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“Broken-Down House”—Book review

Broken-Down House by Paul David Tripp Paul David Tripp is one of my all-time favorite authors.

I like his style—he digs to the root of our problems and helps us see Christ to come back up.

So I’m relieved to say that Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad lives up to my expectations of Paul David Tripp.

Its premise is huge: we live in a messy world. What can we do about it? It delivers answer after answer, all rooted in the strength and purposes of Jesus Christ.

Part 1: Know

  • Where you live—in a fallen world
  • Who you are—a sinner (not as good as you think) yet also a child of grace (better than you can imagine)
  • Who is in control—rest in God’s sovereignty
  • What your limits are—of wisdom, of power, of righteousness
  • What to resist—mistaking commitment to Christianity for commitment to Christ, mistaking Bible knowledge for Biblical wisdom, mistaking commitment to a theology for Christian maturity
  • How to wait productively—with others, actively serving, with relief, with commitment, for strengthening

Part 2: Do 

  • Reject passivity—no excuses of “I’m too small,” “The problem is too big,” “It’s not my problem.”
  • Pursue community—that is intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-driven, and redemptive
  • Determine to love—you’re rescued from self-love so you can love others (a great list of what loves means is on pages 172-174) 
  • Celebrate grace—grace is the most stunning thing that has ever happened to you. Celebrate it with others and pass on the awe to the next generation!
  • Minister everywhere—no situation, location, relationship where ministry isn’t required. Commit to vision, commitment, training. 
  • Examine your legacy—leave behind a bold vision of God’s glory and a heart in awe of that glory and committed to live for it 

I highlighted something on almost every single page of this book.
Yeah, it’s that good.
You should read it.

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1. Table of Contents and all of Chapter 1, Life in This Broken-Down House

2. Short excerpts from most chapters

From Chapter 3: The Sad News about Sin
This means that, although I am constantly tempted to think otherwise, I must face the fact that my greatest need is not environmental. My greatest need does not derive from the fact that the brokenness of the Fall fractures every situation, every relationship, and every context. Yes, all my relationships are flawed in some way. And no, the world around me does not operate as God intended.
     But this environmental brokenness is not my greatest, deepest, most abiding problem.
     No matter what I face in this fallen world, my greatest problem in life exists inside of me and not outside of me.

3. A much better book review than mine, by Mark Tubbs at Discerning Reader

4. Great quotes on Twitter @PaulTripp and @BDHouse. (I retweet a lot of his stuff.)

5. MP3 downloads on Survival Skill themes from Broken-Down House. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

6. Overview video on Broken-Down House:

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This review at Challies initially inspired me to read this book. Then when I kept seeing it pop up here and there, AND already loving Paul Tripp’s writings, the rest is history.


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