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A Sweet and Bitter Providence

Sex, Race, and the Sovereignty of God

Author John Piper
Narrator Grover Gardner
Runtime 3.8 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP MP3 M4B
Release Date November 18, 2009
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)
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.

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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.






Customer Reviews

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For four months I have put...
For four months I have put off writing this review for Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper. It wasn’t because I was too busy or that I didn’t like the book; it was because I wasn’t sure what I thought about the word “sovereignty”. I had to conduct Bible searching, lots of sermon listening (which God provided) and spend many hours in prayer to come to an understanding of this term.

The book is a fabulous overview of the story of Ruth from the Old Testament. If you’re not familiar with the book of Ruth, I highly suggest you read it in your Bible – and follow up by reading/listening to John Piper’s account of the extras that aren’t included in the Word (numerous historical details and terminology of the day).

John Piper states that bad things are in God’s Plan for our lives. I had a very difficult time digesting that information. At the age of 18, I lost both of my parents (10 months apart). After being raised in the Church, I was so bitter that God would “allow” this to happen to me, that I went searching for answers (like the old song says: looking for love in all the wrong places…). After years of wandering, I returned to His Arms for healing, however, my main question had not been answered: Who controls death? Was it God or satan? After listening to this audio book, John Piper made it sound like God didn’t “allow” it, but actually “ordained” it! That was really hard for me (and it’s been a VERY LONG TIME since my parents passed away).

Now, after several months, I am at a place where I agree with John. His explanation made sense, although I didn’t want to accept it as being true. He (God, not John) has brought me to a safe place where I can honestly say that I KNOW I wouldn’t be the person I am today if this loss had not happened – and if I’m completely honest, my life is NOT for me, it’s to glorify God! He is now able to use me in ways I could have never been used otherwise.

I would highly recommend this book if you would like a fabulous overview of Ruth AND if you prayed the same prayer I did in February 2010 – “God, please grow me during this Lenten season, like you never have before”…just remember, be careful what you ask for!

I was provided a copy of this audio book by christianaudio reviewers program (http://christianaudio.com).
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 4/13/2010)
A Sweet and Bitter Providence by...
A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper and narrated by Grover Gardner
Review by Dave Melton - 4 Stars (out of 5)

The story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz is told with heart and precision. Pastor John Piper tells the tale in this audiobook in a way that a sermon could never do justice and a commentary would dessicate. Piper discusses the historical and cultural milieu in a way that is neither pedantic nor facile. He explains shifts in the perspective and directly addresses the thornier issues that the love story of Ruth and Boaz presents. What Piper does best, however, is delve into the nuances of language to reveal the true tenderness that exists between Naomi and Ruth and, later, between Ruth and Boaz. Piper has an exquisite way of telling the tale afresh and showing the vulnerability and sensitivity involved in this beautifully romantic love story.

Grover Gardner’s narration (as always) was clear, articulate and well-done.

A special thanks to the folks at christianaudio Reviewers Program for the advance copy for review. http://christianaudio.com
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/4/2010)
At one time, I copied the...
At one time, I copied the entire book of Ruth into a notebook. I've also completed at least one bible-study on the book of Ruth. A Sweet And Bitter Providence by John Piper is a book that teaches on the book of Ruth but this book went places I never went when I was studying this well-known Old Testament book.



Have you ever thought that there are lessons about race in Ruth? John Piper thought of that and expounds on it beautifully in A Sweet and Bitter Providence. There are also many poignant minutes where you are candidly spoken to about sexual purity in this book. This would be a great book for a single man or woman to be encouraged to remain pure.



A brief book, 3.8 hours, there is quite a bit of information to be found in A Sweet and Bitter Providence. Although it is an exposition of Ruth, Mr. Piper is all over the bible. As he makes a point, he supports it with scriptures from both the old and new testament. Throughout A Sweet and Bitter Providence John Piper is listing specific scriptures to direct our thoughts and support his interpretation of the book of Ruth.



Once many years ago, I was questioning my Uncle about someone who did not believe in God. Uncle Dave told me that he was convinced that God was at work in the lives of those who don't believe in order to bring them to faith in Him. Mr. Piper supports that in his book A Sweet and Bitter Providence. As with many, many other points he makes throughout the book, this resonated with me as I reflected on the various times in my life when I saw God working in my life and the lives of others.



Filled with good bible teaching, A Sweet and Bitter Providence also is filled with lots of stories to illustrate his point. This makes it easy to listen to the book and stay with it. It's like listening to a really well-delivered sermon. It is easy to hear and pay attention.



The narrator, Grover Gardner, will be familiar to you if you've listened to many other audios produced by Christian Audio. His deep voice is authoritative and pleasant. He uses a lot of intonation, so that the words don't blend together as you're listening.



I would recommend A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper. But be forewarned, you will want to dive into Ruth for yourself after listening to this audio book. It will make you look at the fabulous love story of Ruth in a whole different way.



I was provided with an audio copy of A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper by ChristianAudio.com in exchange for this unbiased review.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 3/2/2010)
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