Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

9781433502309Surely one of the most valuable gifts God has given the church are surgeons of the soul. Men capable of cutting with the sharp edge of scripture, separating the outward surface of the torso, cutting through the muscle and spreading the chest, looking for the most dangerous problems, those not obvious on the outside, surgeons with determination to find the source of a deep root, a deadly problem found in the now exposed heart, a sin that can be cured only through precise wisdom and the sober application of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And if you can find one of these surgeons—one who knows his way around the deep inner workings of the heart, one who can scale to the very heights of the glorious gospel, and one who is a gifted communicator, able to write his words carefully for the benefit of us all—you have uncovered a gem.

Paul David Tripp is one of these treasures.

In his book Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy (Crossway, 2008), Tripp has written for us, partly in prose and partly in poetry, 52 brief devotional pieces that cover the scope of Psalm 51—covering the many contours of David’s sin with Bathsheba, and the experience of God’s grace in light of David’s sin. If you are brave enough to go under the surgeon’s knife, Tripp will guide you to see the darkness of sin at work in your own heart, before skillfully applying the restorative grace of the gospel.

There are a number of excerpts I want to share, but the one that I return to most often is a poem that recounts the ministry of Nathan in confronting David for his sin (see 2 Samuel 12:1-15). In part Tripp writes:

…Just a humble prophet
Telling a simple story
A sinner with a sinner
Not standing above
Alongside, together
Wanting to be an instrument
Hoping to assist a blind man to see
But no trust in self
Speaking calmly
Speaking simply
And letting God
Do through a familiar example
Painted with plain words
What only God can do
Crack the hard-shell heart
Of a wayward man
And make it feel again
See again
Cry again
Pray again
Plead again
Hope again
Love again
Commit again
To a new and better way.
(p. 63-64)

Tripp’s poem is a beautiful epigraph upon the granite of Nathan’s legacy. And a video of the author reading from this chapter is available online. Enjoy:

Title: Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy
Author: Paul David Tripp
Boards: paper
Pages: 154
Topical index: no
Scriptural index: no
Text: perfect type
Publisher: Crossway
Year: 2008
Price USD: $12.99 / $8.96 at Westminster
ISBNs: 9781433502309, 1433502305

4 thoughts on “Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy

  1. I just picked up a copy of this book at the Biblical Counseling Training Conference in Lafayette, IN – where Tripp was a speaker. I look forward to reading it as well. He is a wonderful teacher / communicator – and you described him well as the “surgeon of the soul”.

  2. […] I picked up a book by Paul Tripp entitled, “Whiter Than Snow”.  Miscellanies has a review and video clip of Tripp speaking about the book.  I’d urge you to click over there and read […]

  3. Surgeon of the soul is an apt description.
    Ouch in a good way!
    In thinking of that description I rejoice again that the most awesome thing is Christ doesn’t just do surgery,
    he makes the dead alive!

  4. […] February 23, 2009 by absolutegrace I just listened to one of the most soothing, comforting poems I’ve ever heard–and I have to share it!  Over and over again, I listened and felt washed in God’s grace.   The poem was an excerpt from Paul David Tripp’s new book, Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy, a one-of-a-kind poem and prose commentary on Psalm 51.  The meditations explore God’s gift of love towards us, and share  (as the publisher puts it), “mercy for every wrong and grace for every new beginning.”   For an exceptional  review of the book, I highly recommend reading Tony Reinke’s blog, Miscellanies.   […]

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