Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners by Dane Ortlund. Crossway. 193 pages. 2021
This excellent book by Dane Ortlund, author of Gentle and Lowly, is a part of the Union Series. A concise edition of the book, titled How Does God Change Us? is also available. My wife Tammy and I heard the author speak about the book at a seminar at the recent 2021 Sing! Conference.
Ortlund tells us that this is a book about growing in Christ, or using the theological term, sanctification. His resounding theme in the book is that the Christian life is at heart a matter not of doing more or behaving better but of going deeper. He tells us that growing in Christ is not improving or adding or experiencing but deepening. Implicit in the notion of deepening is that we already have what we need. Christian growth is bringing what we do and say and even feel into line with what, in fact, we already are. The nine chapters of the book are not sequential steps in growing; they are different facets of the one diamond of growth.
The author tells us that the book is for the frustrated. The exhausted. Those on the brink. Those on the verge of giving up any real progress in their Christian growth, which could be the majority of us. He encourages us not to consume this book but to reflect our way through it. I found that to be a good approach. Much like Gentle and Lowly, I read this book slowly.
Among the topics covered in the book include self-despair, union with Christ, the Bible, prayer, the Holy Spirit, mortification of sin and the Psalms. Throughout the book the author shares quotes from figures from the past such as C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Martin Luther, Robert Murray McCheyne and others.
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