Thursday, July 7, 2016

Heart Made Whole by Christa Black Gifford

book cover
Heart Made Whole
by Christa Black Gifford

ISBN-13: 9780310346494
Trade Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: June 7, 2016

Source: Review copy from the publisher through BookLook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Christa Black Gifford shares her own stories of loss, betrayal, and personal tragedy, to help those in pain invite the true Healer into the tangled mess of their broken hearts. Gifford reminds readers that pain is not their enemy, however, unhealed pain can become their greatest foe if it’s not taken to Jesus.

My Review:
In Heart Made Whole, talked about the many emotional traumas in her life, from the loss of her child all the way back to giggling girls in her childhood. Previously, she'd dealt with pain by ignoring it and hoping it'd go away. Recently, though, she's learned to acknowledge her pain, find the causes, and ask God to heal her, rather than attacking her emotions as shameful.

She grew up believing some wrong things, like that God's sovereignty means that he wants and causes bad things to happen to us. Her theology has improved, but she's concluded that God has given up his sovereignty over our lives so that we can have free will. Thus God doesn't want anything bad to happen to us, but we come to harm because we live in a fallen world and people have free will. This God patiently waits, offering to comfort us and make the best out of our messes and victim-hood.

Yet the Bible is very clear that God is completely sovereign AND we have free will. That God is not the source of evil and does not rejoice in our pain, but he does allow some bad things to happen (and--mercifully--not others) within this fallen world. So I have a problem with the theology she teaches in this book even if it's a step closer to the truth for her. I also find no comfort in the thought that God's not in control, which is implied by her theology.

Some of her other beliefs were unclear. She either has regular, vivid visions or a very active imagination. Rather than thinking about how she's feeling, she'd ask, "Heart, how are you doing?" with the response being a vision. She described visions of Jesus cracking up jokes and playing patty-cake with her. Later, she stated that she feels using her imagination to spend time with Jesus is a good thing.

I'm glad that she's come to see God as loving, but I generally found the book confusing (with all the analogies and jumps around in time) and disappointing in terms of theology.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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