizes evangelicals for their lack of knowledge of the first two centuries of the church and looking into what the cultural conditions were of that day and how they may have affected church doctrine after the canon was closed. The line between evangelicals and fundamentalists is starting to blur and its quite embarassing. It seems we have a generation of people who do not know how to critically think about what they are being taught by those from the pulpit. He sounds hopeful though that things can change. He is frankly more of an optimist than me.
He covers the gamet of egalitarian thinking, from percieving verses like 1 Tim 2 to being a verse that was descriptive, to talking some about the Greek that it was written in. He also talks about Paul Against the Partiarchy. He makes an interesting case for women elders/bishops and the use of "authority" in those cases. And how it evolved to become something that Paul did not intend.
My only critisism of the book would be I felt his tone could be a little bit harsh sometimes. and that is from ME! I am pretty harsh myself on those that still hold the view of the subordination of women. He never actually STATES that he questions the salvation of those that espouse the patriarchy, but sometimes I get the feeling he may THINK it. But again, I think its mostly because of the attempt to "Christianise" something that is so TERRIBLE and UNJUST. That is completely an opinion and I am not about to put words in his mouth.
But I would mark this book as a rather large challenge to those "complementarians", to answer to all of his critisisms. Oh and for the record, he does not just say stuff about "complementarians" he also talks about egalitarians and flaws he percieves. I am still trying to get my head around what he said about Webbs work. I really like the redemptive heurmanutic myself, but maybe he is still okay with patriarchy, at least that is what Birkey got from it.
On the whole though, the book was a really good, if somewhat depressing read. Depressing because patriarchy is all around us and he really makes you SEE it for what it is. Its dark and ugly, no matter how "nice" you try and make it.

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