Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You Can Change

One of the books making the rounds at our church is Tim Chester's "You Can Change". I know, the title makes it sounds like a self-help book, but that is where any resemblance to a self-help book ends.*

In a blog post, Chester outlines the key questions his book will answer (there are good summaries in the link):

1. How would you like to change?
2. Why would you like to change?
3. How are you going to change?
4. What’s going on in your heart?
5. What truths do you need to turn to?
6. What desires do you need to turn from?
7. What stops you changing?
8. What strategies do you need to put in place to reinforce faith and repentance?
9. How can we support one another in change?
10. Are you ready for a lifetime of daily change?

He summarizes the book this way:

Change is a lifelong, daily struggle that will end with an eternal harvest of holiness.

The key moves in the book, but also the key moves for anyone wanting to help others change are:

  • ensuring the what, why and how of change are God-oriented not self-oriented (otherwise we will just produce more effective legalists);
  • moving the discussion from merely looking at behaviour to looking at the affections of the heart;
  • showing how change takes place through daily faith and repentance, and making this connection concrete for people;
  • introducing the ideas of fleeing temptation and discipling life only once this foundation has been built as means to reinforce faith and repentance rather mechanisms for self-induced changed;
  • showing how the Christian community is the normative context for change and how we can help one another change.
Read about it here.

Buy it here (there is also a pdf sample of the book to preview)
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*I have to confess up front that I have not read the book... yet. I know it is a no-no in many circles (including my own) to recommend a book you haven't read, however, since I read blogs, I read portions of books and I have read enough of this one, on blogs, to know that it is recommendable. My wife and I have plans to read it very soon. I tried to purchase it at my church's bookstore a couple of Sundays ago, but they were out of it. So, these are my lame bona fides for going ahead with recommending a book I haven't read... anyone buying them?

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