Friday, July 04, 2008

An Interview with Paul Tripp

Here are some questions I asked Paul Tripp about his new book, Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy.

What led you to pen these meditations?

I wanted to write something about Psalm 51 that would reflect that it is actually a poem and that would remind us that this psalm of confession is a psalm about the life of every sinner. David's story is my story, it's your story--and David's hope is our hope as well.

What effect did it have on your soul to ponder and pray through and pen these meditations on Psalm 51?

Day after day I would be confronted with how deep and pervasive my sin actually is. I wanted to back away from David. I wanted to believe that I am not like him, but I am. But day after day I was also confronted with the magnificent beauty of God's transforming grace.

Was there anything in particular that you personally learned or applied in a fresh way as a result of your work on this Psalm?

I learned the importance of heartfelt, honest, no-holds-barred confession. Confession should not be composed like a term paper, or planned like a holiday meal. It should be from the gut; an edgy, dangerous, courageous, unpolished, unedited self-disclosure of the flaws that exist at the causal core of our personhood that could only be made before a God of indescribable love. I guess what I really learned was that most of what I have called confession simply isn't.

How are you praying that God will use this book in the lives of everyday folks?

My prayer is that Whiter Than Snow would cause people to understand how comprehensive their struggle with sin actually is and how powerful the mercy of God is as well. I think it is healthy for the church to be both the saddest and most celebrant community on earth. If this book pushes us that way I would be delighted!