This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence - eBook
This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence - eBook  -     By: John Piper
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Product Description

In This Momentary Marriage John Piper reflects on his forty years of marriage, exhorting couples to keep their covenant as a display of Christ's covenant-keeping love for the church. Hardcover.

Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: Crossway
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 9781433520594
ISBN-13: 9781433520594

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Publisher's Description

Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons.

Even in the days when people commonly stayed married "'til death do us part," there has never been a generation whose view of marriage was high enough, says Pastor John Piper. That is all the more true in our casual times.

Though personal selfishness and cultural bondage obstruct the wonder of God's purpose, it is found in God's Word, where his design can awaken a glorious vision capable of freeing every person from small, Christ-ignoring, romance-intoxicated views. As Piper explains in reflecting on forty years of matrimony: "Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It's mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ's covenant-keeping love on display."

This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.

ChristianBookPreviews

In This Momentary Marriage, Piper begins by demonstrating from Scripture how marriage is foundationally the doing of God and ultimately the display of God. Every marriage exists to display Christ’s covenant with the church – even marriages between people who do not know or acknowledge Jesus Christ. Since marriage exists to display God’s glory, “staying married is not mainly about staying in love. It’s about covenant-keeping” (p. 31). In Genesis 2, the picture emerges of a relationship unashamed because of covenant love. When sin is present, shame unavoidably results from the broken covenant. God provides what Adam and Eve inadequately tried to provide for themselves: clothing, to signify mankind is not what God intends him to be. God’s glory is seen in the design of marriage and the implied redemption of marriage as God provides perfectly for man’s inadequacy.

Piper shows Jesus Himself and Paul the apostle echoing this principle. In Ephesians 5, husbands and wives are encouraged to take “God’s vertical forgiving, justifying grace [and bend it] out horizontally to each other and … to the world” (p. 44). The fullness of God’s grace is to be the measure of grace extended to one’s spouse. Both forgiveness and forbearance are needed. Because God calls His children “holy,” “set apart,” and “loved” spouses are to treat one another with mercy, humility, and long-suffering attitudes that lead to kind, meek, and forgiving actions. One is not to ignore problems in a relationship, but is to choose to not dwell on the problems. This attitude leads to treating one’s spouse better than they deserve.

Piper does not hold the position that change is unnecessary. Change is mandatory. He points to Paul’s explanation of Ephesians 5 as the example. Jesus Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Husbands are to lovingly give themselves for their wives in a way that makes them feel served and not humiliated for their shortcomings. Wives are to seek change in the lives of their spouse through loving self-sacrifice. Together, the marriage partners are to pursue conformity to Christ’s ideals, not their own.

The next three chapters are devoted to the definition and application of headship and submission. Headship is accepting the divine responsibility for servant leadership and provision that mirrors Christ’s love for the church. Submission is the accepting of divine responsibility for honoring and accepting leadership that mirrors the church’s response to Christ.

The subject of singleness is also addressed. If the primary purpose is bringing God glory, this purpose can be achieved even when the person is unmarried. The fact of the matter is that marriage and family are temporary, while the church exists forever. Christ is to be magnified in the way that married and single people interact with one another. Mutual hospitality is necessary because of the time in which we live – the time which, at any moment, could find Christ returning.

Piper then turns to a discussion of sexuality and procreation in marriage. Far from being the sinful actions of hedonists, sex for the believer is an expression and prediction of the full enjoyment of all that God has provided the one in relationship to Christ. The way one satisfies their desires is totally different because of the transforming power of Jesus Christ. In the arena of procreation, the main point is to increase the number of Jesus followers on the planet. Each child reared in a Christian home must be taught to know, love, and serve Christ as their Lord and Savior. Even those couples who cannot procreate can make children into disciples of Christ through their service to Him. In their parenting roles (whether they have biological children or children to whom they are ‘spiritual parents’), the atmosphere of Christ-sustained, Christ-centered, covenant-keeping love must be present and nurtured.

The book ends with a discussion on the implications of divorce and remarriage. A call is given to the church to respond caringly to those affected by divorce by coming alongside those affected as they grieve and repent of sinfulness on their part, and by articulating a hatred of divorce so that all is done to keep it from occurring. Because marriage exists to represent the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His church, it is Piper’s position that “if Christ ever abandons and discards his church, then a man may divorce his wife.” Piper traces Jesus’ words in Mark 10 to show that in Jesus’ mind, marriage was a profound union performed by God and not within man’s rights to destroy. As followers of Christ, we are to keep marriage vows as a testament to the unbreakable love of Christ.

A person may agree with Piper’s position or not, but one cannot argue that he does not lay out a careful reasoning behind his position. This Momentary Marriage is invaluable for those married, those contemplating marriage, those counseling prior to marriage, and those who think marriage will never come into their lives. I commend it to you whole-heartedly. – Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher Description

Reflecting on forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant for all the best reasons.

Even in the days when people commonly stayed married “’til death do us part,” there has never been a generation whose view of marriage was high enough, says Pastor John Piper. That is all the more true in our casual times.

