What’s The Difference? Manhood And Womanhood Defined According To The Bible

What’s the Difference?  Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible is a great read on the topic of manhood and womanhood by one of the great preachers of our day.  This book was written by John Piper and stands at 91 pages long (that is including the footnotes).  This is a quick read but a worthy read none the less.

Piper states, “The tendency today is to stress the equality of men and women by minimizing the unique significance of our maleness or femaleness.  But this depreciation of male and female personhood is a great loss.”

He goes on to say that, “Confusion over the meaning of sexual personhood today is epidemic.  The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony among gender-free persons relating on the basis of abstract competencies.  The consequence rather is more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.”

Some of the most interesting comments from Piper come when he makes remarks on Paul Jewett’s book Man as Male and Female.  I found Pipers insights against Jewett’s book to be most helpful, and well worth the purchase of the book.

Now this book is not a detailed exegetical support for biblical manhood and womanhood.  For that you can go to a larger book written for that purpose.  Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is a collection of essays that deal with this topic in much greater detail (this essay is actually one of the chapters in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood).  Yet, Piper still includes enough Biblical argumentation in this essay to show why he believes this vision of manhood and womanhood is in fact “according to the Bible.”  So, if you don’t have time to read the larger volume, I would recommend this as a primer of sorts with good scriptural backing.

I found this book extremely practical, and very readable.  I also liked the approach Piper took in breaking down his chapter divisions.  The two main chapters of his book, chapter two “The Meaning of Masculinity” and chapter three “The Meaning of Femininity”, are simple breakdowns of his definitions for masculinity and femininity.  It is in these chapters he goes clause by clause through these definitions:

  • Masculinity:  At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships.
  • Femininity:  At the heart of mature femininity is a freeing disposition to affirm, receive and nurture strength and leadership from worthy men in ways appropriate to a woman’s differing relationships

Again, I would recommend this book.  For the person short on time this is a good dose of scriptural argumentation in defense of the biblical view of manhood and womanhood.

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