Around my house my husband kept referencing this podcast series by Tullian Tchividjian and his name alone sparked my interest. Finally after a full week of hearing his name I decided to give in and load the podcast to my itunes. Within the first 3 series I was sucked into his every word that I ran to the local bookstore and picked up his book, Glorious Ruin-how suffering sets you free. Tullian is Billy Graham’s grandson and also a pastor in Florida where his sermon series on the book of Job was turned into the book, Glorious Ruin. Within the first few chapters I was forever changed and by the end I was wrecked- my soul flipped upside down. I sit here today still mulling over his words that began breaking down the lies I’ve been fed and digesting this simple, yet hard truth- suffering setting us free. I am sure you will see more of my processing come out through my blogs in the coming weeks but here are some brief thoughts.
Tullian walks through unpacking the glory theology vs. the cross theology which sadly many, including I have been caught up in the glory theology that is leading us down the wrong path and away from the power of the Gospel in our lives. Tullian is all about Jesus and is constantly pointing the truth back to the cross, where suffering was ordained. He reminds us over and over– the Gospel is not a means to an end-it’s the end in itself. He constantly weaves through and challenges our love for law, identifying our idols and our modern beliefs in Karama.
I wish I could write the 500 quotes I wrote down in my journal that I am processing but then I would ruin the book for you so I highly recommend you grab a copy 🙂 And I think a second reading is in order for me to really digest and soak in the truths. If you think this book isn’t for you because you don’t relate to suffering, sin, and brokenness, I contend to you, you do need to read it. Because one question I jotted down and was mulling over while reading this book was,
Pain, brokenness, sin is a part of this life-it’s a result of this broken world. So why do we, especially as believers, work sooooo hard at creating an exterior that only displays the good-looking, victorious, pain free aspects of our lives? We work so hard that we actually believe the lie we created. This is slavery. These lies of false strength enslave our lives because we are upholding a fake exterior that can never exist. There is freedom when we come to accept our brokenness, pain, sin and live from the outflow of our weakness because in fact it is the common thread that actually brings us together. I think that’s why Paul talks about boasting in our suffering-because that is truly living free. “..My power is made perfect in weakness.” That is freedom, allowing Christ’s power to work in and through our messy lives.
If you’d like to grab the book it is on sale at Amazon for $7.20–that’s a deal!
And if you would like to listen to the podcast on Itunes it’s called Job: the gospel of suffering by Tullian Tchividjian