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We love them. We hate them. But we certainly cannot ignore them.
Emotions can be wonderful things we love or horrible things we hate – depending on how we’re feeling at the time. Sometimes we feel at their mercy and think that God would have been so much wiser to have made us without them.
But we can’t get away from it: God made us to feel. Emotions thinks through the place of emotions, how we view them, handle them and glorify God with them. We see that the mature Christian life involves a fully–functioning emotional life and that emotions flow from the heart. We focus on how we can grow in good and godly emotions. We look at emotions and reading the Bible, emotions and singing praise to God, and the best way up when we are feeling down.
We live in a culture that places a real premium on feelings. "If it feels good, then do it!" is a common attitude to life. Graham challenges us to think Biblically about the role of feelings and emotion in the Christian life. Emotions are clearly a good thing, after all, Jesus had a wide range of emotion from joy to anger; the Psalms are dripping with songs of praise, petition and also despair; and the Apostle Paul can write to the Philippians to tell them to "Rejoice!" If we're growing spiritually as Christians, then we should expect to see our emotions become more like Jesus'. In the second half of the book, Graham covers: Emotions & the Bible, Emotions & Praise (this chapter alone is worth the price of the book- he argues that we should embrace emotion in our church services), Emotions & the church community, Christian Hedonism (John Piper and Desiring God, although not by name) and Feeling Down. In the chapter on feeling low, Graham doesn't deal much with depression but directs those affected to other resources. This is a good balanced book. It's made me realise that I need God to give me, healthy Godly emotions, and that these are a normal part of my sanctification. May it do the same for you.
Post-moderns embrace emotions, while moderns suspect them. This book shows the way to a biblical theology of emotions. Emotions are part of us, but they must be controlled by God's word. There is also advice for dealing with negative emotions and having realistic expectations.
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