Review: 'Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer' by Paul David Tripp


Tripp’s book is more pastoral in his approach than Adams did in his Theology. Instruments demonstrates a softer hand, more concise English, and, as a result, a better read overall. His call is not dissimilar from Adams, but seems to be written for the average lay-person. In this, he achieves his goal to not present a paradigm where trained “professionals” accomplish discipleship and biblical counseling within the church, but one in which the whole body comes together for this task.

The book breathes hope upon the believer. For instance, Tripp notes, “Even our suffering does not belong to us, but to the Lord” (153), getting our focus off ourselves. He continues, “A whole host of self-absorbed temptations greet us when we treat suffering as something that belongs to us.” Finally, he concludes by stating, “We are to weep loudly and mourn fully before him, knowing that true comfort can only be found at his feet” (154).

No comfort or hope is found while we wallow in self-pity or respond sinfully to our suffering.  It is found only at the feet of Jesus.

Against an approach to Scripture that uses God's Word only as a means to an end, Tripp argues that the “Bible makes a poor encyclopedia.” He continues, “If you try to use your Bible as God’s encyclopedia, you will either conclude that it has little to say about some crucial issues of modern life or you will bend, twist, and stretch passages to suit your purposes” (26). As such, Tripp argues for a realistic approach to God’s Word and work, answering and disarming opponents of the Nouthetic model.

5 Stars, highly recommended for all Christians.

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