July 13th, 2009
Borgman, Brian S. Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2009. 240 pp. $15.99.
Brian Borgman is the founding pastor of Grace Community Church in Minden, Nevada. He has authored Crossway’s My Heart for Thy Cause and has a Dmin from Westminster Seminary in California. This particular book was originally a sermon series on a biblical understanding of human emotions.
This book is divided into four sections with each one building on the previous. The foundation is part one where Borgman sets up a biblical foundation for understanding our emotions. This foundation is rooted in the character of God, Jesus and the Bible. Once we understand that our emotions are rooted in God’s character, we will begin to see how we are to properly allow our emotions to surface.
Part two explains how the process of sanctification (our becoming more Christ-like in this lifetime) aids our understanding and application of our emotions. Looking to the authority of the Bible in the believer’s life, Dr. Borgman shows how we are to seek to develop godly emotions that bring glory to God.
I love the language of part three. Here, Borgman discusses the mortification of ungodly emotions. Unfortunately, the word mortification, as it was used in the 1700’s, has fallen out of disuse though it is making a comeback in Reformed circles. These days mortification mostly means to be scared or frightened. However, the mortification used here means to kill. Being aware of the ignorance of the meaning of mortification, he introduces what it means to mortify one’s ungodly emotions and then lists seven different sinful emotions that must be brought into check if we are to call upon Christ as Lord and Savior.
The fourth part shows the reader how to cultivate godly emotions. After reading the first third of this book, this chapter comes as a much welcomed answer to the question, “How can I truly gain control over my emotions?” In the first three parts, we are shown the tools that should be used to reign in our emotions. It is not until part four that we are actually taught how to use those tools to properly cultivate our emotions so that they will glorify the Lord.
In a day when many Christians are carried away by their emotions, Feelings and Faith is a welcomed addition to any library. It is obvious that this book was written by a pastor seeking to shepherd his congregation to a proper understanding of the role our emotions are to play in the believer’s life. This will certainly be a book worth owning, as you will return to it again and again. I would also highly recommend buying some extra copies because you will certainly think of people who you would like to give a copy to.