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Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers

4.71  ·  Rating details ·  7,209 ratings  ·  1,521 reviews
Christians know that God loves them, but often think that he is perpetually disappointed and frustrated, maybe even close to giving up on them. As a result, they focus a lot on what Jesus has done to appease God's wrath for sin. But how does Jesus Christ actually feel about his people amid all their sins and failures? This book draws us to Matthew 11, where Jesus describes ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Crossway Books (first published April 2020)
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Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not since Sinclair Ferguson’s “The Whole Christ” has a book so invigorated my drowsy heart with the wonder of God’s love. This may well end up being my Christian book of the year. Seriously: get a copy and savor it soon.

Update: Here are my 20 favorite quotes (
Barnabas Piper
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Like reading Brennan Manning crossed with the puritans - beautiful and brilliant.
Cindy Rollins
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I have a Morning Tome for Moms summer class this will be part of it. Excellent treatise on Christ’s love for us while we are yet sinners using the writings of the Puritans no less but don’t let that keep you away. If you are a Christian you will want to read this book and if you aren’t this book will probably give you new eyes to see what it all means.
Jared Wilson
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional and exquisite. My front-runner for favorite book of 2020. Read my friend David McLemore's review at For The Church here: ...more
J. Rutherford
I am currently working on a PhD in the area of Christology, love my Lord Jesus Christ, and delight to see Him clearly in Scripture. For this reason, I was delighted to receive a copy of Dane Ortlunds’ Gentle and Lowly as part of the Crossway Blog Review program. I confess having mixed feelings as I put down the book; on the one hand, Ortlund displays the glory of Christ’s humility and merciful heart in beautiful, readable prose. On the other hand, I don’t think Ortlund succeeds in showing his th ...more
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I hesitate to offer a review, for fear that my words might understate the effect this book has had on me. I’ve been surrounded by Jesus and people who love Jesus my whole life. And yet I’ve rarely encountered anything that has better helped me to clear my vision. “Now we see dimly” say the scriptures, “but then we shall see face to face.” This book cleared away so much fog from my vision and helped me to see Jesus, why he’s such a big deal. I mean, I’m a Sunday school kid turned youth group kid ...more
Heather Wood
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I first heard about this book when my pastor recommended it and read a Bunyan quote from it. Since my pastor is constantly pointing us to Jesus, I knew it must be worthwhile.

This book is neither mild nor imbalanced. All it does is reveal what the Scripture actually says about who Jesus is- what Jesus and God the Father have to say about who they are and what their heart is toward us- and reorients us back to the truth, stripping away our preconceived ideas of who we think God is or should be.

Kevin Halloran
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books, 2020
The hype is real. Is it any surprise that a book on the heart of Christ would be so heartwarming? What a beautiful Savior!
Tori Samar
"The Christian life, from one angle, is the long journey of letting our natural assumption about who God is, over many decades, fall away, being slowly replaced with God’s own insistence on who he is."

Having finished this book, the first thing I want to do is read it again. Its message is like soothing ointment on a wound. With much help from the Puritans, Dane Ortlund focuses not on what God does, but on who God is in his very heart. As the book's title suggests, Ortlund begins with Matthew 11:
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this book slowly over the course of months—which I think is the best way to read this work, reflecting on the heart of Christ “for sinners and sufferers.” Distilling the best of John Calvin, John Flavel, Richard Sibbes, John Owen, John Bunyan, Thomas Goodwin, Jonathan Edwards, and richly meditating on a variety of Old and New Testament passages, this book is a balm for weary Christians. What we most need is Christ, that bottomless ocean of rest, joy, and love.
Mark Jr.
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, library-book, 2020
Warm, careful, biblical, Puritan in the very best sense—which should be the only sense.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is a best-seller for a reason. If, like me, you grew up in the church and somehow adopted a view of God that led you to believe He has a grudging, stodgy kind of love for you, then this book will be paradigm-shifting for you.

I've long struggled to believe that the Lord loves me, individually. Generally speaking, I know He loves me because He set His affections on me and chose to save me before the foundations of the word. But sometimes that knowledge doesn't permeate the heart when yo
Apr 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is a sweet word of comfort for the family of God. Exploring Christ's love for us and being told to do nothing in response but hear it and know it was profound and refreshing.

I'm sure I will return to this book again and again for I'll never tire of being assured in His goodness ❤
Becky Pliego
Te kind of book that immediately after you finish reading, you want to start all over again.
Marie Tankersley
Jun 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was a bit sad to be finished with this, to be honest :) it was a splendid read, clearly written, and quite moving.
Michael Beck
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow, one of the best and most helpful Christian books written in the past few decades. What a wonderful, refreshing treatment on the heart of Christ. Ortlund faithfully and biblically opens up the passages touching on Christ's own heart toward His people (and some on the Father's heart as well). The message brought forth in this book is one that has been forgotten in much of the modern church, but Ortlund shows that the Reformers and Puritans once preached it boldly. Standing on the shoulders of ...more
Sarah Dixon Young
Feb 22, 2021 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to love this book, but I didn't.

I love Jesus. I love the Gospel. I feel a little guilty hating a book about it.

However, Ortlund assumes questions for me that I just don't have. He tries to answer assumptions that I have never assumed. He goes too far in trying to employ shock value and makes untrue statements.

Here are some examples:
"Divine love is not forbearance or longsuffering or patience." (What happened to love is patient??)

"For those who do not belong to him, sins evoke h
Jon Pentecost
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ortlund writes like a modern-day Puritan.

