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Whats The Difference? Study Guide [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   187
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 8, 2009
Publisher   Crossway Books/Good News
ISBN  1433507676  
EAN  9781433507670  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
This printed companion to the DVD both supplements and reinforces John Piper's teaching as part of a six-session, guided group study on God's fulfilling design for biblical manhood and womanhood.

Publishers Description

A six-session, guided group study spotlighting John Piper's teaching on biblical manhood and womanhood and the impact of living out God's design.

Scripture is clear that manhood and womanhood are the beautiful handiwork of a good and loving God, contends John Piper in What's the Difference? “God designed our differences, and they are profound.” Yet when rightly understood according to God's Word, his vision for both men and women is not oppressive, prideful, or self-promoting. “It conforms to who we are by God's good design. Therefore it is fulfilling in the deepest sense of that word.”

This study guide—a companion to the What's the Difference? DVD—commends the beauty and the biblical truth of God's plan for men and women as part of a six-session, guided group study. Each lesson comes complete with Scripture and key quotations for reflection, penetrating questions, and five daily assignments per week to both prepare group members for and reinforce Piper's powerful teaching so that all may come to recognize and embrace our God-given differences.

Buy Whats The Difference? Study Guide by John Piper from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781433507670 & 1433507676

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More About John Piper

John Piper John Piper, the preaching pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis since 1980, is the author of numerous books" "and a senior writer for "World "magazine,"" He received his doctorate in theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College, St. Paul, before becoming a pastor. He and his wife, Noel, have four sons and one daughter.

SPANISH BIO: John Piper es pastor de Bethlehem Baptist Church, en Mineapolis. Sus muchos libros incluyen: Cuando no deseo a Dios, No desperdicies tu vida, Lo que Jesus exige del mundo.

John Piper currently resides in Minneapolis, in the state of Minnesota. John Piper was born in 1946.

John Piper has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Coleccion Teologica Contemporanea: Estudios Ministeriales
  2. John Piper Small Group
  3. Swans Are Not Silent

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
We're Definitely Different  Dec 30, 2009
I decided to read What's the Difference? primarily because I want a better understanding about what God says about myself and my wife. Like most married men, I want a stronger marriage. This short book is actually one of the chapters from a much larger book called Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Pastor Piper believes in complementarianism which is the theological view that because men and women are different genders, we are designed for different (complementary) roles and responsibilities. We are of the same worth before God, but we do not share the same authority and responsibilities in church and family. The Bible teaches that I am to lovingly lead, protect and provide for my wife and girls, and that my beautiful and intelligent wife is to help me in my role. If you find that archaic, you need to read this short book to complement your reading of the Book. What's the Difference? is the seventh Piper book I have completed, and I hope to complete books #8 (This Momentary Marriage) and #9 (The Future of Justification) next month.
"IN THE LORD, HOWEVER..." (1 Cor.11:11) Sorting Out Crucial Gender Issues  Dec 18, 2009
While we were on a ministry trip going as far south as Oklahoma City, a good friend gave me What's the Difference? and asked me to comment on it. After reading it, I felt that the content begged for more than a cursory response. What follows, then, is my attempt to biblically reflect upon some of many issues raised in this book. The whole review article is 6700 words long. Here are some excerpts.

What About 1 Corinthians 7:1-5?

It is interesting that in Piper's major publication, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (1991), there are separate articles devoted to Eph.5:21-33, 1 Cor.11:3-16. Col.3:18-19, 1 Pet.3:1-7, etc., but 1 Cor.7:1-5 is suspiciously absent. Likewise, in What's the Difference? there are two lists of verses provided that deal with marriage, but once again 1 Cor.7:1-5 is not included (pp.21,66).

This omission is unfortunate for the following reasons. First, 1 Cor.7:1-5 is the only place in the NT where the word "authority" (Greek, exousia) is used with reference to marriage. But it is not the authority of the husband over the wife, or vice versa, that is in view, but rather a mutual authority over each other's body. 1 Cor.7:4 states that the wife has authority over her husband's body. One would think that this would be a hard pill to swallow for those who see "authority" as resting only in the husband's headship.

