The Broken World of the Bible

Posted on June 13, 2009 · Posted in Godward Orientation

As you know from the last post I have developed a fond appreciation for Paul Tripp’s latest book – Broken-Down House. In this post I am going to include the most recent article I did for the Shepherd Press Newsletter. There is another application I want to especially emphasize for parents. The world is not a pleasant place. It is broken, and it is groaning for the day of consummation. It is a mistake to teach our children that the world is wonderful and not also tell them of ifs brokenness. I hope you enjoy the article.

What picture does Scripture paint of the world you live in? For sure, the Bible portrays the spectacular beauty of the world that it to come, but its description of the brokenness of this world is just as spectacular. Scripture pulls no punches–the world of today is a nasty, broken place. The headlines continually point to one mess after another: a tragic plane crash, a crumbling economy, the threats of terrorism and rogue governments lusting for nuclear weapons, disease, marriage designed by man and not God, growing dependence on drugs and alcohol, and more. The list goes on and on. If you turn to the Bible to learn that life is not really this way, you will be disappointed. The pages of Scripture confirm what your own eyes have seen–the world is a broken mess. The Bible does not offer an escape to planes of higher consciousness, as New Age author Eckart Tolle suggests in his best-selling book, A New Earth. The Bible does not say that man is not as bad as he appears to be–it actually says that he is worse than he appears. The Bible not only looks at the outward evidences of brokenness, it also looks at the inner broodings of the heart.

In his new book, Broken-Down House, Paul Tripp asserts that in order for healing and productivity to begin, there must first be an honest, accurate analysis of what is wrong. Tripp shows that the Bible does just that. The frank honesty of the Bible provides real hope for addressing the mess caused by the brokenness of sin. Before something can be restored, it must first be perceived as broken.

Broken-Down House begins by looking at the rubble caused by sin and shows, through real-life application, that the Lord of the Universe is in the business of bringing restoration for his glory. Tripp’s unflinching look at what is wrong with your house (your life), provides the foundation for a real and certain hope of the glorious restoration that only God can give. Chapter two of the book gives a picture of what God’s book is really meant to be. His description of the Bible is fresh, yet timeless.

I am more and more persuaded that when we characterize the Bible as a book about spirituality, we do it and ourselves a disservice. The Bible is not a higher-plane tome about some mystical life of spiritual devotion. It does not teach blissful separation from the brokenness of everyday life. No, the Bible is a book about this world. It is a gritty, honest book. When we read Scripture, we face the world as it actually is, in big-screen, high-def detail. God doesn’t pull any punches. He doesn’t paint over any cracks. He doesn’t flatter or avoid. There is no denial of what is real and true.

The sights and sounds of the Bible are familiar. They are the sights and sounds of the very same broken world you and I wake up to every day. Dirt and smoke are on every page. You can’t read very far without your nostrils and eyes being assaulted by the acrid air of a world gone bad. Let’s be straight here, the world of the Bible stinks in many ways. Does it bother you when you read that? Does it come across to you as displaying a lack of faith? Let’s look at how the Bible portrays the place where you and I live.

This excerpt is typical of the frankness and clarity of Broken-Down House. This approach will provide a greater appreciation for the power of God’s Word. Since the Bible so faithfully describes the true condition of the heart, even the worst sinner can find hope for the restoration that he needs. This book masterfully weaves vignettes about real people with descriptions of the majestic grace of God. The tapestry that unfolds is rich with the redemptive power of God. This book is not one that glosses over the brokenness of life. Rather, because of its honest look at the world we live in you can have hope that God does indeed have the answers that lead to healing. This book is about life–with all of its brokenness and sadness. It is about life–with all the hope and joy of restoration that can only come from Jesus Christ.

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