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on 27 February 2003
This is a very well structured, well thought out and well collected selection of essays on a topic of great importance to todays church. Piper and Grudem, in my opinion, take a highly biblical standpoint, and the quality of their own thinking and writing as well as the other contributors in inspiring without being manipulative. You are given plenty of opportunity to form your own opinions from the evidence laid before you - something which I find truly helpful in this sort of book.
Clearly it is written from a particular standpoint, but even if you don't share this with the authors, it commands your attention and thought very well indeed.
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on 11 September 2011
The first year of marriage can really be a time a tears. It was for us. My wife struggled especially with her identity and role--what does it mean to be a good wife? We came across lots of pragmatic approaches, but we wanted solidity. We wanted real answers--not just the next 10-step approach. We wanted to understand our roles clearly, with no confusion, that we might begin to function truly as a God-honouring family.

Among other books, at first we only read Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood's first chapter, where John Piper defines and illustrates the pleasing significance of a man's and woman's roles. At the time that was enough for us. For us it cleared up everything. To this day it's still left its desired impression on our marriage. The foundations laid in that chapter especially are so understandable. Really you just turn to each other, as husband and wife, and build up from there. It's beautiful.

But over time the rest of the book has become my primary resource for understanding more deeply what I believe and why, as well as help to persuade others of the truth and goodness of our complementary roles. And I believe the authors in this book listen closely and respond profoundly to the other-sides, the feminist and egalitarian arguments, which we hear and see in simple-form everyday on the streets, TV, movies and families around the West, with piercing, unpretentious wisdom.

What we have here is a truly professional and compelling look into the Bible on the roles of men and women. I believe it satisfies our starved questions and, by God's grace through prayer, will lead your family in imaging our great Saviour Jesus Christ and His beautiful bride.
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on 13 March 2014
If you want to look into the issue of the roles of men and women in the church - according to biblical principles, this book will be very helpful. I thought it might be too intellectual for me, but have found it very readable.
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on 4 June 2012
I have seen reviews of this book (on Amazon and elsewhere), that slate this book for not adhering to Biblical principles, trying to uphold traditional values etc, while sacrificing integrity when interpreting the Bible. This, I would venture to say, is quite untrue. Though I doubt the other reviewers have actually, purposefully misrepresented what Piper, Grudem and the others who contributed to this book have said, I feel it is important to point out a few things.

Piper and Grudem set out at the start what they believe to be the essence of biblical manhood and womanhood, but this does not mean that they made up their minds before coming to the Bible and finding evidence for it. They set out what they believe is the essence from the start for the sake of clarity and so people know what this books view is from the start, as well as to provide a brief overview. This book isn't the product of faulty hermeneutics, but of good scholarly research. I do wonder if the people who have reviewed this book have genuinely, prayerfully read this book thoroughly, while studying the Bible, before coming to their conclusions. It sometimes feels like people have found out what the books aim is and then slated it because they simply do not agree. Often the reason for this is cultural conditioning I would venture to guess.

The book is set out into 25 Chapters, which is then split into various sections, such as initially, an overview, an exegetical argument from various passages in the Bible on what it teaches about manhood and womanhood, as well as a study of biology, sociology and psychology etc on the subject on manhood and womanhood. Much time is spent of the Biblical basis of the different roles of men and women in the church, home and "secular" life. When reading this book, it should be remembered that the authors (of some are women) have gone to the greatest care in interpreting the Bible on this subject and genuinely believe this to be what the Word of God teaches. We should remember they are brothers and sisters in Christ, and are most likely much wiser than us. Even if you disagree with the conclusion come to in this book, it should not be slated for things the authors never did. Such as, attempting to hold up traditions, or not interpreting the Bible honestly.

I for one loved this book and found the arguments, though running against popular culture mainly, finds it's basis in the Bible, and thorough biblical study.
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on 13 January 2012
Having read this weighty tome, as well as a number of egalitarian responses to the book, I have yet to hear any convincing arguments against the complimentarian view. With the greatest of respect to the notable biblical scholar who hold to the egalitarian view, some of the exegesis presented is pretty flaky. If you are arguing to overturn what has been the orthodox understanding of the roles of men and women in the home and church for the best part of 1900 years, the arguments need to be convincing beyond all doubt to be taken seriously by those who hold the bible to be the inerrant Word of God. I am yet to be convinced, but find the arguments for complimentarianism overwhelming. When doing exegesis, we must be careful not to bring our own 21st century values and ideas to the biblical text, rather let the text speak for itself. It is then down to hermeneutics how we then interpret that, but lets not pretend that the bible is saying something that it clearly isn't.
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on 24 July 2010
I bought this book to help me make up my mind on the subject of women's roles in the Church and in society in general.
The book is a collection of essays from different authors and, for this reason, the quality varies considerably; some chapters are all right, some are blatantly discriminatory, some others are simply silly.
A common denominator seems to be that the authors are guilty of selective literalism, trying to prove a point interpreting a passage as literally as possible, but interpreting another one as allegory where they see fit.
I was curious to see how they explained God's endorsement of women in leadership roles in the Bible, but their answer is really weak and unconvincing.
On the other hand, Evangelical egalitarian scholars have sensible explanations on the verses normally used to exclude women from leadership roles.
To conclude, my impression was that the authors are more concerned about defending traditional American values rather than biblical truth.
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on 9 April 2006
The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics (1982), which was drawn up under the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, contains guidelines of principles of interpretation to which most scholars who hold a high view of Scripture adhere.
I believe Piper and Grudem, as evangelicals, would agree to these principles. What is unfortunate is that they have not applied a basic principle of hermeneutics to their own book, thus undermining the study from the word 'go'. This principle they fail to apply is that of the inductive approach to Bible study, where one gathers all evidence on a subject before formulating a thesis.
Instead, Piper and Grudem state in Chapter One that the essence of masculinity is to lead women and the essence of feminity is to submit to men. The rest of the book is then a development of this thesis. The danger of such an approach is that the writers' culture or their personnal preference become the starting point rather than the Word of God. The question of this book's approach to Scriptures is thus, by no means, a secondary issue!
The approach widely upheld by evangelical scholars is not this deductive method but an inductive method that searches all of Scriptures. On the issue of women, this inductive approach would cause the student of the Bible to research and analyse EVERY PLACE IN THE BIBLE that speaks of an exercise of authority to see if women are ever permitted in the Bible to be in authority over a man, and if so, how and when. Piper and Grudem fail to produce this kind of work.
I do not claim to have unearthed this major flaw myself. Rather, I read this book called "RECOVERING BIBLICAL MINISTRY BY WOMEN" by George and Dora Winston (Xulon Press, available here on AMAZON). As the title indicates, it is a direct response to Piper and Grudem's book; it offers a comprehensive AND harmonious view of women in all spheres of authority (State, workplace, nature, marriage, family, Church), what one would call a biblical theology on the subject.
The Winstons do just that and by comparison, in my opinion, Piper and Grudem fail to give Scripture a chance. By adopting a deductive approach they simply superimposed their grid on the Bible and in fact let tradition and their male ego lead the way.
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on 29 September 2006
The person who wrote the first review is on drugs. The second reviewer is MUCH more balanced. You might not agree with everything Piper and Grundem say but you certainly will find the info well laid out, their arguements articule and (cuase I also agree with them) in my opinion this book is authoritatively the best for this view on the subject hands down.
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