How People Change
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How People Change

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  1,249 ratings  ·  92 reviews
A changed heart is the bright promise of the gospel. When the Bible talks about the gift of a new heart, it doesn?t mean a heart that is immediately perfected, but a heart that is capable of being cha
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by New Growth Press (first published 2006)
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It's the unspoken elephant in the room: why aren't professing Christians, by and large, any different than non-Christians? We often struggle and fail at the same sins, have the same divorce rates, and generally don't stand out as being more kind or loving than devoted moral adherants of other religions--- despite our theology that we have been "born again." Ask many, including pastors, the question, and the reply often comes down to some variant of "they aren't trying hard enough" or "they aren'...more
One of the best books I have ever read that explains the gospel in context of the believer's life. Beautiful and simple biblical model of the believer as either a thorny shrub or fruitful tree and how the circumstances we go through will reveal which kind of plant we are. This book ties the gospel message to God's purpose for us, our identity and new nature in Him, God's ability to do what He promises, and the benefit of healthy church life. I have not only read this book, but have also taken th...more
Well developed approach to ministry/discipleship/counseling

There is a Gospel gap: many of us as Christians think that there are some things (many things?) that we can't trust Jesus to deliver us from (we need a professional). Actually, we have been given everything for life and godliness in the gospel. Therein is the GAP.

Our purpose is to glorify God

We will serve something/someone. Even as Christians, we are prone to idolatry --- willing to sin to get what we want that is more important to us th...more
Bob Price
How People Change is one of those books that you need to keep reading and re-reading to understand and...more importantly, to apply!

What I mean by this is not that Lane presents anything that is controversial or new or frankly unconventional. Rather, the material is so basic that we instinctively want to make it more complicated in order that we don't have to follow it.

Coming from a strong Reformed Christian perspective, Lane writes with passion and conviction. In his understanding (and mine)...more
Paul Brown
Although I had high expectations when I purchased How People Change, the book turned out to be even better than I expected. In the first few chapters, the authors earned my respect as men who are committed to the power of the gospel to change lives and who are familiar with the human heart, both from their own experience and from counseling others. The first five chapters lay the groundwork for the model of change that is presented in the remaining chapters. Lane and Tripp work hard to help the...more
Shaela Woody
I normally avoid this kind of book, as my experience with this genre is that it's full of self-help pop psychology crap, with a few Bible verses sprinkled in to make it all sound Christian. This book was kind of the opposite. The authors teach nothing new, just the familiar orthodox stuff on sanctification and God's grace, and that's what was so awesome about it. Those are the doctrines I need to learn over and over. I really appreciated the points about how all sin is first and foremost a "wors...more
Donovan Richards
Give It 50 Pages

Nancy Pearl isn’t the only one with this argument, but I heard it from her first so she’s getting credit. Statistically speaking, there are more books in the world than any one person could ever read in a lifetime. Your reading time is sacred and finite. Pearl, thus, urges her followers to avoid reading books they find unrewarding. Give a book 50 pages; if it doesn’t grip you, move on without regret.

Sadly, I find it difficult to heed these rules. What if a book gets better after...more
Phil Dunn
An excellent counselling-style book getting right to the heart of how God changes his people. The authors focus is not so much what the Gospel has accomplished in the past, or what it will accomplish in the future - but how it can be applied in the here and now. This, it is argued by the authors, is a much needed area for exploring. After reading it, I agree!

The writers main themes are fivefold:
1) The Extent and Gravity of our Sin
2) The Centrality of the Heart
3) The Present Benefits of Christ
I was really concerned that this book would be another of those popular "Christian Self-Help Books" that I dislike so much. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This book by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp is completely Gospel-based and grounded in scripture. I always assumed that if I were more disciplined, if I did the "right things", if I found the right "program", then the areas of my life that need to be changed would change. However, time and time again I fail and fall. Lane and Tripp work...more
Chad Stutzman
This is a book we use at NewPointe to train our mentors. It describes the process of how a person changes. It is a very practical, easy to understand look at the change process. A great book to help you examine your spiritual and emotional life and help you begin to make some changes.
A book on how progressive sanctification works, though I don't think the term is in the book at all. Emphasizes the importance of daily living a life with Christ through ongoing repentance and faith. The material is helpfully organized around a 4-part system of heat, thorns, cross, and fruit, based on Jeremiah 17:5-10's parable. The heart is identified as the foundational location where change must take place. The resources of salvation are identified and the reality of the new creation is empha...more
Tim Woody
This book was great. I challenge anyone to read this book and not find themselves in these pages. Not only will they find themselves but they will get Christ focused advice on how to tackle your struggles.

Recently at a lecture, Carl Truman was talking about what you would do if someone came up to you and began telling you about all the great things they were learning from a book you knew to be not so great and misleading. His answer was that you should find out what they are needing and getting...more
Bob T
Great guidance for gospel centered growth

I rated this book 5 stars because it's one of the best I've read on personal growth. it's practical and very gospel centered. No pop psychology or new age concepts here, thank goodness. Just living by the Word and wisdom of the Lord and creator of the universe...what better source than that!

This material is presented in a very practical and easy to understand way. There's also a very good section on how the church can be more effective as a change agent...more
Benjamin Alexander
a great book on sanctification. Good.
There are books that impact you significantly because of the particular situation or place in life you are currently in. This book has made a profound impact on my understanding of spiritual growth and development, and is a must read. Had I read this a few years back, I probably wouldn't have had the same feeling, but due to the work God has been doing in my life at Trinity and Life on the Vine (our church), this book has connected the dots on a lot of thoughts I've had on the topic.

