Reviewed by Tanwin Tanoto
“The heart is the governing centre of a person. When used simply, it reflects the unity of our inner being, and when used comprehensively, it describes the complexity of our inner being.” A. Craig Troxel
The Bible talks a lot about the heart. From the songs of David, the new covenant that God promised His people (Ezekial 36:26), to its danger (Jeremiah 17:9). In the New Testament, Jesus also talks a lot about hearts. He deals with people’s hearts in His ministry. With more than 1000 occurrences, ‘heart’ is the most used word in the Bible to describe the inner-self. However, ‘heart’ can also be the most misused word today.
Troxel argues that the way we interpret ‘heart’ today is different from what the Bible meant – almost the opposite. “Today, heart is understood to refer to a person’s emotion. Biblically, the heart refers to the whole person, including the capacity to think.” This book explains the three functions of the heart: mind (what we know), desires (what we love), and will (what we choose).
What I love about this book is the way Troxel points everything back to Christ. By outlining the functions of the heart, Troxel also outlines the sins associated with each function. How sin limits our mind on what we know, how iniquity twists and perverts our desires, and how transgression and rebellion drive our will. As a solution, Troxel presents Jesus in His offices as an antidote for our sins. Jesus as our prophet teaches and assures our mind, Jesus as our priest redeems and renews our desires, and Jesus as our king subdues and strengthens our will.
As a minister, I find this book very helpful in helping me understand the wholeness of a person. In helping others, it is critical that we see people as a whole. Not only do we know people by their choices, but we can love and understand people better by relating to what they think and what they love. Moreover, this book also helps me shape my own pastoral heart. By understanding that my heart consists of my mind, desires, and will, I can know myself better. It also helps me in carefully reflecting on what God is forming me into.
This book is easy to read while at the same time filled with rich theological and biblical arguments. Not only is ‘heart’ the most used word in the Bible, but most of our issues are also related to our hearts. Therefore, I find this book to be mind-opening – or should I say heart-opening? I highly recommend this book if you want to learn how God transforms the lives of His people through our hearts – ourselves and those who are under our care.
Read another review by Tanwin HERE
Watch Tanwin’s movie reviews on his YouTube channel “Redemption Stories” HERE.