Wisdom for Mothers Review: Proceed with Caution
"Wisdom for Mothers" is the first Bible study/workbook published by Kardo International Ministries under the MotherWise logo. “Although a woman may use this workbook for individual personal Bible study,” notes the Introduction on page 9, “she benefits most from being part of a MotherWise group that participates in the full MotherWise program” in which a group “meets for two hours once a week for 10 weeks.” This claim is open to debate for a number of reasons.
First, a major flaw with this “program” is the frequent lack of focus, cohesion, and unified thought as well as author Denise Glenn’s penchant for proof-texting and her frequent violation of the historical-grammatical method of Biblical exegesis. Her reliance upon sources that many consider suspect or controversial is equally troubling. (See p. 87 as well as the Bibliography on p. 267 for examples.) An unseemly presentation of the concept of “blood covenant” (p. 116-117) is another.
Although well-intentioned and passionate, the author's lack of expertise and care in handling the Biblical text seriously hampers the bulk of her “Bible study” materials.
Additionally, some women find Glenn’s breezy, chatty style appealing. Some don’t. It has been described ”warm, charming and engaging” as well as “bubble-brained,” “air-headed” or “irritating.” Others deem both the video presentation and Wisdom workbook “insightful and inspirational.” Some see them as “patronizing”, “plodding” and “tedious.” (One lady I talked to, a college-degreed professional, told me she found Wisdom “insipid” and “insulting.”)
Also problematic is the fact that the typical class format and leadership structure are easily susceptible to cliquishness. Leadership Qualities as listed in the accompanying Wisdom Leader’s Guide fail to connect with—or even mention--leadership skills and can easily place women in leadership or “mentoring” capacities who are “nice,” but otherwise clueless. Leader’s Guide directives such as meeting “regularly outside of class to discuss the progress of the class” are often vague and ambiguous and seem to do little more than encourage gossip and other counter-productive behaviors.
To be fair, many of the Biblical principles and applications offered in this 260+ page resource are sound. However, the material founders dangerously when it strays off Scriptural charts and heaves onto the reefs of personal agendas and ripped-out-of-context “interpretations.” Accordingly, some women will benefit from these studies while others may find them geared toward quick, mass consumption on a “burgers and fries” level. Serious students of Scripture may find little to fuel their spiritual appetites here and opt to look elsewhere for more balanced meals.
Like food from a Drive-Thru window, a suitable label for Wisdom might be: “WARNING. Contents hot, marginally nutritious, and incredibly average. Proceed with caution.”
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