The book fo...more
Mike E.
Feb 01, 2013 Mike E. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: small group leaders, pastors, Christians in need of refreshment and soul renewal
"Often there has been too much of a separation between the theology we say we believe and the world we struggle in every day. The purpose of this book is to bridge the gap (p 13)." For me this was a worthy read--nothing new, nothing earth shattering but a compelling call to LIVE the gospel, to live the Christian life now. Throughout the book one reads of many case scenarios. These hit home--if not with one's own struggles, then with someone you know.

The "X-ray" questions are p 142 ff. are helpfu...more
A passage that particularly resonated with me:

We must reject a view of the Christian life that emphasizes what we should do more more than what God is doing in us by his Spirit. We should reject any view of the Christian life that says that the change God calls us to is impossible, or only takes place in eternity. We should reject any perspective on the Christian life that minimizes the war that rages in on our hearts every day---or ignores the fact that God is fighting it for us and with us! Th...more
Lindsay Deans
Loved this practical yet Biblically saturated book. Including the major theme of many in the Biblical Counseling category, authentic Christian communal living is the setting where change, real and lasting heart change, happens- pointing utmost to the finished work on the cross, and living in present grace. This book was challenging, yet very powerful and a transformative tool God used in drawing my heart closer to Him as He healed me from what was keeping me guarded and not wholly surrendered to...more
kate baral
This book is a must read for all who want to see themselves truthfully, as God sees them. The book encourages us to view situations that arise in life as Heat (as from the sun), and our responses to those situations as "Thornbushes" or "Fruit Trees". Should heat arise, how will we respond and what does this show us about the true desires of our hearts? The answer to turning a "Thornbush" Response into a "Fruit Tree" response, is the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Cross, which becomes an key element...more
The biblical minded, God honoring realism. The problem in our hearts and the solution in Christ are not complicated ideas but are profound. The diagram on page 84 represents the clear model of our daily struggles in sanctification depicted in the pages of the book, which is very compelling.

The structure of the book was weird. It should have been divided into three sections. Chapters 1-6 could have been greatly condensed and marked as one section. It was not an easy book to skim through. Chapters...more
Donald L. Coldwell Jr.
Will Read this over and over

Will Read this over and over

This book brings an organization to ministering to each and every person I meet. This includes myself as I follow Jesus and lead my family. Many, many bookmarks and highlights in this book.
The Book deals the effect of the gospel in how all Christians SHOULD have a changed heart. Practical help advice founded on sound theology of regeneration and sanctification. If you believe a Christian can live without exhibiting any fruit of the spirit, you need to read this!
Stephanie Blake
Filled with real life illustrations, Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp put the ability to change in a fresh perspective. In order to really change, people need to know where they stand with God, what is possible through Christ and leave the old ideas about change behind. God is the only one who can make true change possible. He can forgive sin. He can mend a heart. He does not make someone better. He can make someone like His Son Jesus. That is the change that all of us need.
Sean Post
For me personally, the book was two stars. However, I gave it three stars because I believe it has some redeeming qualities that I didn't fully experience. For one, I cruised through the book and its not really designed for that. It would probably be a great small group type book or even as a supplement to someone's personal Bible study.

The final two-thirds of the book is structured around a comprehensive visual model the author uses to depict action-reaction-change in the Christian life. It wa...more
Stopped reading a quarter through because each chapter was getting predictable. How do people change? Answer: Jesus! However the "gospel gap" concept was very helpful. The first chapter was all I needed.
The Men's Ministry of Denton Bible Church
This book explains the biblical pattern for change in a clear, practical way that you can apply to the challenges of daily life. A changed heart is the bright promise of the gospel. When the Bible talks about the gift of a new heart, it doesn't mean a heart that is immediately perfected, but a heart that is capable of being changed. Jesus' work on the cross targets our hearts, our core desires and motivations, and when our hearts change, our behavior changes. But change involves more than a bibl...more
I'm only a couple chapters into this book, but it's already managed to reverse the immediate gag reflex a book with this kind of title naturally causes in me. I think timing is so important when reading these types of books and the timing for sure has mattered for my reading. Still, I the fact that the authors explicitly say that they know this book can't change lives makes it objectively helpful. Final full review to come.


It's been a while since any book besides the Bible has affec...more
This book was very average. If I hadn't been reading it and then discussing it with a group, I never would have been able to finish it. It had some good idea's and good points, that brought up lot's of discussion. The author kept building an expectation that there were some big things to come. I think the phrase "we'll discuss this more in the coming chapters" was stated several times in every chapter. Nothing revolutionary was ever uncovered. The only original material was discussed in the firs...more
I REALLY recommend that is anyone that is SERIOUS about change! This is not a complicated thing but it is not always easy. This is not a cute little book that is going to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about serving Jesus. This book goes straight to heart of idols and sin issues in our life and offers the Biblical solution to change these destructive patterns. This is the GOSPEL!! If I was being 100% honest I got angry at this book at times!! I didn't like what it was saying...but I know that...more
Jared Mcnabb
Excellent book, laying out the foundation of Biblical, heart-centered, daily sanctification and transformation. Both Biblical and practical, the message of this book is at the heart of all the other great works that CCEF people like Tripp, Emlet etc have put out.
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“You and I will only be able to understand what is valuable when we examine things from the perspective of eternity.” 2 likes
“Scripture makes it clear that these responses are not forced upon us by the pressures of the situation. What I do comes from inside me. The things that happen to me will influence my responses but never determine them. Rather, these responses flow out of the thoughts and motives of my heart.” 2 likes
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