Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review: Broken-down House

Living Productively in a World Gone Bad
By Paul David Tripp
Shepherd Press, 223 pages

I finished this book last week, but haven't had the time to write up a review of it. I got this book through a 'nicks and dings' sale on Alicia and I are currently working on another book by Paul David Tripp which we like, so I thought this one would also be worth the read. I soon discovered that this book was not only worth reading, it was invaluable to understanding the brokenness of the world we live in.

Tripp starts out with an analogy. He describes how he and his father-in-law took him along to help him negotiate for a house. Tripp thought his wife's father was crazy when he drove into a driveway in front of a broken-down house. He ended up buying the house and doing a complete restoration of it.

There is a parallel between this house and the world we live in. The world we live in is broken and lying in shambles. This world is in desperate need of restoration. Just as the house needed complete renovation, the houses of our lives also need this sort of inside-out renovation.

The first half of this book focuses on knowing where you live, who you are, and who others around you are. It is foundational to life that we all keep at the forefront of our minds the brokenness of our lives and world. Don't forget that you are broken. Don't forget that God wants to do a complete renovation in your life. Know who you are. Know where you live. You live in a broken world, filled with patterns and practices that are broken. This will shape your worldview. It will shape how you respond to the world around you. Others around you are broken. They need God's renovation. When they act the way that they do, they are doing so out of brokenness. Knowing these things gives us compassion and understanding in a broken world.

The second half of this book focuses on doing. The chapter titles are: Reject Passivity, Pursue Community, Determine to Love, Celebrate Grace, Minister Everywhere, and Examine Your Legacy. Each title is self-explanatory, so I won't take the time to dive into the details. My favorite chapter is Minister Everywhere. I enjoyed how Tripp explained our responsibility in a broken world is to minister everywhere we go. In our marriages we need to minister to our broken spouses. In our homes, we must minister to our broken children. In our jobs, we must minister to broken employees and employers. In our churches, we must minister to broken parishoners and broken pastors (imagine that!). We must minister God's healing Words everywhere we go, in everything we do.

It is possible to live productively and successfully in a broken-down world. The great news is that you and I can have a part in God's renovation through ministering His Word to the broken. And it starts with you.

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