Jezebel and Delilah have plenty to teach contemporary Christian women, according to Bad Girls of the Bible and What We Can Learn from Them
. In this self-help book, Liz Curtis Higgs tells fictionalized, contemporary stories based on the lives of biblical characters including Eve, Potiphar's Wife, and the Woman at the Well. In verse-by-verse commentary, Higgs summarizes each life's lessons and provides a list of questions for personal consideration or group discussion. The overall message of each chapter is the same: "Good Girls and Bad Girls both need a Savior. The goodness of your present life can't open the doors of heaven for you. The badness of your past life can't keep you out either." In its effort to turn readers' minds heavenward, Bad Girls
draws a distinction between fun and joy. Associated with "fleshly pleasures," fun "is temporary at best; it's risky, even dangerous, at worst." Joy, on the other hand, is found in God's "gift of grace." Perhaps the book's greatest weakness is its inability to see that "fun," in many lives, is a holy and necessary means of attaining "joy." --Michael Joseph Gross
From Publishers Weekly
Humorist and popular storyteller Higgs (Help! I'm Laughing and I Can't Get Up) takes a look at the vamps and tramps of the Bible, searching for the lessons these wicked women have to teach. She acknowledges that as much as she admires Sarah's faithfulness and Mary's innocence, she finds that her own life contains many of the shortcomings of women such as Rahab, Delilah and Lot's wife. When Higgs begins her study of Jezebel, she notes, "I understood her pushy personality, I empathized with her need for control, I tuned into her angry outbursts...but boy did she teach me what not to do in my marriage." She places the ten women in her study into four categories. Eve, she says, was the "First Bad Girl," for badness has to begin somewhere. Potiphar's wife (who tried to seduce Joseph), Delilah and Jezebel, Higgs says, were "Bad to the Bone": these women "sinned with gusto from bad beginning to bitter end." Women who were "Bad for a Moment," and who have forever been characterized by their "life-changing" mistakes, include Saphhira, Michal and Lot's wife (who was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back on her homeland against God's commands). Higgs says that Rahab, the prostitute who helped the Israelites conquer Jericho, the Woman at the Well and the Sinful Woman were "Bad for a Season, but Not Forever": these women "had plenty of sin in their past, but they were also willing to change and be changed." Higgs opens each chapter with a fictional retelling of the biblical story and then proceeds to a verse-by-verse exegesis and commentary on the biblical text. Each chapter closes with four lessons to be learned from the life of the bad girl and eight "thoughts worth considering." Higgs retells these biblical stories with rollicking humor and deep insight as she teaches about the nature of sin and goodness. (Aug.)
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