Book Review: Gentle and Lowly (Dane Ortlund)

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Review by Ryan Connellan

Books come to us at different times and for different reasons. Sometimes we read a book and it might be helpful or interesting, but sometimes we read a book and based on what we are learning, going through or pondering in life, it can have a profound impact on us. For me, this book was the latter of the two.

Gentle and Lowly borrows from a number of Puritan writers and explores the nature of God’s heart towards sinners. Gleaning from the works of Richard Sibbes, Thomas Goodwin, John Flavel, John Bunyan and others, Dane Ortlund walks you through God’s self-description of his heart towards his people. As someone who doesn’t normally gravitate towards the “gentle and lowly” aspects of Christ’s character, I found this book both confronting and comforting. It was confronting as it really challenged me in my attitude towards others. I think for a number of factors, perhaps my upbringing, church background or just my personality I often need reminding that at the heart of God is the attribute of love. Don’t be fooled however by the title, this book is not merely a 200-page attempt to soften Jesus or minimize God’s holiness but rather an in depth doctrinal and practical look at how the love of Christ is manifested even through his anger and other qualities. I was comforted reading this to once again be reminded that God’s unending love for me goes far beyond any failure or sin that I could commit, and this love is not just a feeling of pity but the actual person of God who draws me into His heart. Each chapter is rich with profound truths that made me sit back and ponder what I had just read.

I would highly recommend this to anyone, whether you are a Christian in need of some good, rich doctrinal comfort or even if you are not a Christian but would like to know why the person of Jesus Christ is worthy of our worship.

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