I’m excited to roll out this blog series entitled First Look, where I’ll be interviewing authors about their new books. The goal is to point you to solid, Christ-centered resources by giving you a peek into the author’s mind and heart.

Abigail Dodds is a wife, mother of five, and grad student at Bethlehem College & Seminary. I’ve long admired her writing abilities, but mostly her desire to exalt Jesus in everything she writes. She is author of (A)Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ (Crossway, 2019).

Tell us what your new book is about.

(A)Typical Woman answers the question, “What does it mean to be a Christian and a woman?” It isn’t looking at all the verses in the Bible about women or addressed to women and then trying to assemble a composite of the ideal woman for us to try and imitate so we can be real women. The book is simpler than that. It isn’t throwing out the necessity of paying close attention to what God has to say to us in particular passages as women, but it isn’t trying to achieve womanhood. Instead, we want Christ to be our beginning and end. So we must examine two parallel and conjoined realities: the gift and reality of being born––made through Christ––as a woman, and the gift and reality of being re-born––made through Christ––as his daughter.

The book has three sections:

  • “Women Through and Through” is the foundation of the book. It examines our new birth, our womanhood, how we read the Bible, the meaning behind our bodies, holiness, etc.
  • “Women in All We Do” looks at some of the particular callings women have.
  • “Fearless and Free Women” is more personal, looking at how Christ matures us as Christian women.

What prompted you to write (A)Typical Woman?

Angst and conviction propelled me to write. The angst came over the world’s attempts to steal something that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ: the meaning of the words Christian and woman. And they don’t just want to steal the words in theory, but the words in practice as they’re lived out. And that angst turned to conviction when I saw people and places in the broader church community acquiescing or unhelpfully reacting to the world’s twisted thinking.

The acquiescence showed up in belittling womanhood, saying it was only an aspect of what we are, and therefore, women should focus on being human. This error teaches women that humanity is distinct from being woman, when the Bible teaches that being a woman is the expression of our humanity. The unhelpful reacting made the particulars of womanhood into its totality leading to a legalistic focus on femininity as everything.

Why do you hope people will read it? 

I hope people read it to get their bearings in Christ. I hope they read it and discover Who and what they’re made for as women. Ultimately, my deepest hope is that women walk away from this book with confidence in Christ. There is incredible freedom when we finally stop searching to understand who and what we are. There is incredible joy in discovering that we’re found by him and hidden in him and that he has woven meaning and purpose into his creation called women, and it all points to Christ.

Women who are confident in Christ are free to share him with others and risk everything for him. We need a lot more women like that.

What’s your favorite part of the book?

“Favorite” is a hard thing to pinpoint. I think the most needed section is the first section which covers new birth, the reality of being made a woman as an expression of humanity, the meaning of our female bodies, holiness, and more.

But my favorite parts are in the third section. That section is a little more personal, and it addresses affliction and weakness. I know how important it’s been to me to have fellow sojourners be truthful about suffering while showing the glory that comes through it. I try to do that in the third section and I hope it strengthens and encourages women to faithfully live the actual life God’s given them––not the one they wished for or expected.

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Kristen Wetherell

Kristen Wetherell is a wife, mother, and writer. She is the author of multiple books including Humble Moms, Fight Your Fears, Help for the Hungry Soul, and the board book series For the Bible Tells Me So, and the co-author of the award-winning book Hope When It Hurts.