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Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free [Kindle Edition]

Tullian Tchividjian
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this world, one thing is certain: Everybody hurts. Suffering may take the form of tragedy, heartbreak, or addiction. Or it could be something more mundane (but no less real) like resentment, loneliness, or disappointment. But there’s unfortunately no such thing as a painless life. In Glorious Ruin, best-selling author Tullian Tchividjian takes an honest and refreshing look at the reality of suffering, the ways we tie ourselves in knots trying to deal with it, and the comfort of the gospel for those who can’t seem to fix themselves—or others. 

This is not so much a book about Why God allows suffering or even How we should approach suffering—it is a book about the tremendously liberating and gloriously counterintuitive truth of a God who suffers with you and for you. It is a book, in other words, about the kind of hope that takes the shape of a cross.

Editorial Reviews


"Biblically saturated and faithful, Glorious Ruin is a gift to the hurting, confused, and curious and will prepare many to marvel at the goodness and grace of God in all circumstances."
Matt Chandler, lead pastor of The Village Church and president of Acts 29 Church Planting Network

"Like you, I'm a sufferer. For the last three years I have watched my eight-year-old daughter suffer with cancer. The why and how of suffering have been of little value to my family and me. The truth of the Who and grace, so wonderfully presented in this book, has been our life and only hope."
Britt Merrick, founder of the Reality family of churches, pastor for preaching and vision at Reality Santa Barbara, author of Godspeed and Big God

"Glorious Ruin is a gospel-driven tour de force. Tullian shows how no matter what you're going through, God stands with you in your suffering and is everything you'll ever need. I couldn't recommend this book more highly!"
Mark Batterson, lead pastor of National Community Church, Washington, DC, and New York Times best-selling author of The Circle Maker

About the Author

Tullian Tchividjian is the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, a visiting professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, and grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham. He is a bestselling author, a contributing editor to Leadership Journal, and a popular conference speaker. Tullian and his family reside in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2454 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1434704025
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (October 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00969I86Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Ruin Points To The Gospel September 29, 2012
I was very shocked when I walked into a hole in the wall Christian bookstore and found the book Glorious Ruin sitting there on the shelf. I thought that the book was supposed to be released at the beginning of October, but somehow I ended up being able to purchase the book and read it over the course of one week. I can't say enough about how reading Glorious Ruin has been a tremendous blessing to my life. Tullian's love for the Gospel is truly contagious and I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Tullian addresses the reality of suffering in the first 3 chapters of Glorious Ruin. His section on the Theology of Glory vs. the Theology of the Cross is excellent. Tullian says, "A theology of the cross defines life in terms of giving rather than taking, self-sacrifice rather than self-protection, dying rather than killing." I would highly recommend this section. It has a lot to offer. Also, Tullian's comparison of the Law and Gospel in chapter 2 really shows that, "when we finally come to the end of ourselves, there God will be."

Moralizing and Minimizing suffering is what the next two sections discuss. Moralizing suffering says that because of your bad behavior or particular sin is why you suffer. Minimizing suffering says to downplay or reduce the pain of the suffering that you are dealing with. However, we realize that the Gospel liberates us from feeling like we have to moralize or minimize our suffering. This is extremely important. Because of what Jesus Christ has already done, we are free to be honest and confront our suffering head on.

The last section shows us how we are saved by suffering. The Gospel is for defeated, not the dominant. God is truly found in the weak things of the world.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting October 1, 2012
This wasn't what I expected. I assumed I was opening either another book on the "Why" of suffering or the "How" of dealing with suffering, but Glorious Ruin is neither of those. As Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) explains, this is a book about the "Who," about God who manifests Himself to us in our suffering.

The bulk of Tchividjian's narrative rests upon a distinction between a theology of glory and a theology of the cross, a distinction he takes from Martin Luther. In the former, suffering (most notably Christ's on the cross) is an unpleasant means to a future end, usually salvation or God's power over the earth. But in a theology of the cross, God is present, is at work, in the suffering. This frees us, Tchividjian writes, to face life's tragedies, admit their pain, and yet stand comforted by our hope in God.

Tchividjian buried one of my favorite observations in the middle of this brief book: All our misguided attempts to get beyond suffering fall into one of two camps -- we either minimize the suffering, which harms the sufferer by telling her that she needs to get over it, or we attempt to do better in life so that God will stop punishing us. Rather than embrace either, Tchividjian writes, we must remember the gospel's message that suffering is real and that our healing comes only through God's grace.

I appreciated this book's message, particularly near its end, and the three-star rating reflects the fact that I liked but did not love the whole thing.

