About the Book:
In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others.
This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.
Glorious Ruin is a fantastic book for all who are in the midst of the storms of life and are being tossed and turned, slammed into the rocks and are looking for God to liberate you. This book will preach the Good News that Jesus is working through the trial and is ultimately setting you free to live a life that is wildly liberated. This is classic Tullian Tchividjian. He writes nothing new and nothing you haven't heard him preach or write before. In essence- it's the same book with a different cover like all of his other writings.
The book is broken into three sections: The Reality of Suffering, Confronting Suffering, and Saved by Suffering. The progression is meant to take us on a journey to finding hope in our pain through the Gospel. In this book, Tchividjian talks openly about sufferings and trials in his life. One that stuck out to me was his talking about how he became the Pastor of the nationally known Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. As one who is an aspiring pastor and one who used to be a huge fan of D. James Kennedy (the former pastor) this intrigued me. He speaks of how the church, known for its uber conservative politicalitcized Christianity, split when he merged with the church and became its pastor. He talks about the pain, hostility, conflict, and opposition he was faced with. But he points out, "God used the crucible of suffering to disillusion me about who I was. The pain cleared my vision and once it was taken away, I realized just how much I'd be relying on the endorsement of others to make me feel like I mattered. I had turned my personal validation into my primary source of meaning and value, so that without it I was miserable and depressed." Wow. What powerful, piercing, and beautiful language. Seriously. Tullian is a masterful communicator.
Like I said, however, this is nothing new. It will be a powerful book to those who are knew to Tchividijian and his gospel of freedom, but for those who have followed him for a while, it's just like everything else.
You should pick this resource up for yourself or anyone you know who is experiencing hardship and needs hope- Gospel produced hope at that!
I give Glorious Ruin 3.5 out of 5 stars.