Subscribe now

The Heart of Christ

By Thomas Goodwin
October 2012 | Review by Jeremy Walker
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth Trust
  • ISBN: 978-1-84871-146-4
  • Pages: 160
  • Price: 5.00
Buy this book »

This is a profoundly refreshing book by the warm-hearted Puritan, Thomas Goodwin. The author’s contention is that believers do not consider as they should – to their great comfort and encouragement – the disposition of Christ in his glory toward his people on earth. In this volume he sets out to correct that oversight.

      To accomplish this, Goodwin identifies first the outward and then the inward demonstrations of the tenderness of Christ’s heart toward sinners, moving on to his affectionate compassion toward sinners in their infirmities. The pastoral tone of this work is evident from the outset, as Goodwin dismantles doubts and fears in the souls of God’s people, providing them with every reason to be assured of the love of the Lord Jesus toward us.

      There is something delightfully relentless about Goodwin’s argument. He will not allow us to get away from the certainty and sweetness of Christ’s heart toward his redeemed people, considered in all the breadth and depth of their continued need. He reasons from Christ’s nature, his offices and his conduct, often working from the lesser to the greater: ‘If Christ loved his people in such a way at such a time, how much more can we be assured of his love now.’

      Goodwin is absolutely right that too many of God’s children lack confidence in Christ’s loving attitude toward them. The world, the flesh and the devil all undermine such a buoying sense of reality. When battling with sin, we tend to assume – especially if we have a tender conscience – that we are driving Christ from us. Goodwin, working from the Scriptures and without excusing our sin, demonstrates that such struggles are in fact the very things which most draw out Christ’s love toward us.

      While the language is not always simple, the logic is clear, the reasoning straightforward, and the tone sweet throughout. For all with the will and wherewithal to read this volume, the return will be abundant, both in blessing to oneself and in communicating that blessing to others. As Goodwin points out: ‘Men love to see themselves pitied by friends, though they cannot help them; Christ can and will do both.’

 

Jeremy Walker

Crawley, West Sussex

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Christ and the Law: Antinomianism and the Westminster Assembly
Whitney G Gamble

Drawing on newly available primary sources, this title contends that the initial concern of the Westminster Assembly (1643-53) was the growing influence of antinomianism: the belief that, in Christ, the people of God are not subject to the law of…

See all book reviews
John Henry Newman: Becoming Rome’s first ecumenical saint
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
John Henry Newman: Becoming Rome’s first ecumenical saint
Richard Bennett and Michael de Semlyen

The German-born Pope Benedict XVI is due to carry out a state visit to the UK from 16-19 September. The climax of this visit is a Mass in Coventry at which the Pope will beatify John Henry Newman (1801-1890). Newman…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Evolution and the Christian Faith. Theistic evolution in the light of scripture (Creation Points)
Philip Bell

The creation / evolution debate still rages, and many Christians believe it is both scientifically untenable and scripturally naïve to accept a literal account of the beginning of Genesis. Some even charge creationists with pushing a teaching that is a…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
New Covenant Theology: Weighed and Found Wanting
Kevin McGrane

To read this book was like a breath of fresh air. I could not put it down. Despite the traction that has been gained in the UK among evangelicals by the so-called ‘new covenant theology’ (NCT), it is surprising that…