A Sweet and Bitter Providence: Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God
^John Piper examines the book of Ruth's relevant, unchanging themes and its dangerous ability to inspire twenty-first-century readers in the cause of love. ^ Sex. Race. Scripture. Sovereignty. The book of Ruth entails them all. So readers shouldn't be fooled...
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^John Piper examines the book of Ruth's relevant, unchanging themes and its dangerous ability to inspire twenty-first-century readers in the cause of love. ^ Sex. Race. Scripture. Sovereignty. The book of Ruth entails them all. So readers shouldn't be fooled by its age, says Pastor John Piper. Though its events happened over 3,000 years ago, the story holds astounding relevance for Christians in the twenty-first century. ^ The sovereignty of God, the sexual nature of humanity, and the gospel of God's mercy for the undeserving--these massive realities never change. And since God is still sovereign, and we are male or female, and Jesus is alive and powerful, A Sweet and Bitter Providence bears a message for readers from all walks of life. But be warned, Piper tells his audience: This ancient love affair between Boaz and Ruth could be dangerous, inspiring all of us to great risks in the cause of love.
"Like so many, I love Dr. Piper because he helps me to love the God of the Bible. And, in A Sweet and Bitter Providence, he has done it yet again." - Mark Driscoll, Founding Pastor, Mars Hill Church, Seattle; President, the Resurgence; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network"This book surprised me at how it both comforted and convicted me. And in the midst of a difficult circumstance it inspired me to look for God's hand of providence. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from its call to purity, faith and Christ-centered hope. John Piper's God-given gifts as a teacher and pastor are on full display in these pages. Reading this book will serve your soul." - Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland"We live in a relativistic culture, where people are more concerned with being liked than being truthful. In A Sweet and Bitter Providence, John Piper does an outstanding job of biblically defending key truths that the church often ignores. He gives us an example of how to take a bold and educated stand on issues of race, purity, and Godrs"s sovereignty." - Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Church and author of Crazy Love
John Stephen Piper was born 11 January 1946 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Bill and Ruth Piper. The Pipers soon moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where John spent his growing-up years. His father was an itinerant evangelist who also ministered through international radio and Bible courses. John has written a tribute to his mother, who died in 1974, in the booklet, What's the Difference (Crossway Books, 1990) which is also chapter one of the book, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway Books, 1991).
At Wheaton College (1964-68), John majored in Literature and minored in Philosophy. Studying Romantic Literature with Clyde Kilby stimulated the poetic side of his nature and today he regularly writes poems to celebrate special family occasions and rich, biblical truths. At Wheaton John also met Noel Henry whom he married in 1968.
Following college, John completed a Bachelor of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (1968-71). While at Fuller, John discovered the writings of Jonathan Edwards.
John did his doctoral work in New Testament Studies at the University of Munich, Munich, West Germany (1971-74). His dissertation, Love Your Enemies, was published by Cambridge University Press and Baker Book House (and is now available through Crossway). Upon completion of his doctorate, he went on to teach Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota for six years (1974-80).
In 1980, sensing an irresistible call to preach, John became the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he ministered for 33 years, until 2013. Together with his people, John was dedicated to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ - a mission he continues now for the wider church through the ministry of desiringGod.org. John says of his ministry:
"The ministry of preaching is the central labor of my life. My prayer is that through that ministry and everything else I do the great glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ would be magnified as more and more people come to live out the obedience of faith more and more deeply."
John is the author of over 50 books and now frequently travels to speak, and writes regularly, through Desiring God.
John and Noel have four sons, a daughter, and twelve grandchildren.