A new book this year for women by Cindy Koch is titled Woman: The Forgotten Story, published by NRP Books, an imprint of New Reformation Publications. According to their websites, either New Reformation Publications is a project of the 1517 Legacy Project or it’s the other way around. Either way, the back cover of the book directs customers to the 1517 Legacy Project website to purchase books.
The author says in an interview [Thinking Fellows podcast], “It is written to and for my daughters.” She says:
It started 15 years ago. … At the time we only had two little girls … and I thought, you know, my little girls need to hear this story. I got pretty much through it when they were little. … It came out to be a story that I don’t think women are hearing these days, about who they are, their identity, who they are created to be, and what kind of confidence they can have in being a woman. Instead they are hearing a story of “You have to do, you have to be a certain way.” We have to find a way to do it in the way of the Gospel, which means doing it in the way of freedom … not in the way of the Law.
The book starts in the beginning with Genesis, the creation of women, the fall into sin and what that means for women, and then moves into Proverbs. In the interview, the author says
The first nine chapters [of Proverbs] is like this epic story. There is this little piece [in Proverbs 7] where you have an observer watching this foolish boy wandering into the house of an adulterous, and what we can do is, looking at that story through the eyes of Christ, walking into this house of death as a foolish boy. We don’t actually get this story in Proverbs, but you just take the metaphor a few steps further, and what does that mean when Christ walks into this house of death. He brings forth a bride, a holy bride, which we would call the church.
Leaving aside the purpose of the book, the execution has problems. The implementation of the idea of the book could have been better. Consider the following excerpt that supposedly takes the metaphor of Proverbs 7 a few steps further, and before you proceed to read it, be warned. Afterwards, some of you might wish you had never read it.
She slips into the misty light at the corner of the street. Red stilettos kiss the pavement with her confident sexy stride. That silky black hair transforms the dull gray streetlight into sparkling stars, almost resembling a shiny crown. Tossing her head a bit to reveal her deeply plunging neckline, she takes a long heaving breath and calls out, “Over here, you.”
He hears her. He sees her. He walks directly to her crooked corner.
She slides right up to this young one under the street light. Her voice is as smooth as oil. She says hello using every bit of her tongue to enunciate the greeting. Her lips pout and puff with nasty little words of seduction. She pulls him a little closer, brushing her breasts up his chest as she continues to hypnotize him with sensual words. Gently, her finger slides across his collar bone, down one arm, to his hip. She catches his belt and smacks her body tightly against his.
Pressing her soft warm mouth on his, her kiss tastes like a deep rich chocolate. She slithers her tongue across his teeth and deep into his mouth. Both hands claw feverishly at his back as her body trembles with an intense craving. She draws back, her eyes stare directly into his. She leans forward biting his lip, and she leads him inside like a dog on a leash.
To my horror, he follows her into that dark little house. This cunning adulteress lies in wait for fresh young boys while her husband is away. She catches the unsuspecting with her tight dress and terrible lies. Even though I can’t see inside that house, I can only guess what she is doing. She is seducing him as she has no doubt done with all the other boys she has captured in the past. She is lying to him to satisfy her own twisted desires. Yet He walked through her front door like an ox to the slaughter, or like a bird right into a trap. When inside, she’ll rip off his shirt. She’ll tear at his pants with erotic rage. Thrusting him onto the bed, she will lock him in the shackles between her thighs. Whipped and scourged by the beating of her powerful hips, he will become part of her sexual fantasy.
Koch, Cindy. Woman: The Forgotten Story (Kindle Locations 470-485). NRP Books. Kindle Edition.
If 64 years of living serves as a guide, I can hear already some of the reactions to my gentle caution about this book. The reactions would fall into a few well-worn categories. One is the retorts of the world borrowed by some church people. Another is theological and churchy lingo.
It is likely to be said, you are being a prude. You are being a Victorian. You are being a Puritan. These are the tactics the world uses to shame Christians for their modesty. It is a shame-reversing tactic, where those who should be ashamed cast shame onto the mild.
It is likely to be said, you are being illiterate. You don’t seem to understand the literary form of the cautionary tale or some other literary device. The author of the book holds a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Exegetical Theology. She says she is taking the metaphor of Proverbs 7 a few steps further. I should be more educated, erudite, urbane, and sophisticated.
From the church, things likely to be said include, you don’t understand the simul. You don’t understand “sin boldly.” You are being a Pietist. You are being legalistic. You are forfeiting the Reformation. You are giving up the 1517 legacy.
But a degree in exegetics should enable a person to exegete this article. I have said, “The execution has problems. The implementation of the idea of the book could have been better.” I would not give this book to my granddaughters. I would look for something better.