cura librorum

Passion & Purity (Elisabeth Elliot)
August 6, 2009, 02:12
Filed under: Book Reviews, Christian
by Elisabeth Elliot

Passion & Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control
(Fleming H. Revell, 1984, softcover, 192 pp, $12.99)

“I have spent the event by a little pool which held the silent sky in its heart. There was no ripple, no stir. Lord, let me be that pool.”

Elisabeth Elliot has this marvelous ability to put the most profound and heart-stopping pieces of wisdom into succinct prose. Anyone who complains that they cannot wait, that they are lonely, that they worry, will be immediately reprimanded by the story of Elisabeth and Jim, waiting for God’s will.

It’s not just an “encouragement for single women” type book. It’s very challenging for both men and women, who, though they may not necessarily be struggling in this area, may be steered towards the proper attitude of complete submission to God’s will. It is not romantic passion but the passion of any desire. Nor is it merely sexual purity but purity of heart and mind. For example, I am fairly sure that passages such as the following could address any Christian who is learning to submit to God’s will could feel addressed by points like these:

“It would be the easy way if the desire itself simply disappeared… but if the yearning went away, what would we have to offer up to the Lord? Aren’t they given to us to offer? It is the control of passion, not its eradication, that is needed. How would we learn to submit to the authority of Christ if we had nothing to submit?”

I will definitely be reading this book again.

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