Monday, December 22, 2008

Hardwired for Glory: a book review of A Quest for More

A Quest For More: Living for Something Bigger Than You
By Paul David Tripp

A book review by Deb Welch

What do a beauty pageant, the World Series, and a presidential election campaign all have in common that can teach us about God and our own purpose?

Paul David Tripp uses examples like these to help show us how every single one of us has been created by God with a deep desire for transcendence – a need to belong to something bigger than we are. In the first chapter, he lays out the framework that will undergird the rest of the book. Ultimately, as human beings, were all hardwired to live for God’s glory.

Yet, ever since the fall, our lives are not what they should be any longer. The effects of this fallen world have led to each one of us constricting our lives to the shape and size of our present circumstances. The result is that each one of us has narrowed our life purpose to building our own “little kingdoms.”

Whether our little kingdom consists of our jobs, our families, our homes, our achievements, or other possessions, we have forsaken the “big kingdom” of God’s glory for a much smaller replacement that will never satisfy. Hence, we find deep within us a longing to find something more meaningful, such as the beauty queen who wants to end world hunger, the loyal fan of the championship baseball team or a zealous proponent in a history-making election.

Even as Bible-believing Christians, we have an ongoing tendency to forget who we are and what we were made for. Mr. Tripp writes:

“There is something expansive, glorious, and eternal that is meant to give direction to everything you do. And when you lose sight of it, you have effectively denied your own humanity."
In later chapters, he compels us to be committed sojourners in God’s ‘big kingdom’ life, and not satisfied with a mediocre walk with Jesus. While much of the material can seem a bit repetitive i n those later chapters, Mr. Tripp's case is reinforced by the hundreds of little ways that sin still has its way in our lives, as we shrink God down to the size of our own little kingdoms. At the same time, he invites us to passionately pursue more than our little kingdoms. He points us to Christ as king. In the glorious company and presence of God, we are transformed into Christ’s image bearers who now have eternal impact in this lost and fallen world.

This is a very good book that will challenge new believers and seasoned Christians alike. Even though Mr. Tripp currently serves as a faculty member at both Westminster Theological Seminary and the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation in Philadelphia, he has written an easily accessible and quick read for every level of reader, regardless of their theological and doctrinal background.

Online resources on this book:
Video of Paul Tripp on "Quest”
Read Chapters 1-3 – in PDF

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