I’m one-month behind in my reading plan…but I doubt anyone noticed. However, I feel like I have a ‘great cloud” of anonymous reading partners from Lifeasmom, who are all committed to a personal reading plan for the year..and watching me. So, I press on!
Over the past year or so, I’ve read three books by Paul David Tripp, and each were perfectly suited for the time. I probably shared the most from A Shelter in the Time of Storm, and still count it as my favourite.
But my May book sounded so intriguing and did not disappoint–Broken-Down House. I think the title’s the reason I bought the book! Over three years ago, we bought a little house in the country, which, though not truly broken-down, certainly needed some repair. And as anyone who have ever owned a home knows, once you fix one thing, it’s time to fix something else.
Tripp shares that the world we live in is a lot like a broken-down house. He acknowledges that “sin has ravaged the beautiful house that God created,” then he graciously, and often poetically, reminds the reader, page after page, of the reconciliation, restoration, and hope we have in Christ. In the last chapter, he aptly summarizes the book’s context:
Yes, you are living in a broken-down house. Here, you will face discouragement, danger, disappointment, and grief. There will be times when life will seem overwhelmingly hard…
But you can, beyond any question, live productively in this broken world. There are things worth living for and things worthy of celebration. You can, beyond any question, be one of God’s tools of rescue and restoration.
…You can do these things, and know these things, because of grace.”
GRACE is the primary theme of the book. Grace is the only way we can live in this world, or have hope for the next. Here’s one of my favourite passages:
Grace is the most transformational word in Scripture. The entire Bible is a narrative of God’s grace, a story of undeserved redemption. By the transformational power of his grace, God unilaterally reaches into the muck of this fallen world, through the presence of His Son, and radically transforms his children from what we are (sinners) to what we are becoming by his power (Christ-like). The famous Newton hymn uses the best word possible for that grace, amazing!
Broken-Down House not only encourages the reader of the need for grace in this less-than-perfect world, but also challenges believers to action. With chapter titles such as, “Reject Passivity,” “Be Good and Angry,” “Determine to Love,” and “Minister Everywhere,” Tripp confronts us with the fact that (I) we are tools of God’s restoration and reconciliation. As another Paul said 2000 years ago:
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us, we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Broken-Down House is more than a reminder of the state of this dilapidated world. Through it, Tripp provokes us to “live productively in a world gone bad,” and “to fight the urge to give in or give up. [God] calls you to live with perseverance now and invest wholeheartedly in what is to come! ”
“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
Presently reading/next to be reviewed: The Pilgrim’s Progress: From this World to that Which is To Come, John Bunyan. Edited by C.J. Lovik