Friday, April 17, 2009

Piper's This Momentary Marriage and Velvet Steel

John Piper's book, This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence, is now available in hardcover. In addition, a hardcover edition of this little book is now in as well: Velvet Steel: The Joy of Being Married to You: Selections from the Poems of John Piper.

Following verses like 1 Corinthians 7:29; Luke 14:26; Luke 18:29-30 Piper writes:
I take those verses to mean: Marriage is a good gift of God, but the world is fallen, and sin abounds, and obedience is costly, and suffering is to be expected, and “a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:36). High romance and passionate sexual intimacy and precious children may come. But hold them loosely — as though you were not holding them. This is what Bonhoeffer represents. To keep his life and meaning before us throughout this book, I will let him speak briefly on the facing pages at the beginning of each chapter.

Romance, sex, and childbearing are temporary gifts of God. They are not part of the next life. And they are not guaranteed even for this life. They are one possible path along the narrow way to Paradise. Marriage passes through breathtaking heights and through swamps with choking vapors. It makes many things sweeter, and with it come bitter providences. [p. 16]
Here are some endorsements for Momentary Marriage:
“Theologically, this book exalts human marriage as a metaphor for the ultimate love story in Christ. Practically, it applies that glorious vision of grace to our daily experiences in marriage, singleness, parenthood, and the most universal of human realities—sin. This book opens our eyes and guides our feet with the grace of Christ.”

Ray Ortlund, Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville

“This book is a treasure in an era when the common perspective on marriage has been more shaped by sitcoms and self-help books than by Scripture. Dr. Piper lifts our hearts and minds to God’s vision for marriage. Embracing God’s design and purposes for marriage can make our homes tastes of heaven.”

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and Revive Our Hearts radio host

“This is not a ‘how to’ book on marriage. Instead, this is a ‘why to’ book. And that’s what this culture desperately needs.”

Dennis Rainey, President, FamilyLife

“Miss the radical message of this book and you’ll miss the joyful point of marriage. Heed the surprising call of this book and you’ll appreciate the sacred privilege of marriage that our culture fails to see.”

Larry Crabb, author

“A highly original contribution to Christian teaching on marriage. A copy should be put into the hands of every couple preparing for lasting and loving wedlock.”

Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship

“This book grew out of John Piper’s forty years of experience in marriage and many years of parenting, pastoring, and studying Scripture. It is filled with rich, practical wisdom about the nature of marriage as a wonderful but temporary gift from God. I have taught about marriage for over thirty years, and I still found much that I could learn from this book.”

Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Bible and Theology, Phoenix Seminary

“The reason this book is so delightful is that it sets marriage within the matrix of the Bible’s fundamental themes: the glory of God, the outworking of justification, the relationship between this life and the life to come, how husbands and wives are to interact with each other this side of the cross, and much more of the same. This is not another little ‘how to’ book—yet if its God-centered and gospel-centered theology is genuinely absorbed, so many of the ‘how to’ questions will be robustly answered.”

D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“John Piper’s new book on marriage is an instant classic. It is at once biblical and devotional, the fruit of seasoned theological reflection and four decades of ‘momentary’ marriage.”

Andreas Köstenberger, author, God, Marriage & Family
The book is also available online for free at DG.