A Mess Worth Making

by Timothy S. Lane, Paul David Tripp
Publisher: New Growth Press
Trade Paperback, 178 pages
List Price: $17.99 Our Price: $15.00

As Tim Lane and Paul Tripp observe near the end of their book, the really amazing thing isn't that the world is so broken, but that any good exists in it at all. Relationships: A Mess Worth Making is a biblical exploration of the concept of human relationship (not just the facebook kind), and a guide to making those you're in more productive and Christ-centered. This isn't a self-help manual per sé—the authors identify the sins any relationship is prone to, and offer advice for avoiding it as well as for achieving reconciliation when it inevitably does.

God is the constant focus. Many books deal primarily (or exclusively) with person-to-person relationships, but Lane and Tripp point to the Trinity as the only perfect example of relationship, and emphasize that only when we are pursuing God first can our human relationships begin to look like they're supposed to. Yet this isn't just a theoretical text; though grounded in orthodox theology, this is an eminently practical resource and tool for conforming yourself to the image of Christ in order to bring your relationships into greater accord with His plan.

This book was written by two men in a relationship—two friends who had collaborated from a distance before, but who decided for this project to write together in the same room and hash out each chapter, paragraph and sentence together. The result is a book full, not only of biblical wisdom, but also of the wisdom gained from actually being in a relationship with another human being. Lane and Tripp are the first to admit they fail as often as anyone else—but their focus on Christ and His example takes the focus off themselves and puts it on the only true source of love and grace, the One who loves us enough to enter into a relationship with us. Highly recommended both for those in destructive relationships and those who want to make sure their relationships don't get that way.

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