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This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence Hardcover – April 3, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway; 1 edition (April 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433507129
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433507120
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Piper—a pastor, poet and parent—offers a biblical interpretation of and scriptural model for marriage. Piper has honed his distinctive voice—apparent even in his books—over 30 years of public speaking, teaching and preaching, but it's one most narrators ignore or find too challenging to interpret and integrate in their rendition; Grover Gardner makes an admirable effort, but listeners might find his tone incongruent with Piper's. Even if his reading lends a slightly removed and abstract feel to the work, Gardner manages to convey the author's remarkably insightful revelations of the mystery of God's marriage paradigm. A Crossways hardcover. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


"Theologically, this book exalts human marriage as a metaphor for the ultimate love story in Christ. Practically, it applies that glorious vision of grace to our daily experiences in marriage, singleness, parenthood, and the most universal of human realities-sin. This book opens our eyes and guides our feet with the grace of Christ."
Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Lead Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville, Tennessee

"This book is a treasure in an era when the common perspective on marriage has been more shaped by sitcoms and self-help books than by Scripture. Dr. Piper lifts our hearts and minds to God's vision for marriage. Embracing God's design and purposes for marriage can make our homes tastes of heaven."
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author, Biblical Womanhood in the Home; radio host, Revive Our Hearts

"This is not a 'how to' book on marriage. Instead, this is a 'why to' book. And that's what this culture desperately needs."
Dennis Rainey, President, FamilyLife

"Miss the radical message of this book and you'll miss the joyful point of marriage. Heed the surprising call of this book and you'll appreciate the sacred privilege of marriage that our culture fails to see."
Larry Crabb, Jr., Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Colorado Christian University

"A highly original contribution to Christian teaching on marriage. A copy should be put into the hands of every couple preparing for lasting and loving wedlock."
Charles Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview

"This book grew out of John Piper's forty years of experience in marriage and many years of parenting, pastoring, and studying Scripture. It is filled with rich, practical wisdom about the nature of marriage as a wonderful but temporary gift from God. I have taught about marriage for over thirty years, and I still found much that I could learn from this book."
Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary

"The reason this book is so delightful is that it sets marriage within the matrix of the Bible's fundamental themes: the glory of God, the outworking of justification, the relationship between this life and the life to come, how husbands and wives are to interact with each other this side of the cross, and much more of the same. This is not another little 'how to' book-yet if its God-centered and gospel-centered theology is genuinely absorbed, so many of the 'how to' questions will be robustly answered."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"John Piper's new book on marriage is an instant classic. It is at once biblical and devotional, the fruit of seasoned theological reflection and four decades of 'momentary' marriage."
Andreas J. Kostenberger, Senior Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Director of Ph.D. Studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

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Customer Reviews

It is still very meaty, but I read one short chapter at a time.
Thus a biblical Christian must deal with these texts and bring others in as they think through the implications of what Piper concludes.
Joel S. Frady
This book has a very clear understanding of the importance of marriage, and written very well in an easy to understand format.
Willard LaRose

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Tim Challies TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
John Piper waited forty years to write a book on marriage. It is only after forty years of marriage that he felt like he would have something valuable to say (or something valuable to add to a very crowded genre of book). "Romance, sex, and childbearing are temporary gifts of God. They are not part of the next life. And they are not guaranteed even for this life. They are one possible path through the narrow way to Paradise. Marriage passes through breathtaking heights and through swamps with choking vapors. It makes many things sweeter, and with it come bitter providences." Four decades of sweetness and bitter providences stand behind this book.

Though I am tempted to say that no generation needs to be reminded of a biblical theology of marriage more than our own, I suspect that hundreds of generations past would disagree, saying that their generation is as desperately in need of God's wisdom. In the book's opening pages, Piper writes of the cultural distortion of marriage, a distortion that sees marriage as little more than temporary convenience that lasts only as long as the romantic feelings remain. He does so "in the hopes that it might wake you up to consider a vision of marriage higher and deeper and stronger and more glorious than anything this culture--or perhaps you yourself--ever imagined. The greatness and glory of marriage is beyond our ability to think or feel without divine revelation and without the illumining and awakening work of the Holy Spirit." The book is built upon this foundation: that marriage is God's doing. It is the doing of God and it is the display of God.

"The aim of this book is to enlarge your vision of what marriage is. As Bonhoeffer says, it is more than your love for each other. Vastly more. Its meaning is infinitely great.
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97 of 134 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Roberts on May 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
I believe that This Momentary Marriage is very dangerous for victims of marital abuse (and for victims of sexual infidelity, as well - and not infrequently the two sins go together).

Piper believes that one of the foremost purposes of marriage is to display and illustrate Christ's covenant-keeping love for His church. In this, Piper goes beyond scripture: he takes the analogy that Paul gives when exhorting husbands to love their wives ('as Christ loves the church') and makes it a *primary purpose* of marriage. But what about the purposes of marriage as spelled out in the old Anglican Marriage Ceremony -- of companionship, love, mutual respect, protection, cherishing, concern for the other spouse's well-being? In Piper world, the 'illustrative' purpose of marriage trumps all these other purposes of marriage. Hmm.

If displaying the covenant-keeping of Christ is elevated to a primary purpose of marriage, then there is no room in Piper's doctrine for what victims of abuse or sexual infidelity must do to obtain safety and prevent the life being sucked out of them by their conscience-less spouses.

Piper's teaching leads inevitably to the victim of abuse having to remain subject indefinitely to an abuser's malicious and wicked conduct -- and believe me, it is not possible to *make* or *persuade* an abuser treat you well by submitting graciously, or by sweet-talking winsomely to him. (Note: for those who think I am being sexist, kindly understand that while I recognize that occasionally it is the wife who is the perpetrator, most frequently it is the husband who is the perpetrator.)

Abusers abuse because they believe they are entitled to do so, and they actively fight and resist any attempts to get them to behave kindly and responsibly to their spouse.
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167 of 233 people found the following review helpful By The Persistent Widow on January 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
John Piper and his marriage views turn a blind eye to the reality of domestic abuse present within the church. As much as it seems he would like to pretend otherwise, there are wicked, abusive, character-disturbed people who find a comfortable environment within the church, largely because of teachers like him. Piper's insistence that someone should be bound by vows that their spouse unrepentently and continually breaks is unreasonable. Certainly, he requires that couples take vows in the marriage ceremonies at his church. I ask WHY? Because with Piper's doctrine, if one party to the covenant unrepentantly breaks the vows, the other is still bound to them. He doesn't allow divorce for adultery, either. In an abusive marriage, a person is subjected to violence by the very one who vowed to love and protect them. To be consistent, Piper-esque wedding vows should say: "I vow to remain married to you no matter how badly you treat me." How is this a picture of Christ's love for his church? It is a perversion and grieves God. I would like to ask readers: How would you feel if this abuse was to happen to one of your loved ones? Shouldn't we have the same empathy for all of Christ's people that we have for our own flesh and blood?

Piper's books are widely distributed in the church and used to furthur guilt and oppress Christ's people. A theology with no empathy towards the suffering of others cannot be from God, no matter how fancy the cover looks.
I would recommend Divorce and Remarriage in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities
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