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Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life Paperback – April 1, 2009
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"Brian Borgman has written a wonderfully Christ-centered and God-glorifying book about how, by God's grace, to restore your emotions to God's image. Feelings and Faith paints a biblically accurate picture of, as the Puritan pastors expressed it, 'holy emotions.' It does not dismiss emotions as some do nor does it worship emotions as some do. This is an important book and I highly recommend it."
—Martha Peace, biblical counselor; author, The Excellent Wife
"Here is a readable but comprehensive study that unites in biblical friendship the Christian's theology and experience. With the heart of a pastor, Brain Borgman offers an emotional life line that will stabilize your heart and support your faith. Faith and Feelings needs to be in your personal library. I will return to it time and again-so will you!"
—Jani Ortlund, speaker, Renewal Ministries; author, Fearlessly Feminine and His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy
"As Christians, who hasn't been confused about the relationship between our faith and our feelings? Are feelings an incredibly important part of your faith, giving you heart-felt ways to express love to God and others, or are they actually to be jettisoned from your faith, being perceived as something dangerous in your relationship to Christ? In this immensely profitable book, Brian Borgman, a very sure-footed guide to this topic, biblically and precisely explains the concept of emotion and how it is to be integrated into one's walk with the Lord. I know of no other book quite like it. All at once, it is Scriptural, wise, clear, pastoral, transparent, and compelling. This is a great resource for instance, for a pastor who desires help in skillfully shepherding his sheep. It is also a wonderful help for a discipler and/or counselor who wants to instruct his disciples and counselees with their fears, worries, and anxieties. Even further, the principles in this work should prove to be of real, lasting value to any believer in Jesus who earnestly yearns to first grasp and then harness his or her own emotions within the context of a sensate culture that is quickly careening out of emotional control. For all who read this book, we should genuinely applaud Pastor Borgman's diligent efforts in now bringing us the most helpful volume available on the subject of Faith and Feelings."
—Lance Quinn, Senior Pastor, Thousand Oaks Bible Church, Thousand Oaks, California
"Brian Borgman has done a lot of work on this crucial topic and it really shows. Emotion is one of the least understood topics in our Bible studies and churches and this is a strong contribution to the discussion. I am thankful to have read Feelings and Faith and know others will also benefit from it. It has been a privilege to get to know Brian and his pastor's heart for God's people, which shines through clearly on these pages."
—Matthew Elliott, Author, Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart; Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament
"Martyn Lloyd-Jones taught us that if we see truth clearly, we must feel it. Authentic faith in the supreme, indomitable goodness of God in sending Jesus Christ as our substitute and redeemer necessarily transforms our feelings. The Holy Spirit awakens earnest love for others from a pure heart (I Peter 1:22), joyful acceptance of loss (Heb. 10:34), and cheerful generosity (II Cor. 9:7). Pastor Brian Borgman's Feelings and Faith stands in the great tradition of Desiring God by John Piper and Spiritual Depression by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Borgman clearly sets forth the foundational role of truth, unpacks a robust theology of Christian experience, and provides examples of how to mortify sinful emotions and cultivate godly ones. I highly recommend this book."
—Alex Chediak, Associate Professor of Engineering and Physics, California Baptist University; Author, With One Voice
About the Author
Brian S. Borgman (DMin, Westminster Seminary California) is the founding pastor of Grace Community Church in Minden, Nevada. He is the author of My Heart for Thy Cause. He and his wife have three children and live in northwestern Nevada.
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At the same time, the book is somewhat hamstrung by an assumption that all we need to know about our emotional life can be found in the Bible. This may sound safe, but is it really sound? I don't think so. There is much wisdom to be gained by the careful study of human emotional and psychological behavior. The author doesn't seem to be interested in any of this and occasionally hints that these are unhelpful, if not dangerous paths to take.
Another problem is that the book approaches the subject of emotions from a presupposition of the primacy of the intellect. This lack of philosophical self-reflection results is something of a ham-handed reflection on the subject of human emotions.
The last third of the book was most certainly the best and on the whole the chapters dealing with the mortification of sinful emotions and the cultivation of godly emotions was spot on (same the almost laugh-out-loud fear of literary fiction - only the Bible and Christian biographies are safe for Christians to read it seems. )
I found the book useful and helpful, shortcomings aside.
Tragically, however a shift has taken place in the evangelical world. Emotionalism is sweeping through the church and in some circles a mystical approach to the Christian life is becoming readily accepted. This preoccupation with the mystical at best minimizes theology and at worst, mocks the very notion of theological truth.
And some at the other end of the spectrum have embraced a dry form of rationalism - one where intellectual pursuit marginalizes any thing that resembles true God-centered emotion.
Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life by Brian Borgman bridges the gap between both kinds of erroneous thinking described above. The book contains four parts:
Part One - A Biblical Theological Foundation for Understanding Our Emotions
Part Two - Biblical Sanctification and Our Emotions
Part Three - Mortifying Ungodly Emotions
Part Four - Cultivating Godly Emotions
Borgman's work is Bible saturated and in touch with daily life. He promotes a Christ-saturated theological framework that results in holy affections to the glory of God. He writes like a Puritan with contemporary illustrations that draw readers in. Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, and John Bunyan would be proud of their student that they tutored from afar!
Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life should be read and re-read by Christians who are serious about cultivating a doctrinally rich framework that leads to communion with God.