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Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life

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Weaves together biblical exposition and practical application to demonstrate how emotions relate to the Christian life. Emotions are a vital part of what it means to be a human being made in the image of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ. But often our emotions confuse and mislead us. So what is the proper place for emotions in a Christian's walk of faith? In Feelings and Fai Weaves together biblical exposition and practical application to demonstrate how emotions relate to the Christian life. Emotions are a vital part of what it means to be a human being made in the image of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ. But often our emotions confuse and mislead us. So what is the proper place for emotions in a Christian's walk of faith? In Feelings and Faith Brian Borgman draws from his extensive biblical knowledge and his pastoral experience to help readers understand both divine and human emotions. After laying a biblical foundation he moves on to practical application, focusing on how Christians can put to death ungodly emotional displays and also cultivate godly emotions. This biblically informed, practical volume is helpful for pastors, counselors, and serious-minded Christians who wish to develop a full-orbed faith that encompasses their emotional life.


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Weaves together biblical exposition and practical application to demonstrate how emotions relate to the Christian life. Emotions are a vital part of what it means to be a human being made in the image of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ. But often our emotions confuse and mislead us. So what is the proper place for emotions in a Christian's walk of faith? In Feelings and Fai Weaves together biblical exposition and practical application to demonstrate how emotions relate to the Christian life. Emotions are a vital part of what it means to be a human being made in the image of God and redeemed in Jesus Christ. But often our emotions confuse and mislead us. So what is the proper place for emotions in a Christian's walk of faith? In Feelings and Faith Brian Borgman draws from his extensive biblical knowledge and his pastoral experience to help readers understand both divine and human emotions. After laying a biblical foundation he moves on to practical application, focusing on how Christians can put to death ungodly emotional displays and also cultivate godly emotions. This biblically informed, practical volume is helpful for pastors, counselors, and serious-minded Christians who wish to develop a full-orbed faith that encompasses their emotional life.

30 review for Feelings and Faith: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    I think that one of the challenges for a biblical counselor is ministering to the person who has been heavily psychologized and tends to live by their emotions as if emotions were centers of truth. More than once over the course of many years of ministering to people I've said, "I do not care what you feel, but do care what you believe." Of course I do care about what a person may feel but it's important for that person to come to terms with the fact that emotions are but one aspect of the soul, I think that one of the challenges for a biblical counselor is ministering to the person who has been heavily psychologized and tends to live by their emotions as if emotions were centers of truth. More than once over the course of many years of ministering to people I've said, "I do not care what you feel, but do care what you believe." Of course I do care about what a person may feel but it's important for that person to come to terms with the fact that emotions are but one aspect of the soul, are God-given, and designed to illustrate what is going on in their soul (heart). That thought is usually counter-cultural and for many a paradigm shift in their thinking. In Faith and Feelings: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life Pastor Brian Borgman has written a useful book that lays out a biblical doctrine of emotions. The first part (Parts 1 & 2) of the book lays out a biblical foundation for understanding our emotions while the second part of the book (Parts 3 &4) is application as Pastor Borgman discusses the emotions common to man in depression, sinful anger, fear, worry, anxiety, unforgiveness and bitterness. Part 4 is the application of cultivating Godly-emotions using Jesus as our model and the importance of biblical thinking. I think it's important to qualify Pastor Borgman's use of terms "Godly emotions." The expression at face value seems to indicate that positive emotions such as joy, a sense of contentment or happiness are automatically "Godly" while the negative emotions like fear, anxiety, sadness (depression) and discontentment are "ungodly." All of our emotions are God-given and in and of themselves are neither Godly or ungodly. Emotions serve or function as warning lights like the lights on the dashboard of a car. They tell you something about what is going on under the hood. What may be going on under the hood may be Godly or ungodly and that's why the person needs to give the inner man (soul) a good hard look especially when the emotions are chronically negative. To be fair here Pastor Borgman would not argue with me on this and probably consider my point to be a quibble. Fair enough. As I said I found the book useful especially because it fills a needed niche in the biblical counseling world and so "liked" means to me recommended. The book is well researched, well foot-noted and has a Scripture index.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Larson

