Sunday, October 7, 2007

THE CHILD HEART by Louis and Carol Gordon and Kathryn Butler Turner

Louis and Carol Gordon are the founders of a ministry called Heart Menders. Their "strength is revelation from God about unhealed 'child heart' hurts."

According to the book, the way this works is this: pretty much absolutely everyone has wounds that have not healed from things they have suffered in the past: feelings of inferiority, insecurity, stubbornness, fear, self-pity, pride, negativity, and so forth. One of the areas of emphasis for Heart Menders is dysfunctional families, where these feelings can occur prevalently. The message is that people can be healed through forgiveness, repentance, becoming "child-like", and "redefining ourselves through the Word."
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At its core, it seems to me that the underlying issue here is sanctification. Each Christian has different aspects of himself that he has issues with. Some areas are submitted fully to the Lord; others are problematic. Taking Jesus' metaphor from John 15, these areas are the ones that not only do not produce fruit, they cause us all manner of pain and difficulty. As we allow Jesus to take over these areas, and as we become higher-quality Christians, we are freed from hurts that, while not self-inflicted at the start, become so because we are unable to let them go and move on. In other words, if somebody stabs me with a knife, that's one thing, but it's quite another if I never take it out. So we have here an emphasis on sanctification's earthly, immediate purpose, which is a relatively neglected aspect of it, I think. In essence, this book advocates sanctification for quality of life. Which is absolutely fine.

This book comes to us from deep within Charismaticland. Which is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. At any rate, there are some very questionable and eyebrow-raising theological points made, which I will not go into because they are, for the most part, beside the point of the book. The baby to bathwater ratio here is well within acceptable parameters.

This is not a particularly well-written book. These people are in ministry; they are not professional writers. That's fine. I understand that. But this is the kind of book where someone like me has to push past all the excessive and unnecessary bolds, capitalizations, exclamation points, and use of the King James.

The principles in this book are, for the most part, sound. Unfortunately, the quality of the book is not.