Secondly, Paul states that a couple cannot separate from one another physically unless there is mutual consent (Greek, symphonou). Both parties must agree to the separation or it shouldn't happen. There is in this text, then, nothing supporting the contention that the husband's "authority" should override his wife's differing viewpoint.

John Piper suggests that "mature masculinity accepts the burden of the final say in disagreements between husband and wife, but does not presume to use it in every instance" (p.32). But 1 Cor.7:5 challenges Piper's assumed maxim. If the wife disagrees with a physical separation, the husband should not overrule his wife with the "final choice" (p.33). Biblically, such separation can occur only if both husband and wife are in "symphony" (unity) about such an action.

Now if mutual consent applies in an important issue like physical separation from one another for a period of time, wouldn't it seem proper that coming to one-mindedness would be the broad decision-making model in a healthy marriage? Piper feels that "in a good marriage decision-making is focused on the husband, but is not unilateral" (p.32). In light of 1 Cor.7:1-5 I suggest that decision-making should focus on finding the Lord's mind together. Over the years the good ideas, solutions to problems and answers to dilemmas will flow from both husband and wife as they seek the Lord as a couple for "symphony."

1 Cor.7:5 throws a wrench into the works for those who would conclude that the husband has the "final say" under presumed authority commonly known as "male headship." Paul teaches that unless the couple can agree on a course of action, it should not be executed. I suggest that this revelation invites us to re-examine what the husband's headship really entails (cf. Gordon D. Fee, "1 Corinthians 7:1-7 Revisited," Paul & the Corinthians: Studies On A Community in Conflict, Trevor J. Burke/J. Keith Elliott, eds., Brill, 2003, pp.197-213).

Ephesians 5:21-33

With this "profound mystery" as a backdrop, we better understand Paul's words to husbands and wives in Eph.5:22-33. In Eph.5:18 the apostle gives an imperative to be "filled with the Spirit," and five participles follow showing the fruit of such a life. Verse 21 sets forth the fifth evidence of the Spirit-filled community, "submitting yourselves to one another out of reverence to Christ." Here we see a mutual submission among all the parts of the body. This is the setting for the specific relationships that follow, beginning with husbands and wives.

Verse 22 has no verb. It reads literally, "wives to your own husbands as to the Lord." Then why do most English translations read, "wives submit to your own husbands..."? Because they have correctly inferred that submission is implied. In the English language a sentence is not complete without a verb. In the Greek, a sentence may be complete without a verb, but in such cases, the action is assumed to continue from the preceding sentence. The verb in verse 21 is "submit." The assumed verb in verse 22, therefore, should also be "submit."

But that's not the whole story. Since verse 22 was written in such a way as to make it deliberately dependent on verse 21 for its action verb, it is also appropriate to assume a continuation of any previously established qualifiers to that action. In verse 21, the act of submitting is not a one-way street, but mutual - "to one another." If Paul did not intend for that same spirit of mutuality to be assumed in the submission implied in verse 22, he would have supplied a new verb and structured the sentence differently. Even though Paul's focus in verse 22 is on "wives," therefore, there is no justification for stripping the implied "submit" supplied by the translators of its previously established mutuality. A wife should indeed voluntarily "submit" to her husband. But that does not cancel out her husband's responsibility to just as willingly submit to his wife. Indeed, husbands and wives should "submit to one another."
It should be clear, therefore, that Paul's motivation for instructing believing wives to submit to their husbands was not to establish a hierarchy in the marriage relationship - nor in any other relationship between believers. It is the unique, "one another" quality of life within the body of Christ that is its most essential characteristic. Just as elders (pastors) have no inherent right to lord it over those whom they shepherd (cf. 1 Pet. 5:3), husbands have no inherent right to lord it over their wives. In Christ, earthly marriage is an equal partnership, with both husbands and wives willingly submitting to one another as unto Christ. Paul's only reason for underscoring the wives' need for submission to her husband is because her role in marriage, as the following verses so beautifully reveal, is to be an earthly reflection of Christ's bride, the church. And in the "oneness" of that relationship, there is neither male nor female, "for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:28).

