Suzanne Burden is a heart sister, a gentle woman who wants to see women thrive, set free to work in God’s kingdom alongside their brothers. I’m thrilled to be posting this short description and Q&A about her new book, Reclaiming Eve.
About Reclaiming Eve
What started as a ladies’ Bible study in their church led a multi-generational team of coauthors to fashion it into a book for every woman in the Church.
The result is provocative and encouraging, as the authors push us to reexamine our view of Eve according to the Bible and the plans God laid out for women (and men) in the Genesis Creation story.
Through personal stories and careful theological reflection, Burden, Sunberg and Wright lay out a blueprint that allows women to be set free through the gospel—and to grow to beautifully reflect Christ.
Coauthor Suzanne Burden answers some questions on why the world needs another book on a woman’s identity and calling in the Kingdom of God:
What has the story of Eve been and why does she need reclaiming?
There are two stories of Eve. One says she is man’s inferior assistant, easily deceived and dangerous. The other says she is primarily made in God’s own image, a strong power designed to partner with men to work in God’s Kingdom on earth. Unfortunately, the world and the Church have often parked their theology and practice with the first story. As a result, we have often taught and modeled that there is something lacking in women even since the early years of formal Christendom in the Roman Empire. This is deeply tragic, and it is why we must reclaim Eve.
After taking a closer look at the Creation account, we realized there was no truth in the claim that Eve was somehow subservient or less than Adam. For centuries, men taught that women could not think rationally but men can. This is absolutely untrue. In Genesis 1 and 2, God paints a stunningly beautiful portrait of male and female, made in his image, to love, serve and empower one another to reflect him on this earth. Sin and the fall were not the final word. The redemption of Jesus Christ restores the team God designed in the beginning.
Genesis says God created Eve to be a helper for Adam. What did you find when you looked into the meaning of “helper”?
I am sad that the English word “helper” is so inadequate to describe the Hebrew word God used when he introduced Eve. He called her an ezer. For centuries we’ve diminished Eve and painted her as inferior to Adam. But the word ezer calls our bluff. Tucked right into the Creation story, we see a word for God used 16 times in the Old Testament to describe how he comes through for his people in times of desperate need! God is our agent of rescue, a strong helper. And, according to God, so is Eve.
When we looked a little more deeply into what Old Testament experts have discovered, we were blown away, surprised and relieved. The word ezer connotes strength and power, so it would also be accurate to call Eve a “strong power.”
The most important change is this: Stop identifying women as primarily fallen and defined by the effects of sin. Begin to see girls and women as restored through the power of the gospel. When women are defined by how Jesus sees us, we are set free to be all God has created us to be.