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Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood Paperback – March, 1991

3.6 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"In Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, twenty-two men and women commit their talents to produce the most thorough response yet to evangelical feminism. All who are concerned with the fundamental question of the proper relationship between men and women in home, church, and society will want to read this important book."
Association of Theological BooksellersAssociation of Theological Booksellers

"The best book in print today on this subject. A very important contribution in an age that needs to know."
Christian Literature WorldChristian Literature World

"Piper and Grudem have achieved a commendable breadth of subject area supported by clear, specific, and precise treatment-all of which consistently make the case for 'biblically balanced male leadership' in home, church, and society."
Michael G. Maudlin, Discipleship Journal

"Without a doubt this is the most impressive and comprehensive statement of a conservative evangelical understanding of these issues to be published to date. No one seriously involved in seeking a responsible Christian engagement with such concerns can afford to ignore this magisterial undertaking."
Timothy George, Founding Dean, Beeson Divinity School; General Editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

"A trumpet-call to the church at large to wake up to the issue. Yet for a book that pulls no punches, it remains reasoned and courteous. It also sets an excellent model in the principles of biblical debate."
Graham Keith, Banner of Truth Trust

"This significant contribution to the ongoing debates over roles and liberties consciously seeks to be governed by Scripture rather than by contemporary culture. Headship by men is a responsibility from God, not a privilege for their own advantage. Much of the confusion of our day is laid at the feet of men who have failed in their role by being either domineering or domesticated. Here is strong medicine for healthy balance with full respect for women and men in their intended roles."
William Smallman, The Baptist Bulletin

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Grudem earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, as well as an MDiv from Westminster Seminary. He is the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, a cofounder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, a member of the Translation Oversight Committee for the English Standard Version of the Bible, the general editor of the ESV Study Bible, and has published over 20 books, including Systematic Theology, Evangelical Feminism, Politics—According to the Bible, and Business for the Glory of God.

J. Ligon Duncan is Chancellor and John E. Richards professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is also Senior Minister of the historic First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, Chairman of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America.

Raymond C. Ortlund Jr. is the pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of several books, including the Preaching the Word commentary on Isaiah, as well as a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. He and his wife, Jani, have four children.

Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds an MDiv and ThM from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has published a number of articles and book reviews in scholarly journals.

D. A. Carson (PhD, Cambridge University) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He is president of the Gospel Coalition, and has written or edited nearly 60 books including Scandalous, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, and The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Vern S. Poythress is professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary, where he has taught for nearly four decades. In addition to earning six academic degrees, including a PhD from Harvard University and a ThD from the University of Stellenbosch. He is the author of numerous books and articles on a variety of topics, including biblical interpretation, language, and science.

Dorothy Kelley Patterson (DTheol, University of South Africa) is professor of theology in women’s studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where her husband, Paige Patterson, is the president. She is an active homemaker, author, and frequent speaker and Bible teacher at women’s conferences, as well as a mother and grandmother.

Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015) was a popular speaker and the author of many books, including Through Gates of SplendorLet me Be a WomanPassion and Purity, and Shadow of the Almighty. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while serving as a missionary in Ecuador.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway Books; 2 edition (March 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891075860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891075868
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on February 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've read a few of the other reviews here, and I frankly can't agree with the negative sentiments. Whether or not a person has a complementarian perspective, this book is still very informative and well written. It is not intended to be a book that is read from its beginning to its conclusion (although I did). Instead, it serves more as a reference volume, addressing various issues of men and women in marriage and in ministry. There are five sections that comprise this work.
The first section is an overview that moves rather quickly and sets the stage for the sections to follow. Exegetical and theological in nature, the second section is very meticulous and may be boring to some readers. The third section addresses male/female issues in church history, biology, psychology, sociology and law. After establishing a strong basis of support, the fourth section proceeds to apply the ways in which men and women can complement one another today in the the church, in the home, and in society. The fifth section briefly summarizes and comments upon the many points that have been made.
I recommend this title as a REFERENCE book. Reading it from cover to cover will prove challenging, much like trying to read an encyclopedia. Still, this work is a classic. I know of no other book on the market that provides such a strong, comprehensive explanation of the complementarian position.
For the pastor or teacher who is dealing with the issues surrounding the roles of men and women in marriage and in ministry, this book is a MUST READ.
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Format: Paperback
Ah the joys of this Christian debate.
I only want to mention a few things. First, read this book if you are (1) a seminary student, (2) a pastor dealing with this issue in your ministry, and (3) interested in a variety of well written articles on this debate.
If you are looking for easy answers, this is not the book for you.
Second, I took a class with Grudem in seminary on this particular issue, and suffice it to say I am still working on this issue. It is important to say here that he does truly care about women and that this book is an out growth of that concern. I don't think anything said in this book does otherwise (regardless if you disagree with the views presented).
However, I would suggest that you would also read books on the other side of the issue. Even the four views book on this topic.
Be informed of all the positions' points so that you truly sort out what is your stance.
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Format: Paperback
Reading many of the negative reviews, I couldn't help but think that the reviewers couldn't have read the words written. I did expect that there would have been some contrary views expressed but the antagonistic response of many Christian readers was surprising. I also wondered what kind of reviews would be given by the female elders at our church???

I found the book quite easy to read. I have found both Grudem and Piper lucid writers and I enjoy the challenge of following their arguments.

In relation to the central issue of Sexual Complementarity and differing roles within sexually-differentiated equal beings created in the image of God with the same opportunities for salvation, I believe the work is compelling.

As a Male, I was convicted again of Adam's failure to defend Eve in Genesis 3:1 and not compel the Serpent to direct his questions to him as God had given him the command before Eve was created.

This same weakness in the male version of Man is still evident in Churches where men defer to women to take on roles that they should take themselves.

The pastor's heart of Dr Piper is evident in seeking to find a Biblical Answer to the child's question: "Dad, what does it mean to be a man and not a woman?" I am mindful that the need to answer this question is more pressing now in 2006 then it was in 1988 when they published the Danver Statement.

There is excellent exegesis throughout and I am more comfortable with accepting the full counsel of God in Scripture and seek a rational explanation of seemingly contradictory statements than the argument to set aside the controversial sections referred to in this book.
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Format: Paperback
To anyone who is reading these reviews without having an already established position on the roles of men an women, I would strongly encourage you to read this book. It is a thurough hermeneuticly solid and Biblical exigisis of the numerous texts of Scripture that speak to this issue. Each chapter is written by a different NT Greek scholar and deals solely with one of the texts that lend information to the isssue of gender roles. the book is extremely scholarly written,and to my knowledge these has been no rebuttal written to it. It stands unchallenged.
What saddens me however, is reading the various reviews on the book. PROOF-TEXTING (like quoting "there is neither male no female in Christ" without giving it's context and meaning) dishonors God's Word! I have failed to see any negative reviews that in any way engage the arguments of the book. NONE!! I only have read people who quote a verse on two out of context and then proceed to condiscendingly attack the complimentarian view as a whole. I would encourage any open minded readers to see through this type of propoganda and read the book for themselves
Lastly I would like to disprove the false argument proosed by many reviewers that equality and subservience are contradictory notions. Here Go's....
1. Jesus is fully God and completely equal with God and in no way inferior to Him (Phil 2:6)
2. Jesus is submissive (Luke 22:42) and obedient to God The Father, who is "Greater" (John 14:28)position and authority.
In this way, male and female genders and gender roles reflect the image of God. Within the trinity itself there is complete equality but yet their is a clear authority structure. God the Fathers sends His Son, and They in turn send the Holy Spirit. This proves that the concept of total equality and of subservience are not multuly exclusive.
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