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.
Crossway Books/Desiring God
An interesting study on the book of Ruth| Posted January 16, 2010
A Sweet and Bitter Providence is a new book by John Piper examining the applicability of the themes in the book of Ruth for Christians today. The main themes he deals with are the sovereignty of God, gender & sexuality and race relations. I was particularly glad to see him deal with the issue of race relations and the racial diversity of God's kingdom because it is an important topic but one that doesn't always get dealt with well in the Christian community.
Compared to many other Piper books, this one is relatively short. This makes it a fairly easy one to get through, although there were some points where i thought further depth was warranted. The book did tend to jump backwards and forwards in the book of Ruth and to other scriptures so I would recommend you read Ruth first to better grasp where Piper is going with his ideas.
I reviewed this book in its audio format. The narration was clear and easy to listen to. It would have been nice to have the author reading the book as he is quite an expressive speaker/reader.
Overall, while not my favorite John Piper book, I'll still think this one is a worthwhile read.