Federal Trade Commission compliance notice: Tyndale House Publishers has provided a complimentary copy of this book.
Title Becoming a Woman of Excellence (30th Anniversary Edition)
Copyright ©2016 by Cynthia Heald
First, let me encourage you by reminding us that we are “being transformed into ever increasing glory” and we are “God’s workmanship/masterpieces” 2 Corinthians 3:18 and Ephesians 2:10 respectively. The emphasis is mine in both cases as I hope to point out that we are not in charge, not even of us. I sense the author driving forward straining on the reins to keep this study from running into legalism but have no sense of what restrains her on the other hand – which is weird to me. It’s like a shadow but you can’t see the actual object.
Secondly, I never read the original so this won’t be a comparison of the two.
Finally to get to the book itself: Heald lays the book out in bible study format with personal anecdotes, quotes from other authors, scripture, quite a bit of commentary, a guide for leaders in the back, and a chapter by chapter bibliography.
From the back cover of the book, “Through her speaking engagements, books, and Bible studies, Cynthia Heald challenges women around the world to become more godly. She is the author of numerous books, including Intimacy with God and the Becoming a Woman of… Bible study series. Her passion is to help women walk more closely with God and live to their full, God-given potential. Cynthia and her husband, Jack, are full-time Navigator staff members in Tucson, Arizona.”
Inside the book she reveals she is a native Texan and graduate of the English department at University of Texas, her husband is a vet.
Baptist women, in particular, seem to have a knack for seeking the Lord and desiring to be better disciples. This is why I became a Baptist so I anticipated reading Heald’s book with eagerness. Her stated passion, “to help women walk more closely with God” held out promise. Heald’s initial question sets of a warning bell, “What would a woman of excellence do?” Since we are to have the “mind of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 2:16, and to “be conformed to His image,” Romans 8:29, it sounds, to me – not in the book, like we are to learn to employ Christ’s mind and become more like Him. With that in mind, the goal or aim of the study misses the true goal. A strong minded woman MAY still be able to keep the good – the scriptures while throwing out the bad – human sayings and philosophies including commentary. My advice? Trust God to make you His version of excellent.
Note: Commentary that adds to what the Bible says about certain events may get you published but is dangerous in my opinion because conjecture, meaning guessing, has been defined as forming an estimate or judgment without actual knowledge1. Knowing women are the weaker sex and our tendency to be deceived I choose to set this book aside. My apologies to the publisher.
1 (1979.) Guralnik, David B. Ed., Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language. Second College Edition.