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Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad

By Paul David Tripp
March 2010 | Review by Guy Davies


Sin has ravaged the house that God created. This world sits slumped, disheveled, and in pain, groaning for the restoration that can only be accomplished by the hands of him who built it in the first place. The bad news is that you and I are living right in the middle of the restoration process. The good news is that the divine Builder will not relent until everything about his house is made totally new again. Emmanuel lives here with us, and he is at work returning his house to its former beauty. Someday you will live forever in a fully restored house, but right now you are called to live with peace, joy, and productivity in a place damaged by sin. How can you be an active part of the restoration at the heart of God's plan? The book in your hands will teach you to live productively in the here and now.

  • Publisher: Shepherd Press
  • ISBN: 978-0981540061
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: £0.18
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Book Review

On the front cover of this book is a picture of a broken-down old house. The bad news is that this is the place where God calls us to live. The good news is that God is going to renovate the broken-down house and restore its former glory. And the renovation process has already begun.

The author uses the idea of a broken-down house to illustrate what it means to live for the Lord in a fallen world. The world has gone bad because of sin. Nothing is as it should be. Everything from the environment to personal relationships has been affected by the devastating effects of the Fall. But that does not mean that the believer should fatalistically write off this world. God has called us to be part of his renovation work, by living productively in a world gone bad.

To do this requires a healthy dose of biblical realism. We have to realise we cannot change other people, let alone the world, in our own strength. To think otherwise is a recipe for frustration and bitter disappointment. Believers need to come to terms with their limits and rest in the sovereign power of God.

We need to live in the light of eternity and learn what it means actively to wait upon the Lord. He alone is able to restore the broken-down house and transform those who live in it. But that does not mean that we can do nothing.

Fuelled by love for the Lord and empowered by grace we must reject passivity and involve ourselves fully in God’s redemptive community, the church. We have been saved to serve and a ministry mentality should affect every aspect of our lives.

In the final chapter, Tripp urges his readers to examine their legacy. Can the people closest to us see that we are living for eternity, with an eye for God’s glory? Or are our goals altogether more earthly?

This well-written book is full of telling illustrations and is characterised by pastoral honesty and sound biblical teaching. Here the believer is challenged to live fruitfully in a fallen world that God is busy restoring. Read, reflect and act.

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