    In many respects this is an excellent book. The author has assembled some very helpful reflections on how the Bible speaks to our emotional life and the fullness and richness of Biblical teaching on the subject. 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 psyc In many respects this is an excellent book. The author has assembled some very helpful reflections on how the Bible speaks to our emotional life and the fullness and richness of Biblical teaching on the subject. 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 (save 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Becky Pliego

    Very good (1st time read Summer 2013). Read it for the second time on January 2015. I still think think it is very good.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ben Zornes

    Borgman lays out in the first part a basis for understanding the rightful place and perspective for our emotions. He looks at God's character, and although God doesn't have passions (as Westminster Confession puts it), the Bible is full of language demonstrating that God is a feeling God. Not that He is dependent on them, or controlled by them in any way. Rather, our fallen natures, and the fallen emotions we thus experience, "answer" to a similar thing in God. Borgman does a really great job wi Borgman lays out in the first part a basis for understanding the rightful place and perspective for our emotions. He looks at God's character, and although God doesn't have passions (as Westminster Confession puts it), the Bible is full of language demonstrating that God is a feeling God. Not that He is dependent on them, or controlled by them in any way. Rather, our fallen natures, and the fallen emotions we thus experience, "answer" to a similar thing in God. Borgman does a really great job with such a delicate topic of God and emotions.  Part two shows how we are to not merely intellectualize our faith, and be cool and stiff in regards to truth. He shows how emotions are a part of the scope of our sanctification.  Part three deals with how we ought to mortify unbiblical emotions.  Part four is on how to cultivate godly emotions. All in all, very helpful. Part One in particular was very good, insightful, soul-stirring. The other sections have many helpful insights for understanding where our feelings fit within our faith. Borgman gets it right, on the whole. 

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chrys Jones

    Excellent book on the emotions and their impact on faith! Though I disagree with his rejection of the terminology "divine impassibility", I understand why he rejects it and what he thinks about God's emotions. This book was very powerful in reminding me of the godly emotional life that should characterize me as a child of God. I am extremely thank for this work, and it will be very useful in my biblical counseling in the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in how emotions Excellent book on the emotions and their impact on faith! Though I disagree with his rejection of the terminology "divine impassibility", I understand why he rejects it and what he thinks about God's emotions. This book was very powerful in reminding me of the godly emotional life that should characterize me as a child of God. I am extremely thank for this work, and it will be very useful in my biblical counseling in the future. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in how emotions and faith coincide for Christians!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steven Evans

    Found this to be a helpful book on a neglected subject. Bringing together Scripture’s many commands to not only subject your thoughts and will to God but also the emotions was powerful. I found it helpful to explore the ways in which we are to take our emotions to God and find in His character and promises the switch for emotional change. The role of church community, preaching, psalms, and singing all enlarged my understanding. Further, there are a lot of book recommendations to pursue specific Found this to be a helpful book on a neglected subject. Bringing together Scripture’s many commands to not only subject your thoughts and will to God but also the emotions was powerful. I found it helpful to explore the ways in which we are to take our emotions to God and find in His character and promises the switch for emotional change. The role of church community, preaching, psalms, and singing all enlarged my understanding. Further, there are a lot of book recommendations to pursue specific emotions or issues.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Rollo

    This is a good book on considering emotions and godly, biblical emotional wholeness. It treats a subject that is generally overlooked or considered not worth the time. I admit, I do not think about emotional wholeness and am usually okay with emotional laxity instead of pursuing Christ-like emotions. I think the most important contribution is a Biblical theology of emotions and showing how emotions are not sovereign, as they are thought to be by most today. This would be a good book for a group st This is a good book on considering emotions and godly, biblical emotional wholeness. It treats a subject that is generally overlooked or considered not worth the time. I admit, I do not think about emotional wholeness and am usually okay with emotional laxity instead of pursuing Christ-like emotions. I think the most important contribution is a Biblical theology of emotions and showing how emotions are not sovereign, as they are thought to be by most today. This would be a good book for a group study. I may use it in my church one day.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Ventura

    Borgman appears to functionally deny Divine Impassibility and although he has a short appendix on the topic, he does not deal with it in very helpful way. The rest of the book is easy to read but the content was mediocre. Would not recommend.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Baltich

    Good stuff, though I think his section on the imagination could have been more thorough. I do not agree that our righteous affections can only be cultivated by the Bible and Christian Biographies and books, I am convinced that Phil 4:8 allows to see God's majesty in culture forms that are secular.

