Book Review: Voices of the True Woman Movement

I must admit that I took Voices of the True Woman Movement to be polite. I was at the Moody table at The Gospel Coalition and was asked if I’d like a free book by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I was afraid of what the reaction would be if I said “No, I heard she’s kinda OUT THERE,” so I just said “sure” and took the book and stuck it in my growing bag of free nerd-swag.

I started reading it later that day while waiting for Aaron, and was intrigued. Still apprehensive, but intrigued. Voices of the True Woman Movement is basically a transcript of the first True Woman conference, held in October 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. There are multiple contributors, including John Piper, Mary Kassian, and Joni Eareckson Tada.

The book offers a broad overview of the vision that adherents of conservative, complementarian Christianity have for Christian women today and into the future. It’s a good read, and I especially enjoyed the contributions by John Piper, Mary A. Kassian, and Fern Nichols. I did appreciate the chapter by Nancy Leigh DeMoss as well, to my surprise. DeMoss provides a solid exposition of the story of Esther, and reminds us that living for God’s glory, and not our own, is the only kind of life worth living.

I wasn’t really a fan of the chapter by Karen Loritts – too much of a tough talking football coach vibe for my taste.

The end of the book has a “true woman manifesto” for the reader to review, and there is opportunity to affirm the manifesto by “signing” in online at I have not signed the manifesto, and probably won’t, but a cursory look at the site seems to indicate it’s a good resource for Christian women.

I think that the best thing I got out of this book was that the True Woman Movement is not something to be afraid of. There’s no push to have 27 children, or burn all your shoes, or wear a veil to church. What the authors do assert that the model of womanhood given to us by the world is a stinking pile, and that Christian woman need to immerse themselves in the word of God and submit to his will for their lives.

I would encourage women especially to read Voices of the True Woman Movement, if for no other reason than to get a sense of complementarianism from a female perspective. I hope you find the book as helpful as I have.

Title: Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution
Author: Nancy Leigh DeMoss (editor)
Publisher: Moody Publishers (2010)

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  • Kim Shay

    I would be interested in reading this book simply because deMoss is one of those women that the women of my church rather fawn over. I know very little about her, and I would love to see what it is about her that they like. I’d also be curious to see what Mary Kassian says. I loved her book “The Feminine Mistake,” but our church had her come and speak at our ladies’ conference a few years ago, and I was quite disappointed by the content she came with.

    • Aaron Armstrong

      Was there something in particular that was disappointing about her content?

  • Craig Hurst

    I wonder how a transcript of a conference will read in book form. I assume it reads like any other book?

    • Aaron Armstrong

      If the copy editor is solid, they usually turn out great. Any of the books from the Desiring God National Conferences have been aces, for example.

  • Amber

    I’d like the book! I bristle at the title (there are so many people trying to tell me who my “true” self is, it’s exhausting), but I’d still love to read it.

    • Emily Armstrong

      The title/name of the book/movement made me wary too – like egalitarian women are not real, but actually made of marshmallow peeps. But I’m not really sure what else they could have called it either.

      • Aaron Armstrong

        Two things:

        1. “Egalitarian women are not…made of marshmallow peeps” is pure awesome.
        2. The fake goatee picture still makes me laugh.

      • Amber

        Mmm…egalitarian women sound delicious!

  • Melissa W.

    As a professional, complementarian woman living in NYC, I am always looking for good resources for discipleship. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for the review!

  • Don

    Hey, Emily – good review!

    I’ll put a link on our website to the True Women Movement. it would be nice to win a copy of this book.


  • Ellie M

    I want a copy because I grew up in a liberal, non-Christian home and having come to Christ in college, 6 years ago, I am hungry to learn as much as possible about the Biblical view of womanhood.

  • Sarah

    I would love a copy of the book because I have talked about complementarianism (is that a word or did I just make it up?) but never read a book on it. I like the sound of it, though I agree with Amber about the title- it seems a little presumptuous.

  • Aaron Armstrong

    And… a winner has been notified! Thanks for entering, everyone! There’s another giveaway or two coming up real soon, so be on the lookout :)