Dr. Dane Ortlund has gained a reputation for writing Christian books that are solid, edifying, and gospel-centered. His newest work, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Suffers, is no exception. Ortlund uses Matthew 11:29 as the basis for his writing:
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
The author writes, “This book is written for the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary, the disenchanted, the cynical, the empty. Those running on fumes.” Ultimately, Ortlund is zealous to draw the attention of readers to the heart of Jesus Christ.
Twenty-three chapters await readers who will be captivated, encouraged, and loved by their Savior. Some readers will need to readjust what they have previously learned about Jesus and move in a more biblically oriented direction. Ideally, this book should be read one chapter at a time, in a devotional sort of way. Such an approach will allow the mind to be sufficiently instructed and the heart to be filled with encouragement.
A few citations will give a sense of the tone and direction the book takes:
- Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. he is the most understanding person in the universe.
- The Jesus given to us in the Gospels is not simply the one who loves, but one who is love; merciful affections stream from his innermost heart as rays from the sun.
- It is impossible for the affectionate heart of Christ to be over-celebrated, made too much of, exaggerated.
- Jesus Christ is closer to you today than he was to the sinners and suffers he spoke with and touched his earthly ministry.
- If God sent his own Son to walk through the valley of condemnation, rejection, and hell, you can trust him as you walk through your own valleys on the way to heaven.
Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers is packed with heart-warming scholarship and Christology that moves the soul. It is eminently practical and encouraging from start to finish. It will prove to be one of the most important Christian books in 2020!