Review: The Tender Heart
The Puritan Richard Sibbes has been called ‘the heavenly doctor’ because his messages show such a deep understanding of the human soul. Believing that there is more grace in Christ than sin in us his aim was to woo sinners to Christ. He was so gently persuasive that hardened sinners deliberately avoided his sermons for fear of being converted!
This little book is a wonderful example of his style. It contains the first of 4 sermons that he preached on King Josiah’s reformation (also published by the Banner of Truth). The title of this book is taken from 2 Chronicles 34:27 where the Lord says that Josiah’s heart was tender.
Sibbes asks a series of questions to develop his theme including: What are the characteristics of a tender heart? How is a tender heart formed? How is a tender heart preserved? How can we know if we have a tender heart?
As with all Puritans the message is broken down into many points and sub points with questions and objections considered. Each page seems to have a gem of truth. For instance, answering the question about how a tender heart is formed he says: ‘A soft heart is made soft by the blood of Christ.’
The text has been lightly edited to update the language and contains helpful footnotes to explain the occasional unusual word. This book makes a wonderful introduction to the writing of Richard Sibbes. Read and enjoy!
This review was first published on GoodBookReviews.org.uk. The site has been closed as of March 2019.
What Can We Learn from John Knox? November 24, 2022
If it were to be asked what is the recurring theme in Knox’s words and writings the answer is perhaps a surprising one. Sometimes he could be severe, and sometimes extreme. Given the days and the harshness of the persecution he witnessed, it would be understandable if these elements had preponderated in his ministry. But […]
Reformed, But Ever Reforming October 31, 2022
It is rather audacious to claim that we are reformed. It can also be misleading when we call ourselves Reformed Churches. For this might imply that we believe that our denominations are truly reformed; or, even worse, that at some point in the past we were or became reformed and that the task of reform […]