Real Change for the New Year (Book Review)

Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne. Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2018. 90 pages.

Barely into the new year, the struggle is real. The resolutions many people made have already failed or their commitment is waning. Then the mindset starts to set in that this year will be like every other year, and no change will take place. Yet, the reality is that while the struggle is real, the change can be too! It is this very truth found in Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life, a new work by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne.

With the well-known David Powlison serving as editor, Nicholls and Thorne use the basis of CCEF’s “Dynamic of Biblical Change” course to provide the reader with a 6-session course study guide on how to change for real. With the “Three Trees” diagram as a visual, the 6 sessions walk the reader through how God changes people, from understanding the influences and seeing their sinful hearts to looking to the cross in repentance and faith in Christ, Real Change trains the Christian in the right change, into the image of Christ, and encourages the context for biblical change.

Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne is the resource to equip churches with the gospel truth that changes lives. It provides those who are wanting to change with the right motive and means to change. With a leader’s guide to help give some direction in each session, the study is designed to be used in groups, particularly in the local church context. The study guide dives into the reality of sin, the complexities of our struggle, and the clarity of the gospel. Additionally, Nicholls and Thorne are sensitive to the time and culture we live in, making it clear that if there are legal matters at play or if there is abuse going on, the respective authorities need to be alerted (Nicholls and Thorne 70, 72). Still, in their sensitivity to those issues, they do not shy away from the seriousness of addressing personal sin. That’s because real change only occurs when we admit we have a real problem. A real problem can only be addressed when believers are real with one another about their struggle and their need for the Savior. Real change needs the accountability of a real church. So, if you’re looking to find lasting and real change this year, resolve to get a copy of Real Change by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne and go through it with others in your church. Be ready to be changed!

I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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