Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free - eBook
It gives a proper perspective to the value of suffering, which brings us into a closer relationship with Jesus.
November 25, 2013
This book is all about trust
It was a very eye opening, good read. Very thought provoking. Revealing to us that we are never alone in our walk of faith and all we need is to trust God in what goes on in our lives, good or bad.
November 8, 2013
Pastor Tullian's ministry has been influential in my coming to a deeper understanding of the grace of God and the freedom that we have in Christ. I recommend Glorious Ruin to anyone whose desire is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ but especially to anyone who has struggled with self-condemnation and the bondage of self-reliance. You will become better acquainted with the One source of true hope.
November 12, 2012
Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian
Tonight my four-year old daughter came downstairs past her bed-time and asked me what I was doing. I explained to her that I was finishing up a book by Tullian Tchividjian called Glorious Ruin. I told her it was a book about suffering. She gave me a blank stare. The blank stare began when I said Tchividjian, and it continued as I quizzed her on the concept of suffering. The conversation ended with her asking to listen to Disney Princess songs, which I politely complied. DonÃ¢ÂÂt tell Mrs. Cochran that Chloe was up so late. Apparently the concept of suffering was too much for her and she wanted to retreat into the safe, insulated magical world of Disney.
My daughterÃ¢ÂÂs response is somewhat normal and is a snapshot of all of humanities response to suffering. According to Tchividjian we either medicate (Chloe with Princess Music), minimalize, or moralize suffering. ThividjianÃ¢ÂÂs task with Glorious Ruin is to direct us back to the God of suffering. God is sovereign not just over the joys in life but the suffering too. Pointedly Tchividjian says, Ã¢ÂÂGodÃ¢ÂÂs chief concern in your suffering is to be with you and be Himself for you. In other words our ruin may not ultimately spell our undoing. It may in fact spell the beginning of faith. And in the end, that is enough. Gloriously so.Ã¢ÂÂ
In Glorious Ruin Tchividjian walks us through a study of suffering in the book of Job while presenting Martin LutherÃ¢ÂÂs classic argument contrasting the theology of glory with the theology of the cross. TchividjianÃ¢ÂÂs objective is to direct us back to the gospel. Only in understanding the gospel we truly can come to terms with suffering. Tchividjian writes, Ã¢ÂÂThe gospel frees us to speak honestly about the reality of pain, confident that nothing rides on our ability to cope with or fend off suffering.Ã¢ÂÂ
I really enjoyed how Tchividjian peels back layer after layer of our questions, objections, and misunderstandings concerning suffering. As he does so he shares different facets of the Job narrative along with concepts illuminating both the theology of glory and the theology of the cross in order to refresh the gospel in our minds and the end of suffering. Tchividjian aptly says, Ã¢ÂÂGod in Christ cannot be reduced to a means to our selfish ends. He is the end Himself!Ã¢ÂÂ
Throughout this refined theological discussion, Tchividjian invokes his testimony and experiences in suffering along with valuable anecdotes from others such as Larry Crabb and Scotty Ward Smith. He blends all of this with popular culture tie ins such as Oprah and Seinfeld. Noteworthy is TchividjianÃ¢ÂÂs vulnerability about his parentÃ¢ÂÂs marital issues and the merger between New City and Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.
Memorable quotes from Glorious Ruin include:
Ã¢ÂÂChristianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is about bad people coping with their failure to do good. That is to say, Christianity concerns the gospelÃ¢ÂÂ¦Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂChristianity is not first and foremost about our behavior, our obedience, our response, and our daily victory over sin. It is first and foremost about Jesus!Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂThe problems of life are large and complex; pat answers are not only inaccurate but also unkind.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂThe gospel is for the defeated, not the dominant.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂOnly when God drives us to the end of ourselves do we begin to see life in the gospel.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂWe are not justified by our understanding of GodÃ¢ÂÂs grace, after all; we are justified by the death and resurrection of Christ!Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂOnly when we come to the end of ourselves do we come to the beginning of God. This is a common theme in the Bible Ã¢ÂÂ desperation precedes deliverance. Grief precedes glory. The cross precedes the crown. Powerlessness is the beginning of freedom.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂIf you donÃ¢ÂÂt go to your grave confused, you donÃ¢ÂÂt go to your grave trusting.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂChristians serve an unrelenting God who graciously disallows full, lasting satisfaction in anything but Him.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂOur point of pain reveals our greatest need Ã¢ÂÂ our need to be set free from false hopes and to cling to the only hope of the gospel.Ã¢ÂÂ
This riveting book brought clarity to an issue that has inflicted inner turmoil within me. Throughout life I have medicated, minimalized, or moralized suffering around me. I have insulated myself from suffering. Now, I live in it as a pastor, husband, and father. Friends have surrounded me in this past year to help me reason through this issue. Fortunately, these friends are of a higher caliber than JobÃ¢ÂÂs. This past year I finally processed the grief of my eldest brother who past away five years ago. My wife and I walked through the emotional and physical anguish of totaling our mini-van, praising God that no one was hurt. I experienced my first surgical experience as I had a benign tumor removed from my body. I have managed fears about my children growing up without parents or my children inflicted with disease. All because I have heard testimony of others who are walking through those scenarios now. Suffering, pain, and anguish are inescapable.
I highly recommended Glorious Ruin. Not just because this is a book that gives clarity to an issue that catches up with everyone but because this book captures the wonder of the gospel that speaks hope into our lives in the midst of suffering. Tchividjian concludes, Ã¢ÂÂRegardless of what you are facing, know this: suffering is not final. Death is not the end. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt for Jesus, and itÃ¢ÂÂs not for youÃ¢ÂÂ¦In the light of the cross, suffering and death are more than inevitable; they are good.Ã¢ÂÂ
Order Glorious Ruin today and start reading it for tomorrow. This book equips every believer to face the impending reality of suffering. Thank you David C. Cook for my review copy of Glorious Ruin.
Read more book reviews from Joey Cochran at jtcochran.com.
October 12, 2012