In November 2020, I found myself at a local pastor’s fellowship, where I was given Gentle and Lowly written by Dane Ortlund. The book piqued my interest, not primarily because of the title, but rather, because of the author’s last name. Dane is the son of Ray Ortlund. Ray is a pastor and author that I have enjoyed over the last few years both in his exposition of the Word, and his encouraging writing style. I had to dig in and read what this particular “Ortlund” had to offer in the way of encouragement and spiritual growth. Here are a few reasons why I encourage you to read Gentle and Lowly.
The book is rooted in the truth of the Bible. Ortlund hinges the aim of his book, which is to present the “heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers,” on Matthew 11:29, “I am gentle and lowly in heart.” The book is filled with insight into Jesus’s posture towards sinners as one of a gracious and gentle and lowly savior. Ortlund does not simply make the argument from the insight of books or philosophy, but rather from the very Word of God. Moreover, Ortlund connects his arguments to the rich heritage of the Puritans.
Ortlund quotes and draws from the Puritans. It is important for us to not simply discount and disregard the Christians of yesteryear, and the insight that they have passed along to us. The list of material that is drawn on includes the likes of John Flavel, John Bunyan, and Thomas Goodwin. Although, as I discussed above, Ortlund’s arguments are drawn from Scripture, his use of the Puritans drives home the encouragement of Jesus’s heart toward us!
Timely and Timeless Encouragement
Lastly, the timeliness of this book is incredible. 2020 presented us with many challenges, and in some ways we realized that our lives will never be the same. The creature comforts of life, the way we do “church,” and so much more, challenged each of us emotionally and spiritually. What an incredible time to read a book about the loving heart of Christ towards you and I! Moreover, the material is also timeless! I have already reread the book, and have encouraged others to grab a copy. As a matter of fact, our staff enjoyed reading it together in our weekly meetings.
If ever you need to be both encouraged and challenged spiritually and mentally about the posture of Jesus towards sinners and sufferers, I strongly encourage you to read this great book. I am certain in the future that it will be regarded as a Christian classic. Enjoy!