Because of church teachings, personal leanings and cultural practices, words like "submission" and "authority" are laden with potential misunderstandings. Dennis J. Preato reminds us that we need to think things through a little more carefully:

The Greek word, hupotasso, is often translated as "submitting to" or "being subject" in Ephesians 5:22. However this Greek word has more than one use and a range of meaning that is quite different from what people today generally think. "Hupotasso" actually has two uses: military and non-military. The military has a connotation of being "subject to" or "to obey" as if you are under someone's command. Most people would probably think of this meaning. However the non-military use means "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden" (Thayer's Greek Lexicon #5293). In ancient papyri the word hupotasso commonly meant to "support," "append," or "uphold" (Ann Nyland, "Papyri, Women, and Word Meaning in the New Testament," Priscilla Papers, 17:4 (Fall, 2003), p.6) . . . . [W]hy would Scripture need to command Christians to be filled with the Spirit in order to be subject to, follow orders, or be under someone's authority? A person does not need to be filled with Spirit to follow orders, for even nonbelievers demonstrate this fact when they "submit," or obey their superiors ("Empirical Data in Support of Egalitarian Marriages & A Fresh Perspective on Submission & Authority," Presented at the Evangelical Theological Society, April 23, 2004).

The wives' responsibility is mentioned in verses 22-24 and 33. It is often overlooked that Paul directs more attention to the husband's responsibilities, as the seven verses in between are directed toward the men in the households. It is possible that Paul has more to say about the husband's responsibilities toward his wife because of the generally low status of women in the first century - they were often viewed as property.

In Eph.5:22-33, then, we see a beautiful picture of husbands reflecting the Lord's pattern toward their brides - sacrificial nourishing, protecting and caring - and the wives reflecting the pattern of the ekklesia toward her Groom - respect and submission.

Concluding Thoughts
My assessment is that What's the Difference? promotes its own agenda by magnifying the alleged "role" differences between men and women, and does not give proper priority to and focus on husbands and wives becoming "one" in marriage.
While John Piper claims to have "made every effort to bring the thinking of this book into accord with what the Bible teaches" (p.14), I do not think that he succeeded, and I believe he also effectively muted much of the Biblical testimony about women. He affirms that "God does not intend for women to be squelched or cramped or frustrated" (p.53), yet his views seem to contribute to these very tragic ends.

The template for gender that What's the Difference? lays down does not seem to be in line with the truth as it is in Jesus. The conclusion for Paul is this: "In the Lord, however, the wife is not independent of the husband, nor is the husband independent of the wife. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman" (1 Cor.11:11). For Paul the functions of husband and wife were to be viewed from the perspective of interdependence and respect, not hierarchy.
Exactly what expected  May 1, 2009
I was given exactly what was expected. It was a quick overview and gave me a good idea of what to expect in the bigger edition. Enjoyed it and it was a fairly easy read. At least in comparison to some of his other books. Would reccamend this book to others with out a doubt.
A good place to begin  Mar 21, 2009
This is an excellent resource to begin an understanding of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. This an excerpt from Piper's larger work. The intent is you would read this, get acquainted with the concepts, and gain a desire to continue to dig deeper. My hope is that you would so that you might find freedom and rest in God's design for manhood and womanhood.
Let's be fair about this.  Sep 9, 2008
There are all ready sufficient reviews of this book that a shopper ought to be able to make a decision whether or not to purchase it. What prompted me to add another was my impression that some of the reviews need to be questioned. This is a thin book, a light weight study on an extensive subject. Piper attempts to cover a lot of material in very few pages.

Some reviews might give the impression that this book is sufficient in and of itself to provide the reader with a workable understanding of the marital relationship. If after reading it you close the cover and think that you have sufficient foundation to live out a healthy marital relationship, you are headed for trouble. This book should be followed up by more comprehensive writings on the subject. Doing so might not appeal to many men as the role of marital head is very demanding and counter to all tendencies to be selfish.

Some other reviews give the impression that the reviewer is well versed in the doctrinal position of John Piper. If you are going to attack the theology referenced in this book, this is the wrong forum. These attacks would be better debated against books like Wayne Gruden's "Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" which provide a more extensive foundation for their conclusions. For shoppers, these reviews could lead them to demonize the book and its author, to their own loss.

Write your own review about Whats The Difference? Study Guide

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