Paul Tripp has recently written this book in order to address the problem of how believers are supposed to live in a world that is broken-down. As usual, Paul offers much helpful counsel that is solidly biblical.
Paul starts out with the idea that the vision of faith sees the possibilities, whereas the lack of faith sees only what is there, and lacks the necessary imagination to think that the world could be any different than it is. This does not lead to unrealistic idealism. On the contrary, it leads us in two directions simultaneously: to see the world as what it is: a broken-down house. But then it also pushes us in an eschatological direction: it will not always be like this, and God can use us to change the world. This book is for the person to whom the world has become gray, dull, boring (in other words, they have succumbed to accepting the world as it is, rather than seeing the broken world with the eyes of faith). The book, in other words, if full of life and hope, because it is full of grace and reliance on the power of God.
Another very encouraging thing I saw in this book is that there was a heightened emphasis on the church. For some time now, one of my primary concerns with the CCEF folk has been a lack of emphasis on the public means of grace (Word and Sacrament). What they say is almost always biblical, but it is what they do not say that has concerned me. This book has an important step in the right direction in emphasizing the importance of the church. However, it still did not quite go far enough in this direction, in my opinion. The church is there, quite strongly, actually, but primarily because of the emphasis on community. Now, being involved in a community of fellow believers is not only essential to the Christian life, but it is also essential to Tripp’s argument. I have no quibble with his saying this. However, I would merely want to ask this question: where are the public means of grace in the CCEF paradigm? Where are the public Word and the public Sacrament as the primary means of grace that God uses not only as converting ordinances, but also as discipling ordinances? I would love to see one of the CCEF guys write about this, and the importance of this for Christian counseling. I have been a fan of their approach to Christian counseling from the get-go. So, this criticism should definitely not be seen as nixing the value of the book or the general approach, which I think is extremely helpful (Paul’s class on counseling, which I took at WTS, was one of the more helpful classes I took during my four years there).
So, take up and read, especially if you lack a sense of purpose in life, and feel that life is boring and gray. The book will challenge you to think redemptively about the world.