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The idea of modesty for Christians has been predominately cast within the framework of a set of rules about what kind of clothing (mainly for girls) is considered to be appropriate. Whether its skirts below the knees, dresses to the floor or necklines for shirts no lower than the collar bone, the list of do’s and don’ts can be long—really long. But is this kind of list what God intends for us to have and hold others accountable to when it comes to modesty? Where do we get such a list from anyways? Who gets to make it and by what criteria? Is there possibly another way both to define modesty and to live modestly?
Tim Challies and RW Glenn think there is. In their new book, Modest: Men and Women Clothed in the Gospel, Challies and Glenn pave a new road for understanding modesty that centers on the gospel and lacks a set of do’s and don’ts—no matter how bad they know you want one!
Feeling that the gospel has been largely silent in most discussions of modesty the authors set forth their plea:
We want to see your heart so gripped by the gospel of grace that modesty becomes beautiful and desirable to you, not just in your wardrobe but in all of life. We want you to understand that modesty isn’t just motivated by the gospel, it’s an entailment of the gospel—it flows naturally from a solid grasp of the good news of the gospel. (p. 6)