on 13 February 2013
We live in a culture that places a real premium on feelings. "If it feels good, then do it!" is a common attitude to life.
Graham challenges us to think Biblically about the role of feelings and emotion in the Christian life. Emotions are clearly a good thing, after all, Jesus had a wide range of emotion from joy to anger; the Psalms are dripping with songs of praise, petition and also despair; and the Apostle Paul can write to the Philippians to tell them to "Rejoice!"
If we're growing spiritually as Christians, then we should expect to see our emotions become more like Jesus'.
In the second half of the book, Graham covers: Emotions & the Bible, Emotions & Praise (this chapter alone is worth the price of the book- he argues that we should embrace emotion in our church services), Emotions & the church community, Christian Hedonism (John Piper and Desiring God, although not by name) and Feeling Down. In the chapter on feeling low, Graham doesn't deal much with depression but directs those affected to other resources.
This is a good balanced book. It's made me realise that I need God to give me, healthy Godly emotions, and that these are a normal part of my sanctification.
May it do the same for you.
on 20 May 2013
-Is it ever right for a Christian to get angry?
-What kinds of feelings should we encourage or expect in corporate worship?
-Can I control my own emotions?
-Should I become less emotional as I mature as a Christian?
-How can I help someone who is feeling 'down'?
These are the kinds of questions which this book addresses. We can easily be driven by our emotions; but on the other hand we can easily live in fear of them.
Graham Beynon has done an excellent job of showing, from the bible, how thought, feeling and action must go together. That's the character of Jesus. We are created to be emotional beings; however, in a culture where "the way that I feel" trumps everything, we need to learn how to keep emotions in their proper place.
Not every chapter is a mini-classic, and there are a few sections which could perhaps have been honed a little more. But all in all, this provides some balanced illumination on a neglected topic. There are also some great quotes from past masters like Jonathan Edwards and Isaac Watts.
The best chapter is on "Emotions and God's Praise", and is worth the price of the book. We are challenged to find emotion in praising God - but that we must find it in the right places: from the truth we're singing, rather than just from the music. The author also discusses the nature of emotional manipulation in praise and worship, and how to detect and avoid it.
"We don't want singing that is either heartless or mindless."
"We want our feelings to come because of the truth, not the music. The music should be an aid to my feeling, not the source."
on 17 November 2014
An excellent book. Very easy to read, not too heavy even though he is dealing with some complex stuff. I found it very helpful and insightful. Gives a rounded look at how we should view our emotions. Good reading for all Christians - not just those who think of themselves as being especially 'emotional'. Also worth reading if you are a leader or leader of a small group as a way of better understanding how people can respond differently to events/church etc. The chapter on the emotions Jesus experienced really made me think.