Deep, wonderful reflections on God's patience, gentle, loving steadfastness towards sinners who have taken refuge in Christ. A great example of how much can be said about Christ's love, and how robust theology ought to be robustly devotional and faith-strengthening.

Highly recommend, especially to someone interested in Puritan writing, but a bit intimidated by the difference in writing style from one generation to another.
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
Too touchy-feely for my tastes. I had to look twice, for I surely thought this was written by a woman, for women. This book is simply the ramblings of a Reformer trying to comfort people, when really he should be talking about the means of grace.

Ortlund talks about the fact that God uses pain or trials in our lives to teach us things. God's first instinct is mercy, but he will use pain to bring us back to himself. "He... is conflicted within himself when he sends affliction into our lives." Ther
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was ok
Please hear me when I say this: I have manyyyyyy friends and family members with whom I disagree on foundational theological principles. It is not my intent to attack any individual adherent to any individual doctrine by what I say in this review. Likewise, it is not my intent to attack Dane Ortlund by what I say in this review. Mr. Ortlund appears to have a genuine heart for helping believers to grasp the enormity of God’s love for them, and I respect that greatly.

Please hear me
David Steele
Dr. Dane Ortlund has gained a reputation for writing Christian books that are solid, edifying, and gospel-centered. His newest work, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Suffers is no exception. Ortlund uses Matthew 11:29 as the basis for his writing:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The author writes, “This book is written for the discouraged, the frustrated, the weary, the disenchanted, the cynic
Annalia Fiore
Feb 16, 2021 rated it liked it
I hate to give this such a low rating because I so needed to read this book, and there were some beautiful excerpts. I’m thankful I read it, and I would recommend it to some. However, the writing was really dreadful...I cringed at his analogies and illustrations with exception to a couple, his choppy-one word sentences that were meant to emphatically comfort or exhort felt condescending, and in general I found his writing fluffy and repetitive. Ortlund has very good things to say, he’s identifie ...more
Zach Kunkel
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I needed this. A reminder of who Christ is and the position he consistently and constantly takes towards me. Ortlund dives into unpacking Christ’s own heart - where every action, teaching and word stems from.

May I not be so quick to forget it.
Sophie Miller
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Life-giving. Helpful. Freeing. Every believer should—must—read this book and find rest for their souls.
Sarah W.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is as good as all of your friends are telling you.

Reading Gentle & Lowly was like a long, breath-taking hike in the mountains; I took my time walking through each chapter, frequently stopping to catch my breath and say a silent "wow" at the new glimpse I had just caught of my God.

Here is a small window into one of my favorite chapters, "Rich in Mercy:"
"If my life is any evidence of the mercy of God in Christ, you might think, I'm not impressed. To you I say, the evidence of Christ's me
Owen Lewis
Jun 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, powerful work on the heart of Christ for His people. Dane Ortlund is very gifted in his use of beautifully expressive language to display the loveliness of Christ. Much like the Puritan writers that he draws from. I will read this book again as I grow, by His grace, in loving Christ more and more. Hebrews 12:2 exhorts us to fix our eyes on Jesus in the race of faith - the believer's race of sanctification. "Gentle and Lowly" presents a very helpful aid to that end - fixing our eyes ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-changing
This book is an answer to prayer. I feel God's love in the very fact that this book exists, and in the timing with which it came into my life.

My experience reading was to think with every chapter, "That's too good to be true, surely!" Then I kept reading and thought, "Oh my goodness. IT IS TRUE!"

Dane Ortlund is a sensitive and careful guide to this material. His writing is beautiful, full of helpful analogies to help readers attempt to wrap their heads around these unbelievably good truths. He'
Unchong Berkey
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
What Gentle and Lowly did for me was convince me that I do not comprehend Christ’s true heart towards me. In fact, I wrestled along the way because what I know to be true from the pages of Scripture I do not readily feel in the depths of my heart. It made me long to experience Christ’s nurturing of me in ways I haven’t before.

The chapter titled Rich in Mercy contains a quote that has stuck with me: “If my life is any evidence of the mercy of God in Christ, you might think, I’m not impressed. To
Peter Dray
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. My favourite read of 2020 so far by a country mile.

With help from the Puritans - especially Sibbes, Bunyan, Edwards and Goodwin - Dane Ortlund unpacks Scriptural teaching about the heart of Christ, exploring his character and feelings toward his people. Theologically masterful, worshipful to the core and with some beautiful turns of phrase, let Ortlund escort you again to Christ such that you are lost in wonder, love and praise.
Jeff Wiesner
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of really good books in recent years but Gentle and Lowly is the best and most edifying book I've read since Mark Jones' Knowing Christ a few years back. I'd love to hand a copy to every member of my church. ...more
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Dane C. Ortlund (PhD, Wheaton College) is chief publishing officer and Bible publisher at Crossway. He serves as an editor for the Knowing the Bible series and the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series, and is the author of several books, including Gentle and Lowly and Edwards on the Christian Life. He is an elder at Naperville Presbyterian Church in Naperville, Illinois. Dane lives with his w ...more

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
8 likes · 2 comments
“The cumulative testimony of the four Gospels is that when Jesus Christ sees the fallenness of the world all about him, his deepest impulse, his most natural instinct, is to move toward that sin and suffering, not away from it.” 12 likes
“You don’t need to unburden or collect yourself and then come to Jesus. Your very burden is what qualifies you to come. No payment is required; he says, “I will give you rest.” His rest is gift, not transaction. Whether you are actively working hard to crowbar your life into smoothness (“labor”) or passively finding yourself weighed down by something outside your control (“heavy laden”), Jesus Christ’s desire that you find rest, that you come in out of the storm, outstrips even your own.” 8 likes
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