Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: The Christian Lover by Michael Haykin

This is a collection of love letters from Christians throughout history. Haykin picked letters to express all the seasons of love. There are letters are from ministers, missionaries, and martyrs.

The first few chapters were slow, but I found myself chuckling at Martin Luther's humorous tone with his wife, and somberly reading of Calvin's grief. I was enjoying the book, but was beginning to wonder if any of the letters would have the romantic feel I'd expected from the description when we got to the love letters of the Dodderidges. I'm involved in a long distance relationship and really related to the yearning and dependency on God.

The book then was pretty captivating. I know a couple just like Sally and Thomas Charles! I poignantly was caught up in Adoniram Judson's letters, expressing willingness to die for the cause of Christ.

The crowing jewel of the book, and I think Haykin made a wonderful choice in placing them last, were the last letters of Helmuth von Moltke to his wife Freya. These were the recorded thoughts of a martyr. Von Moltke was being put to death by the Nazis for obedience to Christ.  I've often wondered about the intimacy of soul and Christ as Christian martyrs have "faced the lions."  This dear brother blessed us all by writing about his spiritual state, his love and reflection, to his wife before his execution. I had tears in my eyes, not for the loss of his life, but instead tears of love that he existed. Tears of love that I am part of the same Body as him. And tears of love for our beloved and sustaining Christ who upheld him during this time and forevermore.

All the letters in this book are worth reading. Some touched me more, others may touch you more.  Haykin created a good anthology. This book is published by the Reformation Trust, and consequently the letters were chosen mainly from Christians whose lives were in line with or sympathetic to Reformed Christianity. However, I believe the love between couples and God transcends that viewpoint and a wide audience of Christians can enjoy this book.

I am richer for having read this book.

I receive this book free from the publishers for my unbiased review.

1 comment:

  1. I am buying this book as a present! Thanks for introducing me!

    (PS: Have you thought about a book reviews tab at the top? I think people coming to your blog would love to peruse your reviews.)


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