Saturday, December 22, 2018

Real Change by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne

This is a six week study based on a model of change developed by David Powlison for a CCEF course. We have pressures and we can respond to them in two ways. One is a self-focused God dishonoring way reaping negative consequences. The other is a God honoring way. The course aims to help us allow the Spirit to bring us to repentance and change our hearts so that our response to the pressures of life are God honoring, producing good fruit and reaping positive consequences.

There is a Three Trees diagram describing the model and each lesson deals with one of the parts of the diagram. The lessons rely heavily on the diagram and the model. This is not a study of spiritual growth or change in general. It is specifically dealing with the model and the diagram.

The format of the lessons includes lots of reading, discussing, and writing. The amount of text to read is more than I have generally seen in a study like this. Participants are encouraged to discuss the material and answers to questions with one person, rather than in a group. The authors note that self reflection is an important part of the process of change. (Loc. 62/1452) They encourage participants to journal and there is a great for participants to write about. This study would be appreciated by people who like to read lots and write lots.

The first half of the book is the study while the second half is a leader's guide. It is very detailed, suggesting five minutes of discussion here, ten minutes on this topic there. The information in the leader's guide is quite informative, making me think this study would be most effective in a group setting with a leader and not by someone trying to do it on their own. Also, the leader's guide is so detailed that someone new to leading a group would find it very useful.

This study might be most useful for relatively new Christians. It is also quite focused on decisions we make and how they relate to our growth. 

You can read a sample here.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Andrew Nicholls, MA, MB, BChir, is a former doctor and pastor who is now Director of Pastoral Care at Oak Hill Theological College, London.
Helen Thorne, Bsc(Hons), MA is the Director of Training and Mentoring at London City Mission. She is a trustee of Biblical Counselling UK and involved in pastoral ministry within her local church.
David Powlison, MDiv, PhD, serves as CCEF's executive director, as a faculty member, and as senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling.

New Growth Press, 32 pages of study and about the same for the leader's guide.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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