Book Review: Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund

What I Loved

Favorite Quotes

  • “The heart, in biblical terms, is not part of who we are but the center of who we are. Our heart is what defines and directs us. . . . The heart drives all we do. It is who we are” (pp. 18–19).
  • “Jesus is not trigger-happy. Not harsh, reactionary, easily exasperated. He is the most understanding person in the universe. The posture most natural to him is not a pointed finger but open arms” (p. 19).
  • “No one in human history has ever been more approachable than Jesus Christ” (p. 20).
  • “The Jesus given to us in the Gospels is not simply one who loves, but one who is love; merciful affections stream from his innermost heart as rays from the sun” (p. 27).
  • “It is the very fallenness which he came to undo that is most irresistibly attractive to him. This is deeper than saying Jesus is loving or merciful or gracious. The cumulative testimony of the four Gospels is that when Jesus Christ sees the fallenness of the world all about him, his deepest impulse, his most natural instinct, is to move toward that sin and suffering, not away from it” (p. 30).
  • “As we go down into pain and anguish, we are descending ever deeper into Christ’s very heart, not away from it” (p. 57).
  • “We are called to mature into deeper levels of personal holiness as we walk with the Lord, truer consecration, new vistas of obedience. But when we don’t — when we choose to sin — though we forsake our true identity, our Savior does not forsake us. These are the very moments when his heart erupts on our behalf in renewed advocacy in heaven with a resounding defense that silences all accusations, astonishes the angels, and celebrates the Father’s embrace of us in spite of all our messiness” (p. 92).
  • “Let Jesus draw you in through the loveliness of his heart. This is a heart that upbraids the impenitent with all the harshness that is appropriate, yet embraces the penitent with more openness than we are able to feel. It is a heart that walks us into the bright meadow of the felt love of God. It is a heart that drew the despised and forsaken to his feet in self-abandoning hope. It is a heart of perfect balance and proportion, never overreacting, never excusing, never lashing out. It is a heart that throbs with desire for the destitute. It is a heart that floods the suffering with the deep solace of shared solidarity in that suffering. It is a heart that is gentle and lowly” (p. 99).
  • “When God himself sets the terms on what his glory is, he surprises us into wonder. Our deepest instincts expect him to be thundering, gavel swinging, judgment relishing. We expect the bent of God’s heart to be retribution to our waywardness. And then Exodus 34 taps us on the shoulder and stops us in our tracks. The bent of God’s heart is mercy. His glory is his goodness. His glory is his lowliness. ‘Great is the glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly’ (Ps. 138:5–6)” (p. 147).
  • “The Christian life . . . is the long journey of letting our natural assumption about who God is, over many decades, fall away, being slowly replaced with God’s own insistence on who he is” (p. 151).
  • “The Lord passed by Moses and revealed that his deepest glory is seen in his mercy and grace. Jesus came to do in flesh and blood what God had done only in wind and voice in the Old Testament” (p. 153).
  • “God’s heart confounds our intuitions of who he is” (p. 167).
  • “The Christian life is a lifelong shedding of tepid thoughts of the goodness of God” (p. 172).
  • “If you are in Christ, you are as eternally invincible as he is” (p. 178).
  • “The things about you that make you cringe the most, make him hug the hardest” (p. 179).

What I Would Have Liked

Should You Read It?

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