Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands is certainly one of the best books I've ever read. This is my third time through it and I think I'm challenged more by it this time than the first two times.
If you are in EQUIP, don't forget to read the first nine chapters by Saturday for our class.
Here are three important, summary quotes:
- from the preface: "Many of us would be relieved if God had placed our sanctification in the hands of trained and paid professionals, but that simply is not the biblical model. God's plan is that through the faithful ministry of every part, the whole body will grow to full maturity in Christ. (p. xi)
- from chapter 1:
"If you are going to help someone, you need to know what is wrong and how it can be fixed. You go to your auto mechanic because he can determine why your car is malfunctioning and get it running again. Any trustworthy perspective on personal change must do the same. It must correctly diagnose what is wrong with people and what is necessary for them to change.
"This is where our culture gets it completely wrong. In rejecting a biblical view of people, the world eliminates any hope of answering the "what is wrong?" question accurately. And if it wrongly answers this question, how can it possibly provide a proper solution?
"Why do people do the things they do? Is my problem fundamentally an informational one? Will a well-researched, logical set of insights provide the solution? Or is my problem fundamentally experiential? Will dealing with my past solve my problem? Is my problem fundamentally biological? Will helping me achieve chemical balance solve my problem? Or is there something beneath all these things that is more deeply wrong with me? Scripture's answer to this last question is a clear, resounding, "Yes!"
"Scripture would agree that my problem is informational, in that I don't know what I need to know. it also affirms the impact of our experiences, though it maintains that our core problem precedes our experience and goes deeper. The Bible also acknowledges the complex interaction between our physical and spiritual natures, but it never locates our core problem in our biology. in this way, the Bible is radical compared to our culture.
"The Bible says that our core problem, the fundamental reason we do what we do, is sin. What is being said here? Scripture is defining sin as a condition that results in behavior. We all are sinners, and because of this, we all do sinful things." (pp. 9-10)
- From Chapter one: "If you are going to deal with your own difficulties or assist others who want to deal with theirs, you must correct wrong thinking. Yes, you must deal with the suffering of the past and ways the body isn't properly functioning, but you must do more. You must help them conquer the sin that distorts all these experiences." (p. 10)