Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Fresh Pathways to Spiritual Passion
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Paperback / softback
Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press
Number of Pages: 192
Width: 13.8 cm
Height: 21.6 cm
Do you long for a closer, deeper walk with God? Would you like to know more about what the Bible says about spiritual intimacy? We say we know about God's love in our heads, but has it really percolated through to our hearts? The Bible employs the metaphor of Christ, the Lover, and believers, his beloved. Yet this rich relationship potential is relatively unexplored in modern popular books, and we are the poorer for it. Using Song of Songs and other Bible sources, the author explores the dynamics of our relationship. We come to understand more fully what it is for Christ to love us and for us to love him. Contents Desire - You're the one I want Show me your face Jesus is not my boyfriend, but... Is the Song of Songs really about me and Jesus? Insecurity Delight Springtime Belonging Distance Christ finds us beautiful Christ gets crazy for love Finally, consummation Distant again Spiritual intimacy betrayed and lost through porn Porn-spoiled lives restored Reconciled Still beautiful to him Spirals of longing and love Conclusion: the power of spiritual marriage in the storms This portrayal of the living dynamics of a believer's relationship with Christ cannot fail to transform our devotional life profoundly.
A delightful, heart-warming and inspiring guide to deeper spiritual intimacy with God. It reorients our desires - whether met, half-met or unmet - to their true and ultimate fulfillment. But it's so much more than an call to pursue Christ; it's an invitation to feel his desire for us. The result is a real tonic for the soul. -- Tim Chester * Faculty member of Crosslands Training and author of You Can Change and Enjoying God * Throughout the centuries, generations of Christians have borne witness to the Song of Songs being the means by which they experience deepest intimacy with Christ, their heavenly bridegroom. This series of devotional reflections will help Christians today to share in that same passionate experience, to revel in Jesus's love, to know the joy of his delight in us, and to long desperately for his return when he will sweep us up into his eternal embrace. I really liked the book - both the idea and the execution, and I hope it will open up the Song of Songs to lots of people in a deeper way. -- Ros Clarke * Associate Director of Church Society, and writing a commentary on the Song of Songs * What a remarkable book! Julian Hardyman was once my student, but more recently he has, on several occasions, served as a wise pastor for me personally. I was surprised to find myself convinced by his argument that the Song of Songs can be read not only as a beautiful description of human romantic love, but also as a divinely-inspired guide that can draw believers into a closer personal relationship with Christ. It has certainly done that for me. -- Wayne Grudem * Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary * Preaching and writing on the Song of Songs is always a courageous thing to do - especially when challenging interpretive assumptions that have become well established in recent years. We all owe Julian Hardyman a huge debt for having the courage to do just that in this brilliant book. Like the great Song of Songs itself, this book is at times unsettling and even shocking, yet full of insight and practical help. It is perhaps the most helpful thing I have ever read on how to cultivate a deep and satisfying intimacy with Christ. -- John Risbridger * Minister and Team Leader, Above Bar Church, Southampton * Julian Hardyman offers us here a brilliant explanation of the sometimes confusing Song of Songs. But there is more than just expertise in this book. It is a powerful and much-needed reminder to Christians that Christ desires us and wants us to respond to that desire. -- Dr Simon Gathercole * Professor of NT Studies, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, Director of Studies in Theology, and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College * I am constantly challenged by our desire to know God better, to 'see his face' and experience him more. Jesus, Lover of My Soul is a timely reminder of the amazing truth that we don't just desire him, but Christ desires us! As Julian explores the imagery of Christ, and his bride, the church, we are energised by the truth that 'we stand complete in him'. -- Nola Leach * CEO, CARE, UK * This book has renewed in me a fresh passion to know God more, and to delight in His favour. -- Lyndon Bowring * Chairman and Co-founder of CARE * A remarkable combination of intellect, imagination and devotion. Thoroughly contemporary, engaging with our culture as well as the biblical revelation. Often Julian allows us to go quite deeply into his own soul, and so reaches deeply into ours. -- Peter Lewis * Minister at Cornerstone Church, Nottingham, for many years * This book does many things. It makes the Song of Songs accessible. It takes the text seriously. It engages both with Puritans and contemporary culture. But what Jesus, Lover of My Soul does best of all is give us a grown-up view of a passionate and intimate relationship with Christ. As such, this is a rare and precious gift to the church - read it and you will know more of the passion that Christ feels for you. -- Steve Midgley * Senior Minister, Christ Church Cambridge and Executive Director Biblical Counselling UK * This is an extraordinary book. An extended analysis of the Song of Songs, it speaks into the very depths of our own desire for intimacy and love, but then lifts that desire into the spiritual heights that the Song reaches. The book is personal, honest and transparent, yet it is also scholarly, sharing nuggets from a host of other insightful authors in a way that speaks so relevantly into our culture today. The text focuses carefully on the Song itself, but draws on so much biblical literature that we soon realize that its central theme is everywhere, and inexhaustible. Please read this book and indulge yourself in intimacy; you will soon find you are bathing in the warmth and fullness of the love of God. -- Elaine Storkey * Member of the General Synod of Church of England, President of Tearfund, broadcaster and author * One of the most significant cultural drivers of our age is the search for intimacy and the hunger to eliminate alienation. We need an antidote to the misplaced enthronement of sex as the ultimate quest for intimacy. The Song of Songs is one of the 'lost' books of the Bible in the devotional life of Christians as well as the preaching of evangelical churches. Jesus Lover of my Soul was created on the anvil of sermons preached in a local church. Each chapter bears witness to what Karl Barth termed 'the 'unquenchable yearning' in the Song of Songs. -- David Coffey OBE * Past President of the Baptist World Alliance * An absolute gem. A wonderful study on the Song of Songs. It will renew your mind and refresh your spirit. * Mike Pilavachi, pastor of Soul Survivor Watford *