Jan 24, 2010

How People Change by Tripp and Lane

With a set of directions we can easily get lost if we make the wrong turn but with a ‘helicopter’ view we can re-set our course if we get lost and reach our destination with ease.
I really found this book quite repetitious, however in Chapter 6 Tripp and Lane explain why the first half of the book (and the last half of the book) seems to be banging away at the same points.

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 seek to 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 Saviour that is taking us there.


In Chapter 6 they make a metaphor of life saying it is like a box of chocolates it is like a city, and to be able to navigate it successfully we need to have a ‘helicopter view’ of it and not a set of directions (go left, left, right). With a set of directions we can easily get lost if we make the wrong turn but with a ‘helicopter’ view we can re-set our course if we get lost and reach our destination with ease. Tripp and Lane are trying to imbibe us with a helicopter view and help us to make sense of life ‘from God’s point of view’.

"How People Change" doesn't just tackle surface issues such as outward behaviour; it reaches into the deepest depths to transform the very being of your heart. Tripp and Lane believe that our temptation is to seek fullness and fulfillment in something or someone other than Christ. To counter this idolatry, they encourage us to apply the grace of Christ to the everyday details of our lives, not merely the big problems that we face. The rest of the book spells this theme out more clearly - how to apply grace to everyday life.

After these introductory chapters, the book moves to a series of chapters that explain a framework for understanding and pursuing change. The basic model is Heat ->Thorns -> Cross -> Fruit -> (repeat). The model focuses on getting to the central issues that our external sins grow out of and then points to Christ and the sacrifice for our sin and the source of the grace we need to live out the life that God calls us to.

I never really used a model to frame my world view… with maybe the exception of Two Ways to Live. I believe the reason that I found this book repetitive is that it kept talking about things I already knew but had never really organised it into a model for life. But the model presented in this book can be quite helpful for several reasons as it says:

  1. Contrary to popular psychology, the circumstances of life are not the cause of my sin. I am. That helps me stop ignoring it or making excuses for it.
  2. Look at my heart, not just the external behaviours that I want or need to change. Change starts in the heart, not the external circumstances.
  3. Look to Christ as the one true solution. I cannot change myself but must cast myself upon the One who can.
  4. It frees me to live differently by dwelling in the gospel rather than by a doing-more-trying-harder perspective.
  5. Recognise that failure is part of the process. That gives me hope that God will use my sin to show me what's in my heart so I can put it to death by the Spirit and become more like Christ. I can own my sin without feeling like I should be "past it".
*This review is an amalgamation between my thoughts and a few amazon reviews.



Interested in a copy of How People Change? 

Use the links below to get yourself a copy and support WolfsBooks too
Amazon


You may also be interested in theses other titles by Paul Tripp.


Forever:
Why You Can't Live Without it
Awe:
Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do
Crossway
Awe:
Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do
IVPUK

A note for Australian readers. The IVP UK (red) version of the book Awe is the cheaper one on the two on the Kobo Australia site, but at the time of writing (17/6/16) the difference between the two is $9.30. (Crossway - yellow $22.09 and IVPUK -red  $12.79)

However, Amazon Australia has this book for $7,77 !!  Does Kobo even want our business?  Kobo does offer a Price Match Guarantee.  It works a bit differently than you would expect it to, it takes a little bit of work, but Kobo will honour it and add an extra 10% on top. Check out my post about it here kobo-offers-price-match-guarantee for more information.

Maybe we should just support our local Australian Christian bookshop and see if we can get it from there? Just a thought.

Enjoy your book, whichever one you read, with your favourite beverage!


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