  10. 4 out of 5

    G.M. Burrow

    A sweet, steady guide. My sister recommended this book from a hard time in her life, and it was a good companion for me as well. Lots of practical, biblical advice on how to sort through shame, guilt, anxiety, and a host of other emotions.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Hill

    A very insightful look into a biblical view of emotions, why we have them, where they come from and their application in the Christian life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This book was superb. Far from being a frilly book on emotions and feelings, Borgman builds his case for godly emotions on rich, deep biblical theology. My copy is filled with highlights and notes. I especially was helped by the section titled, "Mortifying Ungodly Emotions." The author describes the process for putting to death sinful anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, anxiety, worry, and depression. He doesn't just beat the drum against sin, but gives genuine hope in Jesus and the gospel. This book was superb. Far from being a frilly book on emotions and feelings, Borgman builds his case for godly emotions on rich, deep biblical theology. My copy is filled with highlights and notes. I especially was helped by the section titled, "Mortifying Ungodly Emotions." The author describes the process for putting to death sinful anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, anxiety, worry, and depression. He doesn't just beat the drum against sin, but gives genuine hope in Jesus and the gospel. By the way, his handling of depression here was both balanced and biblical. This section on "mortifying" alone was worth buying the book. This book surprised me with just how good it was. I hope to read it again soon.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    Borgman offers a very balanced presentation of this topic, without swinging too far to either side of the pendulum (as is often the temptation). He pulls from the teachings of other authors such as John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, J.I. Packer, Martyn Loyd-Jones, A.W. Pink, and B.B. Warfield, often using block quotations to illustrate his points. He also provides some recommended further reading at various points. I may have been inclined to give this 5 stars, were it not for the latter pa Borgman offers a very balanced presentation of this topic, without swinging too far to either side of the pendulum (as is often the temptation). He pulls from the teachings of other authors such as John Piper, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, J.I. Packer, Martyn Loyd-Jones, A.W. Pink, and B.B. Warfield, often using block quotations to illustrate his points. He also provides some recommended further reading at various points. I may have been inclined to give this 5 stars, were it not for the latter part of chapter 15. There Borgman strays from his well known sources, and picks up some insights from one Clifford Pond, and chapter 19 of his book "The Beauty of Jesus." My personal perception, was that the propositions presented at that point were pretty preposterous.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lynette Karg

    This is a helpful look at the theology of feelings. I had not previously considered their importance or that they are God-given but fallen and in need of sanctification, prior to reading this. I read another book on feelings at the same time and consider this one to be the one written for the intellectual audience.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This kind of book is all-encompassing; it's essential for developing a Christian worldview, and it was full of honest yet encouraging exhortations, taken straight from Scripture, to cultivate godly emotions. Will definitely read it again.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Krystan

    I totally needed this! I have been having a difficult time getting my emotions back on track after a deep hurt. This book reminded me that God uses the practical disciplines of the Christian life to form our emotions and emotional responses.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Godly

    Great Book on how to handle the emotional aspects of life on the foundation of biblical truth. When a lot of emotions guide our thinking, Brian makes the case for embracing human emotions, nurturing, controlling and being sensitive to it yet ultimately submitting it to scripture! Recommended!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Paterson

    Really poor doctrine of God in the first third of the book (essentially denying divine impassibility). Rest was okay, but not something I’d imagine recommending or revisiting.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dustin

    A great book. Easy to read, extremely comprehensive.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Piper

    Well written and scriptural.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    very interesting. Although it talks about feelings in many ways, it is a book that teaches great balance between them, always standing in His Word.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael Tribett

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Leite

  24. 4 out of 5

    Harriet Joy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Nelson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beth Lane

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dwayne

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Moore

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark Jr.

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