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Godly Emotion

Faithful Feelings takes another look at emotions.
2007This article is part of CT's digital archives. Subscribers have access to all current and past issues, dating back to 1956.

"Emotion is to be subdued, because it expresses the passionate, irrational sin nature"—such deficient, unbiblical views of emotion have distorted pastoral guidance of God's people. They have also led to inaccurate translations and biblical interpretations, such as drawing a stark distinction between agape and eros and concluding that agape is a passionless exercise of the will to do good.

Faithful Feelings is a scholarly argument to reorient our thinking about emotion. It presents a sophisticated view of emotion that engages the whole person. Emotions are more than cognitions, but they must involve rational thinking. Only with this view can we properly understand Scriptures that teach us that emotion is central to life in Christ, that certain emotions are righteous or sinful, and that we must manifest righteous emotion and dispense with sinful emotion. When viewed rightly, says Elliott, president of Oasis International, "Emotion is free to play a prominent and influential role in theology and the Christian faith."

Faithful Feelings is a great example of faithful engagement with Christian and secular scholarship.



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