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The Christian Lover: The Sweetness of Love and Marriage in the Letters of Believers Hardcover – January 31, 2009
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In an era in which love is equated with the adolescent, hormonal romance of popular music, Michael Haykin serves the church with a decidedly different vision of Christian love. The Christian Lover demonstrates a deep, authentic view of Christ-centered love. --Dr. Russell D. Moore: Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, KY<br \><br \>Michael Haykin never ceases to surprise with his gift for producing unusual books on neglected aspects of church history. Here he gives his readers insights into the love lives of some of the great saints of the past, bringing out their humanity in touching and unique ways. An unusual book, certainly, but well worth reading. --Dr. Carl R. Trueman: Professor of Historical Theology and Church History Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia, PA<br \><br \>C.S. Lewis once made the striking statement that Christianity has glorified barrage than any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in the world has been produced by Christians. The Christian Lover provides a dozen Christian couples and their life stories. The other is a sampling of letters these men and women wrote, from which we can catch glimpses of what a romantic relationship between husband and wife can be-anytime, anywhere. --Dr. Leland Ryken Professor of English Wheaton College Wheaton, IL
Michael Haykin never ceases to surprise with his gift for producing unusual books on neglected aspects of church history. Here he gives his readers insights into the love lives of some of the great saints of the past, bringing out their humanity in touching and unique ways. An unusual book, certainly, but well worth reading. --Dr. Carl R. Trueman: Professor of Historical Theology and Church History Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia, PA
C.S. Lewis once made the striking statement that Christianity has glorified barrage than any other religion: and nearly all the greatest love poetry in the world has been produced by Christians. The Christian Lover provides a dozen Christian couples and their life stories. The other is a sampling of letters these men and women wrote, from which we can catch glimpses of what a romantic relationship between husband and wife can be-anytime, anywhere. --Dr. Leland Ryken Professor of English Wheaton College Wheaton, IL
About the Author
Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin is currently the Director of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, located on the campus of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the editor of Eusebeia: The Bulletin of The Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies.
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In this book, Michael A.G. Haykin seeks to encourage Christians to appreciate their spouses (and those they might be courting) in a deeper and new way. The letters shared in this brief anthology range from letters of courtship, letters of parting, to letters of love. All in all, Haykin presents the reader with an anthology that inspires.
The letters in this volume are from the following:
>Martin and Katharina Luther
>John and Idelette Calvin
>John and Lucy Hutchinson
>Philip and Mercy Dodderidge
>Benjamin Beddome and Anne Steele
>Henry and Eling Venn
>Thomas and Sally Charles
>Samuel and Sarah Pearce
>Adoniram and Ann Judson
>John and Lottie Broadus
>Martyn and Bethan Lloyd-Jones
>Helmuth and Freya von Moltke
There are both well known missionaries and pastors to not so well known Christian luminaries. It is true that this volume is somewhat eclectic. Haykin writes, "Anthologies such as this one are inevitable somewhat eclectic and reflect personal preferences". I would venture to say that most of Haykin's readers would be unfamiliar with correspondence of these couples. This is a good thing. While the letters may reflect Haykin's preferences, the well-chosen letters chosen were illustrative of the ups and downs of married life and the love of courtship.
I really enjoyed reading this short little book. Though short, it packs a punch. I think that Haykin's goal is by way of reminder: "This small anthology grown out of the conviction that the Reformers and the Puritans were right on the big issues about love and marriage, and that thinking about the past with regard to this issue and reading expressions of love from the past can be a helpful way of responding to the frangibility (capability of being broken) of Christian marriage in our day".
I think that Haykin is on to something. When I read the various letters, it encouraged me that no matter what the difficulty one faces in one's own marriage, the obstacles can be overcome. All is not lost when the trials of life in general, and marriage in particular come upon us. Love is stronger, especially when such love is founded on the Rock of Christ Jesus.
I would recommend this book as an encouragement to Christian marriages everywhere.
Haykin doesn’t just include love letters but also letters between men like Calvin and his letter to a friend after the death of his wife. Here we find a small glimpse into the heart of this great giant of a theologian, we see the tender affection and godly spirit he has towards his spouse. Other chapters are collections of letters between husbands and their wives, or letters between parents and their children. Each chapter concentrates on one couple and begins with a small bio and information about the writers.
One of my favorite chapters in this book is the letters between Philip and Mercy Doddridge. Included in this chapter are correspondence between the couple, letters written by both spouses and each letter is filled with sweet and affectionate words seasoned with godliness. I read this book together with my wife and we both really enjoyed this encouraging work put together by Haykin. That being said I can’t not mention some of my disappointments with this book. Several chapters are pretty dull and not filled with much substance, I have personally found many wonderful letters between husband and wives like Spurgeon or the numerous letters of Newton to his wife and none of these letters are here and I felt like they would have fit better in these chapters than others that were included. I, none the less really enjoyed being introduced to so many men and women I hadn’t heard of and the encouragement they offered to me and my wife.
I encourage you to get this book and enjoy these letters, I hope that they enrich your love for your loved one. The greater purpose of this book isn’t just to excite your romance but to strengthen your relationship with Christ and bringing glory to God through your marriage. I hope you enjoy “The Christian Lover” by Michael Haykin
Most recent customer reviews
Haykin begins with this quotation from Jonathan Edwards, "How greatly are we inclined to the other sex."Read more