Book Review: Broken-Down House (Paul Tripp)

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Paul Tripp is decidedly one of my favorite authors.  Tackling real-life issues and problems and matching them to the gospel – that is where he finds the rest and help that we need as sinners living in a fallen world.  His books are always “ouch” and “amen” to quote Voddie Baucham.

A friend, Bonnie, and I have been reading this book together this year.  It has been a little slower since I got married and she started dating, but now we are neighbors, so I’m hoping our book club continues.  We read a couple of chapters then come together and talk about it: how it applies to our lives, our relationships, and the ministries we are involved in.  Oh, Bonnie B, what will we read next?

PDT doesn’t mince words: he tells us we live in a fallen world full of sin.  But, even as believers, we need and have the remedy.  Jesus and the Gospel.

One of the perks to PDT books is you get just a hint of his poetry.  Such a winner. 

So, how do you live life in a fallen world?  How do you deal with issues in your life that are a result of sin (because sin damages the entire world, not just your life).  Death is in this world – that is a fact.  But, Jesus has overcome death and has brought us life.  We can live differently and with hope because we know this truth.

“At every point and every moment, your life is messier and more complicated than it really ought to be because everything is so much more difficult in such a terribly broken world.” (pg 17)

“Your Lord is the ultimate Restorer and He never rests.  He calls you and me to live in this broken-down house with hearts of patience and eyes of promise.  He calls us away from self-focused survival and to the hard work of restoration.  He calls us away from paralyzing discouragement and the nagging desire to quite.  He welcomes us to live in the patience and grace that only He can give.” (pg 21)

“There will be a war in your heart between what the Bible has to say about you and what you would like to think is true about you.” (pg 36). I often say to my husband, “my heart is ugly.”  He has asked me to quit saying that or at least finish the statement:  “but Jesus bought and paid for it anyway and is making it new.”

“Forgiveness, Christ’s gift to us, means that we can stand before God in all of our neediness, weakness, and moral failure and yet be utterly unafraid.  Sinful people can stand before a holy God because Jesus took the penalty for our sin on Himself and satisfied the Father’s anger.” (pg 45).  We talked about this at our breakfast table as we read in Is 53 part of the Advent story.  The mystery and wonder and astonishment that substitutionary atonement of Christ for us is.  Amazing.

“I am not to think of my life as separate from ministry, nor am I to think of ministry as separate from my life. I am to give myself to a way of living that views every dimension of human life as a forum for ministry.  I don’t live with a willingness to occasionally minister.  I am not open to ministry opportunities.  No, I commit myself to live with a ministry mentality where my actions, reactions, and responses are more shaped by a desire to be a part of what God is doing on earth than to fulfill my personal wants and needs.” (pg 94)  This should change our mindset as wives and see our home life (and taking care and loving our husbands) as ministry, and not see what we do as unimportant.  

“in calling us to wait, God is freeing us from the claustrophobic confines of our own little kingdoms of one and drawing us into a greater allegiance to His Kingdom of glory and grace.” (pg 117)

“Pursue community.  It can only happen when we are living in functional, biblical community with people who will again and again remind us of who we are.  I need people in my life who will lovingly hold the mirror of the Word of God in front of me so that I can see how deep my struggle with sin still is.  I need people who will confront my timidity and avoidance with the comforting, encouraging, embolderning realities of faith.” (pg 159).  Thankful for girl friends, pastor friends, and my husband who do this for me.