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How People Change

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,312 ratings  ·  172 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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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,312 ratings  ·  172 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)
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.
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
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.
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!
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
Gary B
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, read-2017
There is some good stuff in this book. I found the first third-or-so to be somewhat tedious, but the author does say he needs to lay the groundwork for the rest of the book.

The approach of heat - thorns - cross - fruit was helpful. I will need to re-read the book shortly because I missed a fair bit the first time through.


I first read this in 2014 and decided it was time for a re-read. I think I found the book to be better and more helpful the second time through. There is so much packed into
Phil Dunn
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Shaela Woody
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Benedict Tan
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
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.
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.
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.
Eric Chappell
Jan 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great for counseling
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
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
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is really a book on sanctification but from a practical-ish perspective. The book's main picture of Heat-Thorns-Cross-Fruit offers a helpful picture of separating circumstances from our responses. This also offers a good perspective on hardship and the Christian life. This would be a good book to give a new believer but it's also good reminder for any time and helpful to meditate on . . . "The Christian life is a state of thankful discontent or joyful dissatisfaction". . . "God does not cal ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A terrific book

How People Change has the potential to change any Christian's life. Lane and Tripp point out that change is a process and needs to be done in a community of believers. At the core of their message is the gospel and the person of Christ. Change is possible with a firm understanding of the gospel and the willingness to be shape and pruned by the Holy Spirit.
Greg Mathis
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely essential to understanding personal change and repentance. It serves excellently as both a resource to individuals and those seeking to provide biblical counsel. Composed with reachable language, the text is laden with practical advice and tangible "next steps" for those seeking deeper conformity to Christ.
Elizabeth Painter
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best “practical theology” books I’ve ever read. Not only has it already been extensively helpful for walking through brokenness with those near me, but it has given me the courage to come to Christ to examine my heart and pursue godly change and fruit. This book will definitely be a yearly read for me.
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: taking-a-break
I've cheated a bit here - I haven't actually finished the book yet. I got to 75% and needed to take a break. It's good stuff, almost too good stuff. You need to be in the right place to read this book I think, otherwise it can feel like quite an onslaught. Not quite there myself at the moment, so will need to return to it at a later date to finish I think...
Leah Schroeder
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a practical, helpful book exploring the ideas of applying the gospel to our everyday area that need change. I would highly recommend it to Christians who are serious about living their faith!
Ray Ruppert
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will make a change in your life

This book was on our reading list for counselors. From scripture,, it provides solid ways for us to change and to help others change. It is a must for anyone who wants to do biblical counseling.
David Pulliam
Good overview of CCEF

I think this book gives a good overview of how CCEF does ministry, but I do not find Lane and Tripp to be exceptional writers though they are very clear and I know many people appreciate that.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book!

Fantastic book for helping me first understand my own heart and what causes struggles in my own life and then for having a very very helpful framework for being able to understand the roots of other people’s issues and to effectively counsel others. Highly recommended!
D Lee
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! Essential teaching for helping others and ourselves to have better relationships, better marriages, and become more like Christ.
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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
“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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