I must admit that I struggled to grasp the distinction Tullian draws between the theology of the cross and one example of a theology of glory, a tendency he calls the "Oprah-fication of suffering.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping It Real October 1, 2012
I recently purchased the book "Change Your Words Change Your Life" by Joyce Meyer, who I listen to almost daily and admire greatly. While her words have been inspirational on my spiritual journey, I found the work of Glorious Ruin to be much more in tune to the way I'm feeling today. I am a journalist who was accused of plagiarism and while I wasn't fired I don't write nearly as much as I used and I'm working more as a copy editor which is not fulfilling. While Meyer's words guide you to think positively and put on a happy face in the midst of suffering, Glorious Ruin discusses how we don't need to ignore the pain and while we don't have to embrace the suffering, it's comforting to know that God is with us during our time of trails. We may rebound from our suffering, then again we may not, but this is the time we should turn our pain and suffering over to God. I'm suffering right now because my career meant the world to me and I cannot simply say, "the sun will come out tomorrow" and smile my pain away. Glorious Ruin reminds the us to put our faith in the sufficiency of Christ Jesus and His atoning work. Suffering doesn't necessarily mean an automatic path to personal growth - that's a narcissistic view of life - but it does force us to rely solely on our Heavenly Father. Whatever happens to me and my career is in God's hands and Glorious Ruin gives me affirmation that it's OK to feel that way.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian October 12, 2012
Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You FreeTonight my four-year old daughter came downstairs past her bed-time and asked me what I was doing. I explained to her that I was finishing up a book by Tullian Tchividjian called Glorious Ruin. I told her it was a book about suffering. She gave me a blank stare. The blank stare began when I said Tchividjian, and it continued as I quizzed her on the concept of suffering. The conversation ended with her asking to listen to Disney Princess songs, which I politely complied. Don't tell Mrs. Cochran that Chloe was up so late. Apparently the concept of suffering was too much for her and she wanted to retreat into the safe, insulated magical world of Disney.

My daughter's response is somewhat normal and is a snapshot of all of humanities response to suffering. According to Tchividjian we either medicate (Chloe with Princess Music), minimalize, or moralize suffering. Thividjian's task with Glorious Ruin is to direct us back to the God of suffering. God is sovereign not just over the joys in life but the suffering too. Pointedly Tchividjian says, "God's chief concern in your suffering is to be with you and be Himself for you. In other words our ruin may not ultimately spell our undoing. It may in fact spell the beginning of faith. And in the end, that is enough. Gloriously so."

In Glorious Ruin Tchividjian walks us through a study of suffering in the book of Job while presenting Martin Luther's classic argument contrasting the theology of glory with the theology of the cross. Tchividjian's objective is to direct us back to the gospel. Only in understanding the gospel we truly can come to terms with suffering.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
Thank you, what a wonderful perspective on life and pain. While impossible since it just was published in 2012, I wish I had read this book years ago.
Published 1 day ago by Neil F. Frihart
5.0 out of 5 stars Laying down the idol of. "WHY?"
This book floored me. It challenged my thinking...both the good and the bad....and it encouraged my heart at the same time.
Published 1 day ago by Steve Busch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
relevant; Gospel-oriented vs. me-oriented
Published 3 days ago by love2cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. A must read for every church goer and ...
Excellent. A must read for every church goer and trauma survivior. Exposes pious platitudes so often used to mitigate our own pain when hearing of someone elses suffering. Read more
Published 13 days ago by christine Pahl
4.0 out of 5 stars challenging and thought provoking!
This book really challenged the way our culture views and responds to suffering. It made me really ponder how much I reject Jesus in it all.
Published 14 days ago by jrpmom1010
5.0 out of 5 stars Changed my world...
This book changed my world. I've been a Christian since childhood and am now in my 50s and finding the message of the gospel of grace freshly renewed and strengthened through this... Read more
Published 16 days ago by C. Wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars Revealing
This is a very good book. Astonishingly revealing what the modern church has done to the doctrine of suffering: changing it from what God intended to a look at me get through it... Read more
Published 19 days ago by robert dunning
5.0 out of 5 stars outstandingly liberating
The freedom of the gospel of grace is so beautifully, tangibly, and honestly shared through Tullian's words, stories, and emotions. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Samantha
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read for anyone who has ever asked the question "Why Lord?",
Published 21 days ago by David
4.0 out of 5 stars son's new life
Book was helped us deal with our son's death at 36. Very difficult time for us. Last chapters were great
Published 21 days ago by luis iza
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