Though personal selfishness and cultural bondage obstruct the wonder of God’s purpose, it is found in God’s Word, where his design can awaken a glorious vision capable of freeing every person from small, Christ-ignoring, romance-intoxicated views. As Piper explains in reflecting on forty years of matrimony: “Most foundationally, marriage is the doing of God. And ultimately, marriage is the display of God. It displays the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his people to the world in a way that no other event or institution does. Marriage, therefore, is not mainly about being in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. And staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant and putting the glory of Christ’s covenant-keeping love on display.”

This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.

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  1. Neil
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    This Momentary Marriage
    January 29, 2017
    Neil
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    This book biblically defines one-flesh covenant marriage as an example of Christ's love for the church (Eph 5:31-32) and then perverts that definition once Piper offers his personal and unbiblical opinions of the "elephant in the pews"of divorce and remarriage.

    "But I do not think that a person who remarries against God's will, and thus commits adultery in this way, should later break the second marriage. The marriage should not have been done, but now that it is done, it should not be undone by man. It is a real marriage. Real covenant vows have been made." John Piper Page 170-This Momentary Marriage

    Dr. Piper would have us believe that something against God's will is good. If something like making vows to enter an adulterous union is "good", then why was this excluded from what God commanded from the beginning? (Gen 2:24) Dr. Piper must first convince us that a vow to enter sin is something God winks at. Scripture has this to say to those who would make such vows...

    John 9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

    Job 35:13 Surely God will not hear vanity, neither will the Almighty regard it.

    Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

    Proverbs 28:9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.

    As you can see, Piper has no foundation to make the claim that God hears the vows of wickedness and honors these vows of wickedness. For Piper to make such claim, he makes himself to be higher than God.

    "The marriage should not have been done, but now that it is done, it should not be undone by man"- John Piper

    The reasoning behind this is very flawed and so simple to see that a child can understand it. The "remarriage" Piper calls it a "marriage" was done by man, not by God. If the marriage was done by man, it is not a marriage in the Lord. Piper says, "It is a real marriage". No, it is an adulterous union with adulterous vows from adulterous hearts. Piper cannot deny this. What does he have to hide? What is he afraid of. We shall see.

    In other words, I don't think that a couple who repents and seeks God's forgiveness and receives his cleansing should think of their lives as ongoing adultery, even though, in the eyes of Jesus, that's how the relationship started. -John Piper

    What are they repenting of? What does repentance look like, John? If we read Matthew 14, John the Baptist was murdered because he dared call Herod to repentance. Did that repentance include Herod remaining with Herodias? No, it did not. It seems the Lord calls us to beware of the leaven of Herod. (Mk 8:15)

    Here is the deciding factor on why John Piper teaches what he teaches on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

    There are marriages in the church I serve that are second marriages for one or both partners, which, in my view, should not have happened, but are today godly marriagesmarriages that are clean and holy, and in which forgiven, justified husbands and wives please God by the way they relate to each other. As forgiven, cleansed, Spirit-led followers of Jesus, they are not committing adultery in their marriages. These mar riages began as they should not have but have become holy. -John Piper

    In the church I serve...Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

    John Piper will forsake the Kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10) to please men and women who are living in disobedience. He is not pro-marriage, he is pro-divorce and pro-remarriage. His whole position is rooted into believing that marriage is a contract, and not a covenant. He would rather please those who are in rebellion then please God. Here are the verses for John Piper and all the justified adulterers that agree with his erroneous, hell-bound position on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

    Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
  2. 1luckyduck
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent book!
    October 11, 2016
    1luckyduck
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Profound. Never understood marriage this way. Makes sense. Everyone should read it including singles. Know what marriage represents! Highly recommend reading this book!
  3. Nicola
    North Vancouver, BC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great book
    March 30, 2015
    Nicola
    North Vancouver, BC
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I really enjoyed the challenge that this book presented me. To consider marriage as an earthly reflection of the spiritual relationship between Christ and his Church has empowered me to raise my view of marriage to a much higher level than we see played out in the world around us. He is not scared of writing about tough topics and I admire him for stressing that his views are his views and that not everyone will sit comfortably with them
  4. BigFan
    Wa
    Age: 25-34
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Continue to give to friends prior to marriage
    March 6, 2014
    BigFan
    Wa
    Age: 25-34
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    my spouse and I continue to recommend this book to couples before they get married. It is short, and to the point without lacking content. This book, paired with some practical conversations about expectations, finance, and family backgrounds makes for a complete premarital course.
  5. The Persistent Widow
    1 Stars Out Of 5
    This Theology Ignores the Reality of Abuse
    January 24, 2013
    The Persistent Widow
    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, mentally 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 continuously breaks is unreasonable. Certianly, he requires that couples take vows in the marriage ceremonies at his church. I ask WHY? 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 a violent marriage,a person is subjected to violence by the very one who vowed to love and protect them. 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?

    His 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 David Instone Brewer's Book, Divorce and Remarriage in the Church, Barbara Roberts book, Not Under Bondage and Jeff Crippen's book, A Cry For Justice:How the Evil of Domestic Abuse Hides in Your Church. If you are not aware of what domestic violence is, try Lundy Bancroft's book,Why Does He Do That. A quick internet search will turn up many results, so the people of God have no excuse to not address this issue. Neither does John Piper.
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