Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart, Review

Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart , John Ensor
(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2007), pb., 160 pp.

I just finished reading this great book, and our church is working on getting copies for our book table at church. I have seen Ensor’s first book but have not been able to read it yet. Now, I am keen to do so, because he really has a way with words and he uses them to communicate sound truths.

This book deals with the issue of male/female relationships. It seems to me that the first audience in view is singles and the secondary audience is married people. Both groups can benefit from this book. Ensor writes with conviction and passion, frank and to the point. He does not pull any punches. He speaks out of the experiences of ministry leading a crisis pregnancy center. I found myself thinking, “I like this guy!” This is a book to have on hand to give away because it could be of great help to people in a number of situations.

Here are some quotes to illustrate some of his points as well as his style.

“It is one thing to act foolishly – to be a simpleton – when buying a used car. It is another when it comes to matters of the heart. The stakes are infinitely higher. Failure here means weeping into tear-stained pillows through sleepless nights. It means hot flashes of shame. It means spiritual incapacitation when it comes to things like prayer and worship.” (p. 12)

“I have talked to teens who, unfortunately, listened attentively in their sex education classes and now in their twenties, sit astonished in the discovery that there is no condom for the heart!” (p. 19)

“Hormones and oxytocin bond us to those with whom we share a bed, but what it means to love beyond merely making love does not come from chemistry; it comes from theology. It comes from parenting. It comes by learning.” (p. 44)

“Models of good marriages are books in clothes. The church was my library.” (p. 58)

“Women lack confidence in their desire to be a wife and mother. It is acceptable as a side dish, but should it be the main dish, something must be wrong with them. Men who want to do the right thing toward women are now unsure if it is okay even to open a car door for them.” (p. 59)


Dana Olson said...

I am so happy you have found John's book! He is a good friend of mine, and in fact I make a tiny appearance in his first book. I would love it if you could influence 100's of students at the University to read this excellent call to "do things right in matters of the heart." You are right, the fact that John has spent many years in the front-line battle to save thousands of babies lives, having interviewed thousands of now pregnant girls and some of their boyfriends, adds infinite value to the book (and his first one as well). He has been in the trenches. He's counseled and prayed this those hurt by our culture's sexual "freedom." The illustrations, thus, are striking in their truthfulness. Thanks so much, Dr. Ray.

Dana (Mary's Dad)

Carmin said...

I love the quote "There is no condom for the heart." Amen, amen and amen. When God instructed us to refrain from fornication, He did it to protect us - not to restrict us. Men and women should refrain from premarital sex, however, I think women suffer the most when we fornicate. Many women fool themselves into believing they can behave as a man and engage in sexual activity without the benefit of commitment and marriage. What most women eventually realize (if they are truthful with themselves) is that they cannot engage in the sex act without some type of emotional attachment. This is why we experience that depressed "something is missing", "something is wrong" or "I'm depressed" feeling after the excitement and rush of the sex act is finished. In my recently released memoir about relationships, "Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces," I comment that "Women are similar to an electrical socket. When a man 'plugs' into them, he is draining power from her! Be careful who you allow to plug into you."

"No condom for the heart." I love it.

Carmin Wharton, The Relationship Teacher

Ray Van Neste said...

Wow, Dana!
That is neat to discover that you are friends with John. I will be recommending this book to students. It would be great to have John speak on campus sometime.

Ray Van Neste said...

Thanks for stopping by Carmin.

Dana said...

John is an excellent preacher and speaker. You would like him very much. Theologically sound and biblically careful and his life is where his mouth is, if you know what I mean. It would be superb to have him at Union and at Cornerstone. We both studied under J.P. at Bethel years ago, before he went to Bethlehem. J.E. has spoken at Bethlehem and is quoted by J.P. when he speaks on abortion.