Monday, February 23, 2009

Review of How People Change


Author: Paul Tripp/Timothy Lane

Pages: 230 pages

Publisher: New Growth Press

Price: 13.49

Genre: Christian Living/Christian Ministry/Pastoral Resources


Quick Summary:

As the authors explain in the acknowledgements this book grew out of a class that David Powlison has developed and taught for over twenty years. And Powlison’s imagery and class grew out of the biblical principles of change. This book is God-centered and gospel-saturated. This is not a self-help book. This book is one that pinpoints where we need to change and offers the only biblical solution for change—union with Jesus Christ.

Tripp and Lane begin this book by defining the problem—which is that in many areas of our lives we do not believe the gospel. Then, before getting into any practical tips, they lay a solid theological foundation. Before showing us how to change they paint a picture of where God is taking us and point us to the Savior that is taking us there. Then in chapter 7-14 they look at a biblical picture for change. The book ends with a story of one couple’s journey as well as one’s church’s story.

What I Liked:

Tripp and Lane write in such a way that you are unable to escape their exhortations. Even in areas where I thought I had it together they wrote with such biblical and penetrating insight that I discovered my need for change is deep. Yet, at the same time they do not leave you on your own as many self-help books do. This book is the exact opposite of self-help. This book draws you to your knees and therein points you to Jesus. Many books about change and practical living are sub-Christian at best and heretical at worse. This book is unbelievably gospel-saturated.
One of the great benefits of this book is that it does not claim to work overnight. Tripp and Lane remind us that biblical change is a lifelong process. What a refreshing rebuke to our "quick-fix" church culture. I love that the authors are real and do not promise more help and faster change the Bible does. Part of the great appeal of this book is that admits that the Christian life is messy. And the hope that it offers is that the God of the universe is in control in the midst of the messiness of life. There are few books that are more needed in our church and culture.

What I Disliked:

My only regret is that the book is only 230 pages and I do not have Tripp and Lane’s cell phone number. Thankfully this book gives principles that I will use for a lifetime so it really does not need to be over 230 pages—but I will keep going back to this book as a resource. Great book!

If I had to offer one criticism it would be outrageous price of the Workbook and Leader’s Guide. This would be a great book to go through as a church and the workbooks would be a wonderful benefit. Unfortunately they are 25 bucks a piece for the workbooks (21.25 if you follow the link) and 50 for the leader’s guide (42.50 if you follow the link). For smaller churches that have people with lower means this is a ridiculous price. Hopefully they make this excellent resource available for a less expensive price. (The book is well priced at 13.49)

Should You Buy It?

This is one of those must have books. My copy is dog-eared and full of underlines—I have had it for less than a year. I keep going back to this book for sermon illustrations as well as for my own personal growth. Whether you are a pastor or not this book is for you. Unless you are Jesus you need to change. And if you need to change there are few books that will lay a better foundation for change than this one.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Joshua Van Der MerweNovember 10, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    just read your review and placed my order. One thing you might want to update (not sure if that's possible on your posts, but thought I would suggest it): WTS books has the guides for $17 and leader's book for $22.

    thanks for your review brother! appreciate your work here.

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