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How People Change

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  3,948 ratings  ·  224 reviews
Deceptively simple in its prose, How People Change is a revolutionary and provocative book for all who have felt trapped by their own desires. Paul David Tripp and Timothy S. Lane collaborate to expose the heart issues at stake and help people to make real, lasting change. These answers, the authors assert, lie in appropriating the fullness of the grace and freedom of Jesu ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by New Growth Press
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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  3,948 ratings  ·  224 reviews

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Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Bob Price
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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)
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I honestly have so many different thoughts about this book, it's hard to organize them, or even decide how many starts to rate it. I fluctuate between 3 and 5 and everywhere in the middle.

I think it is a very good foundational book, one that deals with a lot of core doctrine and provides some basic starting points for making...changes. Sorry, I wanted another word but I couldn't find one. For daily life problems, the grind all of us go through and the sins we all commit, it hits the "reset" butt
Jul 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-books
3.5 stars

Reading this book felt like eating expensive ravioli. The pasta was al dente, the sauce was delicious, and the garlic bread side dish was amazing.
The general design of the dish however, was not my favourite. The chef had somehow seen fit to make the pasta dough too thick so that the ravioli tasted rather 'Deja vu-ey' each week before breaking into the content of the little pasta pockets.
Unfortunately there was also too much sauce and to few vegetables. The entire dish seemed to be rough
Peter Krol
Nov 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
I'm amazed by how much I need to change...

This was a wonderful introduction to the topic of change, particularly on how we need to uncover the thoughts and motives of our hearts and be changed by the Cross of Christ. The Gospel really should be central in all we do.

Update 2015: Still very helpful. And I still need to change.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a phenomenal book! I read it through with a young deacon in our church, chapter by chapter, meeting weekly. There are hundreds of practical, down to earth questions in this book that make you work to comprehend and apply. He is so biblical that there are large chunks of scripture throughout the book, and plenty of real life stories of ministry and counseling to give you an idea that this is not just theory. Read it slowly, with others and plan to come back to it often!
Jun 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mabc
Excellent content explaining the heat of our lives, the thorns we often see in our reactions to the heat (choosing to sin), the hope and help found in the cross and the fruit produced when we turn to Him. He changes us through daily faith and repentance, walking step by step with Him.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Drew Miller
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
Lane and Tripp do a wonderful job of laying out what it looks like to apply the gospel to all areas of your life and experience the lasting change that comes with doing it well.
Amber Hoot
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m really thankful to have gone through this book in a group because talking through the “heat, thorns, cross, fruit” way of thinking was very helpful. The emphasis on how everything in our walk with Christ is meant to point us back to who Christ is and increase our love for Him really helped me in thinking about what true repentance looks like and the fruit that comes from what Jesus has done for us.
Overall, this book just really helped in being reminded that Jesus really is better than our s
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: office
Profound and practical! How People Change employs a proper balance of theology and application. Much of the book details how we tend to respond to circumstances from our default setting of the sinful nature. Any circumstance, whether good or bad, can bring about a sinful response. Then Lane and Tripp show definitively how Christ redeems us from that, how we ought to respond (in repentance from sin and faith in Christ), and the evidence that we truly have been changed by faith in Christ. This boo ...more
Rex Blackburn
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love reading after Biblical counselors! They just have this ability to pierce right to the heart of my sin issues.
Erik Anderson
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
First 3rd was hard going, but then it picked up when they get to their framework and it takes off from there. Provides a REALLY helpful framework for discipleship and pastoral care!
Jeff Hill
May 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-my-library
Some good practical advice marred by a shockingly high number of misused Scriptures and the authors tendency to use 10,000 words when 10 would do.
Ollie Bliss
Oct 31, 2020 rated it liked it
The book accurately lays out the biblical model of the “heat” of life and the power of the gospel and the grace of God to grow and change.

