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What’s the difference?

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CROSSWAY BOOKS
WHEATON, ILLINOIS

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What’s the Difference?
copyright © 1990 by the
council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
Published by crossway Books
a publishing ministry ofGood news Publishers
1300 crescent street
Wheaton, illinois 60187
adapted from a chapter in Recovering Biblical Manhood
and Womanhood, edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper
(crossway Books, 1990)
the council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood was established in 1987 for the purpose of studying and setting forth
Biblical teachings on the relationship between men and women,
especially in thehome and the church.
all rights reserved. no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by
any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or
otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, except
as provided by Usa copyright law.
cover design: Jessica dennis
cover photo: Photos.com
first printing, trade paperedition, 2001
Printed in the United states of america
Library of congress catalog card number 90-80358
isBn 13: 978-1-4335-0278-1
isBn 10: 1-4335-0278-X
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T o Noël
my partner
in the great mysteryWhatsTheDifference.02781.int.indd 5

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contents

Foreword by Elisabeth Elliot

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1 what’s the diFFerence?

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2 the Meaning oF Masculinity

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3 the Meaning oF FeMininity

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4 the biblical Vision oF coMpleMentarity

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5 a closing challenge to Men and woMen

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notes

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a note on resourcesDesiring God Ministries

92

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foreword

for years i have noted with growing disquiet the pollution of
many christians’ minds by the doctrine of feminism. i believe
it is a far more dangerous pollution than most have realized,
and i (with what seemed to me pitifullyfew others) have tried
to sound the alarm in every way i could. it is a relief to me
that John Piper has done what was badly needed—clarified
the fundamental distinctions, defining them not fashionably
but Biblically and with good common sense. he has done
more—he has cut through much of the confusion that arises
through a careless reading of the “difficult” Bible passages,
and shown us thetrue liberation that comes with humble
submission to God’s original design. i think his thesis rings
true to the manliness or the womanliness in each of us.
—Elisabeth Elliot

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1
n

What’s the difference?

When i was a boy growing up in Greenville, south carolina,my father was away from home about two-thirds of every
year. and while he preached across the country, we prayed—
my mother and my older sister and i. What i learned in those
days was that my mother was omni-competent.
she handled the finances, paying all the bills and dealing
with the bank and creditors. she once ran a little laundry
business on the side. she was active on the park board,served
as the superintendent of the intermediate department of
our southern Baptist church, and managed some real estate
holdings.
she taught me how to cut the grass and splice electric
cord and pull Bermuda grass by the roots and paint the eaves
and shine the dining-room table with a shammy and drive a

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