What the Puritans Understood about the Human Heart

Connecting Scripture to Our Hearts

The Puritans from four hundred years ago in England were so unusual because they knew how to do the both/and of going way down deep in the Scripture and in theological truth, plumbing the depths of what we are told about God, us, and the world at the level of the original languages on the one hand. On the other hand, they understood how our fallen human hearts work. What they knew how to do in their writings and their books and sermons and treatises was connected to so many of us today. Perhaps we have a very good understanding of the Scripture and of doctrine. Maybe others of us really understand people well.

Gentle and Lowly

Dane Ortlund

How does Jesus feel about his people amid all their sins and failures? This book takes readers into the depths of Christ’s very heart—a heart of tender love drawn to sinners and sufferers.

The genius of the Puritans was that they knew how—in their writings—to build bridges between the two. They went way down deep in the Scripture and then they took it and they funneled it into our hearts—understanding how we work, understanding the excuses we make to evade God's love, understanding why and how our hearts tend to calcify and hardened over, and how the Lord can crack them open again with his gospel truths.

So the Puritans were brilliant in taking the Scripture in one hand and taking our fallen, anxious hearts in the other, and connecting the two for our great joy and comfort.

Dane C. Ortlund is the author of Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers.

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