Biblical Manhood And Womanhood

By James.B

The ninth of ten theological trademarks from Piper's long and distinguished ministry concerns biblical manhood and womanhood. For those of you just joining us, we are working our way, chapter by chapter, through his new book, Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching (Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2014).

What this entails is God's purposes for how men and women relate to each other not only in the family but also in the church and in society. The view Piper embraces and has long defended is known as Complementarianism (based on the word "complement," not "compliment"; this isn't about saying nice things to each other but rather concerns the way men and women "complete and beautify each other" in spite of their obvious physiological and emotional differences). Complementarians "believe that when it comes to human sexuality, the greatest display of God's glory, and the greatest joy of human relationships, and the greatest fruitfulness in ministry come about when the deep differences between men and women are embraced and celebrated as complements to each other" (144).

Complementarianism seeks to walk a biblical path between two kinds of error: "on the one side would be the abuses of women under male domination, and on the other side would be the negation of gender differences where they have beautiful significance" (144). Thus complementarians "resist the impulses of a chauvinistic, dominating, and abusive culture, on the one side, and the impulses of a sex-blind, gender-leveling, unisex culture, on the other side. And we take our stand between these two ways of life not because the middle ground is a safe place (it is emphatically not), but because we think this is the good plan of God in the Bible for men and women" (145).

At the heart of mature manhood "is the God-given sense (disposition, inclination) that the primary responsibility (not sole responsibility) lies with him when it comes to leadership-initiative, provision, and protection. And at the heart of mature womanhood is the God-given sense (disposition, inclination) that none of this implies her inferiority, but that it will be a beautiful thing to come alongside such a man and gladly affirm and receive this kind of leadership and provision and protection" (150).

Of course, considerably more could be said about this issue, but I suggest that if you are interested you consult the massive resource volume edited by Piper and Wayne Grudem, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (Crossway).

used by permission: Sam Storms: Oklahoma City, OK 


Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching, manhood, womanhood,