BOOK REVIEWS

Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense – Paul David Tripp (2018)

tripp 2Paul David Tripp, Suffering (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 210 pp.

C.S. wrote, “If I knew a way of escape I would crawl through the sewers to escape the pain.” Whether a person agrees with Lewis’s radical conclusion or not is a matter of personal opinion. However, the problem of suffering is a universal dilemma that every person must face. How we respond to suffering reveals the strength of our Christian resolve and character.

Paul David Tripp’s recent book, Suffering explores a weighty subject and invites readers onto a personal journey that will encourage deep humility and personal growth. Speaking personally, Dr. Tripp’s book took my breath away. The author’s transparency and humble approach spoke deeply to my heart and lifted my spirit.

In the final analysis, this book has less to do with coping with suffering and more to do with how suffering can supernaturally transform the lives of God’s people. Listen to Tripp’s meditations and allow his words to sink in deeply:

“Suffering has the power to turn your timidity into courage and your doubt into surety. Hardship can turn envy into contentment and complaint into praise. It has the power to make you tender and approachable, to replace subtle rebellion with joyful surrender. Suffering has the power to form beautiful things in your heart that reform the way you live your life. It has incredible power to be a tool of transforming grace.”

Suffering in many ways is like pouring ice-cold water on an unsuspecting victim; a battering ram that brings even the most powerful to a place of humility and surrender. This volume is quick to remind us that all those who suffer are in desperate need of grace. Tripp adds, “This physical travail, in the hands of my Savior, is a tool used to drive me away from self-sufficiency and into a deeper dependency on God and his people.” Therefore, suffering is greatly used by God to propel his people to a place they never would have reached apart from suffering.

This fundamental message of transformation stands at the heart of Tripp’s book and has the power in itself to encourage and equip a lot of people in God’s kingdom.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

BOOK REVIEWS

Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense – Paul David Tripp (2018)

tripp 2Paul David Tripp, Suffering (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 210 pp.

C.S. wrote, “If I knew a way of escape I would crawl through the sewers to escape the pain.” Whether a person agrees with Lewis’s radical conclusion or not is a matter of personal opinion. However, the problem of suffering is a universal dilemma that every person must face. How we respond to suffering reveals the strength of our Christian resolve and character.

Paul David Tripp’s recent book, Suffering explores a weighty subject and invites readers onto a personal journey that will encourage deep humility and personal growth. Speaking personally, Dr. Tripp’s book took my breath away. The author’s transparency and humble approach spoke deeply to my heart and lifted my spirit.

In the final analysis, this book has less to do with coping with suffering and more to do with how suffering can supernaturally transform the lives of God’s people. Listen to Tripp’s meditations and allow his words to sink in deeply:

“Suffering has the power to turn your timidity into courage and your doubt into surety. Hardship can turn envy into contentment and complaint into praise. It has the power to make you tender and approachable, to replace subtle rebellion with joyful surrender. Suffering has the power to form beautiful things in your heart that reform the way you live your life. It has incredible power to be a tool of transforming grace.”

Suffering in many ways is like pouring ice-cold water on an unsuspecting victim; a battering ram that brings even the most powerful to a place of humility and surrender. This volume is quick to remind us that all those who suffer are in desperate need of grace. Tripp adds, “This physical travail, in the hands of my Savior, is a tool used to drive me away from self-sufficiency and into a deeper dependency on God and his people.” Therefore, suffering is greatly used by God to propel his people to a place they never would have reached apart from suffering.

This fundamental message of transformation stands at the heart of Tripp’s book and has the power in itself to encourage and equip a lot of people in God’s kingdom.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

BOOK REVIEWS

Redeeming Money – Paul David Tripp (2018)

moneyPaul David Tripp, Redeeming Money: How God Reveals and Reorients Our Hearts. Wheaton: Crossway, 2018, 176 pp. $11.95

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). The words of the Lord Jesus Christ cut through every conceivable pretense, motive, and smokescreen. In a similar fashion, Paul David Tripp exposes our hearts in his book, Redeeming Money.

Tripp’s aim is to write a winsome book which is informed by the Christian worldview and motivated by the gospel of Jesus Christ: “If you and I don’t let the gospel of Jesus Christ correct our assumptions about life, we won’t be able to evaluate and gain ground in the way we understand and relate to money and make practical money decisions.”

