Tripp, Paul David. Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015. 198 pp. $19.99.
Amazing meals at Michelin starred restaurants, glorious multicolored sunsets, beholding a newborn of your own flesh or a dazzling, once-in-a-lifetime performance leaves us wide-eyed, slack jawed and in awe. Everyone is in awe of something. Whatever makes us gasp in delight shapes who we are and who we are becoming. In Awe, Paul Tripp aims to show that our awe of this material world points us to the need to stand in awe of the glory of our Creator.
Awe of our material world is designed to point us to the Creator of heaven and earth. Paul Tripp writes, “You are meant to be inspired and to celebrate the awesome things that come from the Creator’s hand. But as you participate and rejoice in the awesome display of creation, you must understand that these awesome things were not intended to be ultimate” (20-21). Tripp parses out how every amazing and awesome experience in the world is to point us to the originator of it all: God. God created it all to reveal his glory, and when we lose sight of that reality we begin to stand in awe of ourselves. We become enamored with our own awe-inducing accomplishments, beauty and characteristics. We steal God’s glory, and replace awe-of-God with awe of everything other than God. We forget God’s sovereign design, control and purposes, and instead fulfill our own pleasures at whatever cost. We forget that God longs for us to know and love him deeply, and so we complain, whine, grumble and generally live as though God has no place in our world.
Paul Tripp sheds the veneer on our lesser joys to reveal that Christ and his glory is the true source of ever-increasing awe. And when we rightly behold God’s glory, Christians can live as changed people in the home, workplace, church and world, freed to enjoy God and his many lavish gifts to his people.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Paul Tripp is wonderful doctor of the soul. He writes not theoretically, but out of his deep personal experience with unusual pastoral sensitivity and insight. Tripp shares in the preface he wrote this book for himself after gaining forty pounds and unduly in awe of gastrointestinal delights. Awe is a wonderful resource for so many Christians who are titillated, impressed by and consumed with the material world that they have lost sight of the awesomeness of God and what he has done in Christ.
This book is intended to awaken sleepy-eyed Christians to the wonder of God. Additionally, it can help so many believers see why understanding the splendor and majesty of God is indeed important to everything we think, say and do. This is an issue that gets right to the core of who we are and what we love, pursue and delight in. This is not a peripheral issue floating along the edges, but rather confronts the very core of who we are, what we believe and how we will approach the holy, majestic, loving and fearsome God of the universe.
This book is for those pastors and leaders who have become overly familiar with God. It is for Christians who are merely going through the routines. It is for the multitudes of people who just can’t figure out why reality television, sports, Twitter, music and movies are so much more interesting than God. It is for those who lack joy and feel as though their spiritual life exists beneath a storm cloud. Awe will help you recover your awe of God, and when that happens, we will enjoy our hunger for and delight in the glorious Savior Jesus.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
Awe by Paul David Tripp is a much needed wake up call to behold the majesty, splendor and awesomeness of the God who deserves all the praise and worship of all creation for all eternity.