However, I believe the author’s application to real life scenarios was poor, often irrelevant to real life battles, and having a ‘Ned Flanders’ tone - expecting people to live up to “Christian” behaviours which God’s word never actually prescribes - “[Ted] began drinking [alcohol] with his friends,” “Ted and Ginny had simply gotten married on young.”
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
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing. Must read. Will probably on my shelf to read every year.
Benedict Tan
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
So far the best book that I've read on how the gospel changes people. They spend enough time locating the foundation for change - the gospel, setting forth principles for change, and providing encouragements and challenges to keep growing in Christlikeness.

I found their illustrations very real and practical, thereby very helpful in concretising ideas and concepts. Any Christian desiring to change should read this!
Katie Bliss
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Second time through this book because it definitely bears a reminder every now and then! Still excellent too with every bit of it focused on our own hearts being the culprit to reacting to life in a sinful way and how that can change by God's grace. Helps me stop and think/pray through my own sinful responses to life events and apply biblical truth and repent and move forward. ...more
Hannah Johnson
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent book on how to change THROUGH the cross. The authors really dive into the heart of why we make the decisions we do and how to change our perspective through the lens of the Gospel. The Heat-Thorns-Fruit-Cross illustration is fantastic. This book is absolutely worth reading if you want to evaluate your heart and pursue Godly and freeing change in your life.
Chad Stutzman
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
John Yelverton
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a decent book, though it does not give the clear explanations that the title indicates that it will. That being said, the authors' insights into the root and heart of modern relationship and personal problems is mind blowing to say the least. ...more
Chrys Jones
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gospel Centered and Excellent!

Excellent book with a very powerful and strong focus on true gospel change. This is a book that has changed and will continue to change my life and the life of my church as well! I highly recommend this book for ministers and counselors alike!
Benjamin Alexander
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a great book on sanctification. Good.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever read. It takes a while because there is lots to think about and questions to answer. But it will be read again I'm sure and more will be taken from it. ...more
James Schroeder
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In the book How People Change, Timothy Lane and Paul David Tripp detail the process of biblical change using the primary metaphor of heat, thorns, cross, and fruit. In chapter one, Lane and Tripp unpack a concept from 2 Peter 1:3-9 that they refer to as the gospel gap. There are people who know the Lord, go to church regularly, volunteer their time but “their lives are not characterized by peaceful, loving relationships, a sweet, natural, day-by-day worship of the Lord, a wholesome and balanced ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Valuable, biblical instruction on how a person can replace unbiblical/ungodly thoughts and actions with biblical/godly thoughts and actions. It explains relevant Bible passages, and includes specific examples showing how to apply the principles. As is typical of a Tripp book, this one is wordy.

The book explains that real change doesn't come about through changing circumstances, behavior, or thinking, but only through Christ. Therefore, try as we might, we can't change ourselves. We are responsib
Lacey Michael
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

How People Change is an insightful, biblical exploration of how people can actually transform, from the inside out, in our modern world of stress and sin. The authors highlight the distressing fact that many Christians have missed how the Gospel can free us up and compel us to change- not just our behaviors but our hearts. They show that there is more to the Christian’s journey between our initial salvation and our dreams of heaven. Jesus opened up the way for us to walk in freedom and developme
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful truths and a much needed perspective on true repentance and faith! This book uses Scripture in great depth to present a clear picture of how we as believers stray from God and how we can truly experience growth and maturity, no matter how hopeless we feel. The church is full of people who know and believe the Gospel but find themselves stagnant and discouraged in their daily walk.
The authors’ use a simple formula of heat, thorns, cross and fruit to explain the process of real change. T
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Timothy S. Lane, M. Div., D. Min.
Born in Sylvania, Georgia, Tim enjoyed a good relationship with his parents in his formative years, but he did not become involved in church until his later teens. Just before his senior year in high school, Tim became aware of his sin and his need for Jesus. God used simple salvation sermons at a local church, as well as a group of friends, to bring him to Christ

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“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.” 4 likes
“You and I will only be able to understand what is valuable when we examine things from the perspective of eternity.” 3 likes
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