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Monod, An Undivided Love

Adolphe Monod, AN UNDIVIDED LOVE: Loving and Living for Christ
Translated by Constance Walker
(Solid Ground Christian Books, 2009), pb., 200 pp.

Solid Ground Christian Books continues to do the church a great service by reprinting great old books, that many of would not know of otherwise. One of the latest examples is this wonderful little book by Monod.

I had not previously heard of Monod (1802-1856), but he has been described as being to 19th century France what Spurgeon was to Victorian England. Michael Haykin, in his blurb for the book, noted that English-speaking evangelicals tend to be ignorant of “the spiritual riches found in other Evangelical cultures,” and this strikes me as true. This book provides a great opportunity to remedy this ignorance.

I have enjoyed reading in this book, which is a collection of sermons. Monod sermons are rich, spiritually powerful and pastorally sensitive. In this volume he is regularly appealing to our yearning for joy and declaring that Christ is the only true source. In one place, he makes the very point C. S. Lewis made years later- our yearnings are too large for what this life alone cane yield. We must either define down our expectations or find a greater joy in Christ. This is the very point Lewis was making when he said we are too easily satisfied, our problem in not that we desire, but that we settle for dim pleasures. Then, as he declares the joy of being in Christ, he is also pastorally aware enough to address those who are currently suffering. He takes up several examples including this one:

“And you, my sister, who are inwardly consumed by the sweet and powerful need to love and be loved, none have appreciated the consolations of the family hearth better than you. Having been refused those consolations, you find yourself to be ‘lonely and afflicted’ (Psalm 25:16). Refused, but by whom? By blind fate? No, but by a fatherly providence. And why? In order to deprive you of that which is lavished on others? No, but to enrich you more than anyone else. Believe it well, ‘God has provided something better for [you]‘ (Hebrews 11:40) in reducing you to seek your fullness in his love and to confine all the most legitimate, most noble, most inalienable desires of your being to him alone” (63).

There is much good in this book.

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