The author presents four foundations that reflect a gospel-centered worldview:

  1. At the center of the universe is a God of incalculable glory.
  2. We live in a world terribly broken by sin.
  3. God offers us his heart and life-transforming grace.
  4. We were created to live for something bigger than ourselves.

These foundations enable Tripp to proceed in a way that serves his readers well. With these helpful principles in place, they can understand and make financial decisions that make good biblical sense and ultimately, glorify God.

Dr. Tripp makes it painfully clear that money problems reside within us. Instead of being content with what God has graciously provided, we crave for more and more. Discontentedness dominates our hearts. The author adds, “It is ingratitude, neediness, discontent, and envy of the heart that causes us to be all too money conscious, all too self-focused in our use of it, and all too liberal in our expenditures.”

Instead of finding our satisfaction in Christ, we long for substitute “saviors” that bring short-term satisfaction: “Either you are using your funds in the worship of yourself … or you are using your money in the self-conscious worship of God.”

Redeeming Money is like a relentless battering ram that smashes pride, self-interest, and idolatry. It is like a probe that searches for self-indulgent sin. And Redeeming Money is like a surgical scalpel that cuts out the pride, which is lodged in the sinful human heart.

Paul David Tripp does not write as a so-called expert. He does not write as a financial planner or investment counselor. Rather, he writes as a fellow struggler. And perhaps, this is one of the most endearing aspects of the book. After Tripp surfaces sin, he admits that he also battles sins, which are buried deeply in the heart. But he does not leave readers dangling in no man’s land. No! Trip encourages us with the power of the gospel and acknowledges our deep need of grace.

It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that makes Redeeming Money truly unique. This is a rare book in a market, which is flooded with books on finance. Most, however, fail to provide hope that offers freedom, forgiveness, and final salvation, which is found in Christ alone. Redeeming Money is a helpful, encouraging resource that will serve many people well in the days to come.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

BOOK REVIEWS

Awe: Why It Matters For Everything We Think, Say – Paul David Tripp (2015)

trippSome books are meant to be read. Others are meant to be devoured. Paul David’s Tripp’s new book is of the later sort. Awe: Why It Matters For Everything We Think, Say, And Do is a soul-searching work that draws readers in, grabs them by the throat, shakes them around, molds and transforms their hearts – with the ultimate aim of setting them free to serve, worship, and glorify the God of the universe.

Dr. Tripp argues with Scripture that God’s goal is for creatures to be “in awe of his creation, but that awe cannot and should not be an end in itself.” “Where you look for awe,” says Tripp, “will shape the direction of your life.”

The author helps readers understand their position between the “already” of Adam’s sin and the “not yet” of final redemption. Our current position is where the war ensues. While sinners struggle with what Tripp calls “awe wrongness” (AWN), namely, misplaced awe, God patiently draws people to himself so they might find their satisfaction in him.

Dr. Tripp repeatedly shows how people turn to awe-substitutes to find satisfaction, a sure-fire road to depression, frustration, and meaninglessness. “Only grace can give us back our awe of God again,” writes Tripp. This marvelous grace principle dominates the book and urges readers to find their satisfaction, i.e. awe in Christ alone.

Tripp’s book is a real gem. Some Christian books are descriptive. Many are prescriptive. But very few Christian books these days include a deep, transparent, admission of personal struggle. That is to say, very few Christian writers these days admit weakness, struggle with temptation, propensity to fearfulness or anxiety, and the like. Paul David Tripp speaks clearly and biblically. But he also shares from the depth of his heart. He shares about his struggles. He shares his weaknesses. He admits that the ministry is often times lonely. He confesses his secret hope to “throw in the towel.” This kind of transparency is difficult for most writers. Indeed, it is difficult for most Christ-followers. So the author should be commended for his candid and transparent approach.

“Spiritual growth is about recapturing your awe,” writes Dr. Tripp. Here lies the essence of the book, a theme that emerges throughout this fine work. Awe: Why It Matters For Everything We Think, Say, And Do may be the most important book of 2015. I trust that many will read, wrestle, digest, absorb, and be awakened to the beauty and majesty of Jesus Christ – the only One worth of our worship. Indeed, our awe should be found in him alone!

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.