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War of Words, Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles (Resources for changing lives) Paperback – 1 Nov 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed; First edition (1 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875526047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875526041
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 498,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Amazon Customer on 12 May 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have only read part of it so far but am p;eased with it
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Amazon.com: 81 reviews
133 of 134 people found the following review helpful
Powerful 30 May 2006
By Brian G Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"No matter where you live, no matter what you do every day, there is one thing that you do all day long. You talk." (3) So begins this insightful and practical book on our communication struggles. What sets this book apart from others on the same topic is its profound depth in addressing the issues of our words. "Our communication struggle is not primarily a struggle of technique, but a struggle of the heart" (30). Tripp doesn't settle for superficial treatment. He understands that the war of words is really part of a deeper war: the war for our hearts and souls, the war between the Word made flesh, and the enemy, whose primary tools are words of distortion, deception, and destruction.

War of Words is divided into three sections. Part One: "Talk is Not Cheap" provides the theological and biblical orientation from which the entire book speaks. Tripp begins by reminding us that "God Speaks" (chapter one). "He is the Great Speaker" (15); and He has spoken most fully through Jesus Christ, "the Word who is the only hope for our words" (5). God can be known because He speaks. And we are made in His image with the ability to speak ourselves. Our words have value, because God has given them value.

But not only does God speak, "Satan Speaks" (chapter two). Paradise was lost because Satan used words to challenge the authority of God and offer an interpretation on life that was different from God's. Lies were spoken. Words were misused. And "for the first time, people spoke against one another" (23). Now, there is "trouble with our talk" (29). In fact, "nowhere is our weakness more dramatically revealed than in our struggle with words" (31).

Into the helplessness and hopelessness of our sin, God, the Great Speaker addresses us with the greatest message of all: "The Word in the Flesh" (chapter three). The gospel of Christ addresses our fallen lives and our muddled speech. God doesn't demand that we change in our own strength. No, He sends redemption through the Living Word who becomes the ultimate model for our speech as well. Our words are meant to redeem. But our words can be redemptive only when our "idol words" (chapter four) are addressed. We must see that our speech problems are fruit growing out of the deeper root of a sinful and idolatrous heart.

Right from the beginning, Tripp summarizes the "four fundamental, life-altering principles" upon which this book is based are:

* God has a wonderful plan for our words that is far better than any plan we could come up with on our own.

* Sin has radically altered our agenda for our words, resulting in much hurt, confusion, and chaos.

* In Christ Jesus we find the grace that provides all we need to speak as God intended us to speak.

* The Bible plainly and simply teaches us how to get from where we are to where God wants us to be. (5)

In other words, the foundation for God-honoring speech is nothing less than the gospel itself, as understood within the framework of words.

Part Two lays out "A New Agenda for Our Talk." This begins with an understanding of God's sovereignty. "He is King!" (chapter five). God's sovereignty is "the cornerstone for a new agenda for our words" (70). When I truly lay hold of the truth that God is in control, exercising "unchallenged rule" in the universe (71) for His glory and my good, I can be free from trying to control and manipulate others with my words. Tripp goes on to show that we must embrace the agenda of the King (chapter six) if we are to speak for Him (chapter seven). We can only be His ambassadors when we speak out of a clear understanding of the King's mission and methods (111-122).

Chapter eight turns a corner from theological foundation to practical application, as Tripp outlines eleven "practical steps to the destination" of using our words as God desires. Because we are "citizens in need of help" (chapter nine), confrontation is a necessary part of our speech. But confrontation is scary because it so often goes wrong. We need help in doing confrontation biblically, with the humility of the gospel, recognizing that we are both helpers to others and also in need of help ourselves.

Chapter ten, "On the King's Mission" sharpens the focus on God's redemptive purpose for our words. Tripp reminds us that "we are not free to handle difficulties in whatever way seems best to us. When we are wronged, the thing of highest importance is not that we feel satisfied or avenged, but that we respond according to God's plan and for his glory" (164). The Great Commission lays claim on our everyday talk. Every word we speak is meant to carry out the redemptive purposes of God in Christ.

Finally, Part Three discusses "Winning the War of Words." Tripp's practical theology is at its best here, as he reminds us to put "First Things First" (chapter eleven) in our speech by embracing the gospel in a lifestyle of repentance. Four steps of true repentance (consideration, confession, commitment, and change) are discussed, drawing heavily on Colossians 3:12-17 and 2 Peter 1:3-9. Chapter twelve clarifies the win with an exposition of Galatians 5:13-6:2. Winning the war of words "involves recognizing the destructive power of words (5:15) . . . affirming our freedom in Christ (5:13) . . . saying no to the sinful nature (5:13, 24) . . . speaking to serve others in love (5:13-14) . . . speaking `in step with the Spirit' (5:25) . . . [and] speaking with a goal to restore (6:1-2)" (201-216).

