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Modest: Men and Women Clothed in the Gospel
August 13, 2012
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Oh great. Two men—two more men—have gone and written a book on modesty. Here we go again.” But this one is different I promise.
A couple of years ago R.W.[Bob] Glenn and I were speaking at a conference and no sooner had we met than we came to see that we had a lot in common. One issue that interested and frustrated both of us was modesty. Both of us had seen a lot of bad material on the subject but very little that we felt really got to the heart of the issue. We talked that day about eventually putting together a short book that might elevate the discussion of modesty.
Well, it has finally happened with the release of Modest: Men and Women Clothed in the Gospel. This is a short book of less than 100 pages and it does not contain a single checklist or diagram. What it does contain is lots of biblical teaching that grounds the discussion of the topic in the right place.
My particular concern was that a book on modesty should go beyond mere dress code—that there needs to be more to our discussion of modesty than a woman’s neckline and hemline; further, the discussion needs to include both men and women. Bob’s concern was that any discussion of the subject be rooted and grounded not in law but in gospel. Jerry Bridges caught this emphasis and penned this little blurb: “The authors of Modest break new ground in their treatment of this difficult subject. It is a healthy antidote to the prevailing views, which tend toward either legalism or antinomianism, by grounding the whole subject in the gospel. I heartily recommend this book.”
Paul Tripp says:
It is so refreshing to have a book on modesty that is a useful resource and not a legalistic, culture-bound list that leaves you a bit paranoid and guilty. No, this book is different. Its counsel on modesty is not rooted in rules, but in the grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That grace alone is able to get at the heart of the problem of modesty, which is the heart. In a culture where immodesty is the accepted norm, Glenn and Challies have given us help that every Christian desperately needs.
And Mary Kassian says this:
How short is too short? How tight is too tight? Glenn and Challies don’t say. But they do provide a thoughtful framework to help us come to a grace-based, gospel-grounded understanding of modesty that extends beyond mere clothing. They uphold a vision for modesty that’s both beautiful and desirable — and not only for gals, but for guys too! This book is a great tool to help you wrestle with the practical question of what and what not to wear.
In the end, we believe we’ve written a book that takes the discussion of modesty in a new direction and a far more profitable one. Not only that, but this is a book on modesty that a man can read and benefit from just as much as a woman. Unlike so many books on the subject, that is one to read and reflect on in your own life, not one to skim and then subtly (or not-so-subtly) hand to that woman at church.