In her latest book, The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture, Mary Kassian provides a wholesale update to The Feminist Gospel, only this time she examines the seismic impact of feminism on both the church and culture.
In her 1992 book The Feminist Gospel, Mary Kassian examined the
cultural tsunami of feminism, showing the rise of a radical ideology that sought
to redefine the very nature of gender itself.
Thirteen years later, Kassian, a council member for The Council on Biblical
Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), has witnessed cataclysmic fallout from the waves
of feminism that have crashed hard upon the shores of both the church and
In her latest book, The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism
on Church and Culture (Crossway Books, 2005), Kassian provides a wholesale
update to The Feminist Gospel, only this time she examines the seismic
impact of feminism on both the church and culture. The book includes the earlier
material that traces the rise of feminism through its incubation period from
1960 until 1990.
Kassian identifies three distinct stages of development in the history of
Stage One ran from 1960 to 1970 and was a period in which feminists began to
deconstruct the Judeo-Christian view of womanhood and asserted a “right” to
Stage Two encompassed the 70s through 1980 and was a decade in which women
progressed to a deconstruction of manhood, gender relationships, family/societal
structures, and a Judeo-Christian worldview, asserting a “right to name the
Stage Three ran from 1980 to 1990 and was a period in which feminism took
perhaps its most audacious step; its adherents rejected the Judeo-Christian
deity and asserted a “right to name God.” During this period, god became goddess
and feminists addressed the Lord’s Prayer to “Our father/mother who is
In part two of the book, Kassian examines the aftereffects of the great quake
of feminism including the shock waves that continue to wash over religious and
secular culture. Here, she examines select events such as the 1993 “Re-Imagining
Conference” that have helped feminism to gain broad acceptance in the mainstream
culture and the church.
She also analyzes the relationship of conservative evangelical feminism
(egalitarianism) to the more liberal forms of religious feminism and examines
how—if at all—egalitarianism relates to the overarching historical progression
of feminist philosophy. The book concludes by attempting to answer the question
of whether an emphasis on women’s “rights” and functional equality of the sexes
ought to be embraced or rejected by evangelicals.
In the end, Kassian deems the feminist project a gargantuan failure, one that
has left in its wake a broad and easily discernable path of destruction.
“Feminism has failed miserably, and ironically it has exacerbated the very
problem it set out to resolve,” she writes. “Instead of promoting healthy
self-identity for women or contributing to a greater harmony between the sexes,
it has resulted in increased gender confusion, increased conflict, and a
profound destruction of morality and family.
“It has left in its wake a mass of dysfunctional relationships and shattered
lives. People of this culture no longer know what it means to be a man or a
woman or how to make life work. What has been lost will not easily be regained.
Though feminist theory has progressed just about as far as it can, the practical
outworking of that theory has not. Feminism will dramatically affect our society
and churches for years to come.”
The Feminist Mistake is available in the CBMW webstore at new.cbmw.org/cgi-bin/store?show|534|Gender_Issues.
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