When I received my copy of Divided in the mail I wasn’t sure what to expect. The topic is a good one and one that needs addressing. However, my expectations were low. Although the topic is an important one, I am not aware of too many who have attempted to address it. Those who have default to the usual formulaic advice. When I read on the back cover that the book contained “ways for closing the divide between your head and heart” I became even more skeptical. After reading the book I can say that it is nothing like what I expected.
Following the tradition of the apostles, Delvaux grounded his solution to narrowing the divide between heart and mind in the gospel of Christ. The solution to not believing in your heart what you give assent to in your mind is not solved by reverting back to the law. It is found in returning to the good news, hearing it again and allowing God to work it into your heart. A list of things to do is an attempt to revive the heart by demonstrating the power of your will. It is, in Biblical language, works of the law.
I am always amazed at how many Christians (including pastors) miss the obvious- when the apostles issue an imperative (a command to do something) they always root it in the indicative (what Christ has already done). So the motivation, the power, and the will to change the heart are not in the command itself, but the good news of what God has done in Christ.
Delvaux gets this, and he is unapologetic in prescribing meditating upon God’s word as a solution to disbelief. This will annoy a lot of people; especially those who really want to believe that they play a major role in the transformation of their heart or who believe that their change is empowered by law keeping . But for those who desire to narrow the gap between their heart and mind, and are aware of their inability and full reliance upon the grace of God, they will find in this book a welcome friend.
If I have a complaint about this book at all, it is that it says very little about the other means by which God changes our heart. Namely the public proclamation of the the word (church), the fellowship (church), the breaking of bread (church) and the prayers (church). In other words, Delvaux missed on a wonderful opportunity to direct the struggling brother or sister to the assembly of believers as we see in Acts 2:42. This is an important component in narrowing the gap between heart and mind. When it comes to living out our lives in the faith, we are not lonely pilgrims, but a communion of saints traveling together. However, I think this may be assumed in what Delvaux is saying. He gives no indication that he believes that we should neglect the fellowship and simply meditate on an island, but is dealing with the reality that we often find ourselves alone and in our solitude, need to battle the dragon of disbelief.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Refraction Books imprint of Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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