Women and Worship: Their Places in Today’s World by Herman Hoekstra, Brentwood Christian Press, Columbus, GA 31904-7217 reviewed by Thomas Vanden Heuvel
I am delighted to review this book by Rev. Herman Hoekstra on the subject of women and worship. Rev. Hoekstra is a faithful ChrIstian Reformed Church minister who has served churches in New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey and Michigan. This book is a very helpful redemptive historical treatment of women in the Old and New Testaments. The author deals with all the women whom God has used in His redemptive work. He sees the marvelous way in which women’s gifts were employed in the Kingdom of God and in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is very instructive and inspiring.
He sees rightly that in the Old Testament and the New Testament God does not use women for the government of His church, The responsibility of government according to God’s good order is given to selected men. When that divine order was disobeyed, trouble followed, because God’s blessing was not given.
A helpful insight is gIven In the exegesis of I Timothy 2:12, where the Apostle Paul writes: She is not to “teach or have authority over a man.” The word used here for authority is used only here in the New Testament. Hoekstra points out that in this context it seems to mean one who has “appointed herself to a position.” One linguist says: “The word in I Timothy 2:12 comes quite naturally from the word ‘master autocrat’” (p. 103).
The author has an excellent treatment of submission and authority. The welfare of the church depends on following the instructions of the Maker of the church as one follows the instructions of the manufacturer for the assembling together of any tool or toy one would purchase. God’s orders are perfectly clear and He has followed them Himself in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The author wants his readers to see that women are far from second class citizens. He points out that in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, women are given total equality with men in salvation and dignity and honor. This is where Galatians 3:28 applIes. It is only in the order God has established for the government of the church that women are excluded.
Rev. Hoekstra has done a very fine piece of work. It is very refreshing to read from the pen of a faithful servant of the Lord a total and uncompromising submission to the Word of God.
This book would be a very helpful volume in every Christian home and church library. It gives a thorough and inspiring overview of the place of women in God’s church.