“How People Change” – Book Review

How People Change by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David TrippA while back I started reading a book called “How People Change” written by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. To be honest, I think the beginning of the book has some of the greatest insight I have seen into the American church today – they call it the “Gospel Gap.” It’s actually something my friend blogged about a while back (“The Disconnect”) and something I blogged about a long time ago, when I first read the book. Even after reading the book, I still think it was really insightful.

The author takes a look at 2 Peter 1:3-9 as describing this “Gap”: Continue reading →


Counsel or Command?

I’m reading A Theology of Christian Counseling by Jay Adams for a class – he says this: “By counsel (he didn’t decide to do it on his own) Adam named the animals. By counsel he dressed the garden. By counsel he learned of the trees in the garden and the proper use of them (as well as the possible consequences of misuse). All this came after creation, to a man who was made to be dependent on God’s counsel for all his life, who was capable of being changed and developed by that counsel…But something happened that led to the misery we have already mentioned: man turned from God’s counsel to heed Satan’s counsel” (p. 3).

I read that and really had a problem with the wording – “counsel”. I mean, really, is that what was going on? Was God “counseling” Adam not to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t that a COMMAND?

Adams then goes on to say, “Man has no counsel that is strictly “his own” (John 8:34-44). If he rejects God’s counsel, whatever counsel he follows instead turns out to be Satan’s counsel” (p. 5).

But is it true that men cannot think up evil by himself, without the aid of the devil? Does that mean that EVERY evil thing I do is because I got the idea from the devil? What about my heart? Doesn’t James say I am the source of my sin?

The only time I found a verse talking about God’s counsel was in Job 15:8 – is says this: “Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And limit wisdom to yourself?”

I’m having trouble seeing Adams’ point of view…it seems like he has a subject and is proof texting an idea that he made up. Why not just be Biblical? Is the Bible not enough? Why should I say “counsel” when the Bible clearly shows that it was a command?

And why should I blame the devil for all the evil I do, when the Bible makes it clear that I am evil and need no help?

Sorry, I’m a little tired, and ranting – but I had to dump it somewhere :)