Book Review: A Quest For More, by Paul David Tripp
The Agape Class (yeah, yeah, the old folks) recently finished a study of the book by Paul David Tripp called A Quest For More. I told the class that this book was not the usual Sunday school affair. Many classes tend to gravitate toward easier material – something that will facilitate discussion. And discussion tends to make for a good class as it helps people engage with the material. But this book, especially for a Sunday school, qualifies as a graduate class.
A Quest For More assumes that the reader has already engaged with the gospel. So the author challenges the reader to examine what may be very familiar concepts, but in a much deeper way than they may have previously examined them. Primarily, Dr. Tripp tries to focus the reader on the concept of what Jesus meant when He called us to “seek first His kingdom”. What exactly do those familiar words mean and how should that determine our daily agenda as followers of Christ?
The author uses the concept of ‘the little kingdom’ and the ‘the big kingdom’ to help us examine what Jesus meant when He called us to live for Him. Beginning with an examination of the Fall of Man in Genesis, and returning to this often, he reminds us of what a complete disaster original sin was for mankind. It was this fall that created for all of Adam’s descendants a misplaced, but God-given, desire for transcendence – that part of us that will never be satisfied until we are joined to something outside our normal and ordinary range of human experience. Tripp reminds us that we were created to be connected to something much bigger than the ordinary. And until we connect to that, we will never find fulfillment.
In the garden, Scripture makes it clear that Adam and Eve were very different from the other creatures. God gave them a commission that would give them a greater purpose that would lie beyond their own small needs and survival. By design, Adam and Eve were created with a mission of transcendence as the very essence of their humanity. And to live for anything less than the purpose for which they were created would be a tragedy of the greatest degree. Tripp reminds us that this connection to God (His Kingdom) is at the heart of what it means to live for more. But sin deludes us into the very opposite, telling us that we will be fulfilled by living for self – the less.
While God does abundantly bless His children because of His grace – better marriages, better relationships, success at work, and more – Tripp wants us to see that God invites us to much more than just these things. God wants us to be connected to Him, to engage with something that is far greater than we are, and bigger than our most expansive dreams – the Bible describes that as glory.
It is only by attaching ourselves to God’s glory that we can truly find fulfillment and be fully as God created us – human. To settle for less is to deny that humanity. Only God can satisfy the longing that every human longs for. It is this “quest” that we are all embarked. The “more” that we are searching for is a person. His name is God.
Though we may never completely arrive at that destination in this life, God has promised to complete the work that He has started in us who believe (Phip. 1:6). My prayer is that we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, might encourage each other toward that goal in our walk together at Westminster.