Chapter thirteen, "Choosing Your Words," continues the expositional style of application by exhorting us to choose the right words: words of truth (Eph. 4:14-15), words of love (1 Cor. 13:4-7), words of restraint (Eph. 4:25-27), words of grace (Eph. 4:29-30), and words of forgiveness (Eph. 4:32-5:2). Only when we choose these redemptive kinds of words will the tongue be a tool for good, rather than a world of evil.

This is a powerful book which helped me personally and pastorally. The blend of biblical exposition and practical exhortation, theology and practicality, is masterful. Each section builds on the sturdy explanation of biblical texts, while including practical "how to" application, with frequent real-life examples of both redemptive and destructive speech. Every chapter ends with a "Getting Personal" list of questions for personal examination of one's own heart and life. And Tripp frequently speaks from his own failures, flavoring this book with humility and authenticity. This is a wonderful book that should serve pastors, counselors, lay-leaders, parents, and spouses well, as they struggle to win the war of words.
78 of 79 people found the following review helpful
War of Words-Protection from Angry People and your own Anger 3 May 2002
By D. May - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has changed my life. I have read it 3 times and made my own cliff notes for quick reference. Frankly, I wish there was a longer, more detail group study guide to accompany the book. If you are serious about having peaceful relationships with "everyone" around you, the best way to start is changing yourself. This has been the quickest route I have found and the most profound. The author changed my heart and gave me a positive approach to reducing (soon to stop...yeah!...I feel it coming!) my angry reactions and participation in the angry outbursts of others. I especially wanted to raise my children to the highest standards of life I could find and not "pass on" my dysfunctional upbringing. What can I say, but thank you to this man who has helped me rise up to a new level of understanding. God Bless you!
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Gets to the heart of communication. 1 Feb. 2000
By William Hines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Perhaps you have wondered how a nice person like you can be so cutting with your words or so misunderstood? In typical Paul Tripp fashion the reader is taken to the heart of the problem with communication. For those who read with an open heart and mind there is much here to help us bless others with our speech and in so doing find personal fulfillment as well.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Biblical, Gospel-centered Book 20 Jun. 2006
By Dory Zinkand - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Christian books that deal with practical application issues are often little different than secular self-help books. Do this. Don't do that. Here's a five-step plan for success. No so with Paul David Tripp's War of Words. This book takes a Christ-centered, gospel approach to considering the issue of communication. He deals with matters of the heart and asserts the only hope for heart change lies with God and the gospel of grace.

Tripp encourages Christians to remember that we are ambassadors of God. To every situation to which we bring our words, we are to bring them in accordance with the goal the One we represent has when He deals with people, that is redemption. That redemption is not just in the sense of judicial forgiveness for sin, but in the Spirit's day-to-day work in the life of a Christian to conform him or her more and more to the image of Christ. Rather than center our efforts on controlling others, punishing them for hurting us or making them do as we wish, Tripp encourages us to die to our own fleshly passions and consider how we can best be used redemptively by God in that person's life.

As Tripp guides the reader through how to think about our words, his advice is entirely Bible-based. It is not what Paul Tripp has found works for him, but rather what the Apostle Paul, and King Solomon, and the Apostle Peter wrote as divinely-inspired instruction.

I skimmed through this book before I read it. I encountered so many antecdotes that involved explosions of hot tempers, that I was tempted to think I didn't need this book. After all, I'm a mild-tempered member of a mild-tempered family. I was humbled as I read it, though, because it goes so much deeper than that and holds up a standard that even the most mature, self-controlled Christian does not keep. Certainly I don't! Yet, Tripp offers the hope and encouragement that comes from a right understanding of the grace and promises of God.

The writing is clear and engaging. The anecdotes are helpful in illustrating his points, helping Tripp to achieve and almost perfect balance of the theoretical and the practical.

I was going to say that every pastor and elder ought to read this book. Then I thought, well, fathers, too. And mothers. Teachers, of course. And managers and employees. This book is for all of us.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
What's behind the words? 15 Jun. 2005
By unemployed_in_atl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best book on communication that I've read. I expected a book on how to solve conflicts and how to keep the peace without becoming a door mat. THat is not at all what this book delivers. This book examines the WHY behind what you say (arguments, sarcasm, etc). Paul Tripp encourages you to really examine your heart and compare it to God's picture of what your heart should look like since everything that comes out of your mouth originates in your heart. Sadly, I'm far from the mark as many of us are. But there is hope, this book will get you on the right path. Enjoy!
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