For all 20 million of you who read Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life (PDL), this is the book you should have read. Paul Tripp’s book, A Quest For More: Living For Something Bigger Than You (QFM), is everything that PDL should have been. Theologically precise. Faithful in quoting Bible translation and drawing meaning from the text rather than the other way around. Relevant to the broader culture without espousing a vision of God that can be be construed as “Christ-optional.” Kingdom-focused rather than self-focused. (I’m probably being overly harsh on PDL, but I believe there is a reason why that book about God is so popular. This is usually the case for writing that aims for a low common denominator–think a mile-wide but an inch-deep.) Nevertheless, PDL found an audience for books like QFM.
Tripp has a way with words. He is an expert communicator. He is a skilled “heart surgeon.” He is a pastor-shepherd who knows from experience that he needs heart surgery just as much as the rest of us. In QFM, expect to have your lifestyle, hopes, and dreams revealed for what they really are: maintenance of your little kingdom. That is the overarching metaphor in QFM, that your little kingdom is too small for you. You need to be set free to live for the big kingdom that you were made for. God created you to live for something much bigger than you are settling for. To paraphrase St. Augustine, your heart will be restless until it gives up pursuing your little kingdom of self and finds its rest instead in the big kingdom of God.
In one way, reading QFM is like the 40 day journey of reading PDL. Tripp likens the development of its message to a car trip. It is as if one begins in small town America somewhere in the central U.S. and heads west. Before long you see the daunting Rocky Mountains and the climb proves steep, long, and arduous. This is the “heart surgery” portion of the book. But be patient and keep driving west, because before long the glorious Pacific Ocean will be in sight, and its beauty is more satisfying after the long, difficult journey.
If you want to expand your horizons to catch a glimpse of the kingdom that God created you to live for, then back your bags and get ready for quite a ride. Better yet, bring someone along with you to enjoy the trip together.
From the book cover:
There really is no place for Christ in many people’s Christianity. Their faith isnot actually in Christ; it is in Christianity and their own ability to live it out. Paul David Tripp expertly traverses the deepest recesses of the human heart and compassionately invites fellow Christian travelers to journey with him into God’s bigger kingdom. The author promises readers that they will be encouraged, excited, and motivated by hope as they learn how to set aside their “little kingdom” attachments which can expertly masquerade within the church as Christian activism, legalism, emotionalism, formalism, creedalism, and externalism; in favor of God’s expansive and soul-freeing eternal quest. Tripp demonstrates through sound biblical principles how humanity is made by God to transcend far beyond the mere physical realm and is likewise created to be “glory junkies”–those whose visionary lives are governed by God’s grand purposes rather than existing only within their narrow self-interested confines. Writes the author, “it is a fundamental denial of your humanity to narrow the size of your life to the size of your own existence, because you were created to be an ‘above and more’ being. You were made to be transcendent.” Tripp then shows Christians how to “transcend” through daily, moment-by-moment, practical methodology that transforms individuals into the image of Christ. It is within this purpose-driven framework, this quest for more, that Paul Tripp compels believers to see beyond the worldly deception of personal achievement, success, and materialism, in order to break free from this ungodly fulfillment that is too easily satisfied with a mediocre walk with Christ. Instead the author invites committed sojourners to a life characterized by an unyielding passion that pursues God simply for the pleasure of His glorious company and in the process, affects eternal change in a hurting, hopeless world.
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