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Heart of the Matter Review

January 2, 2013

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Bite-Sized Chunks of Wisdom

I call myself a “CCEF Junkie.” I’m “addicted” to the writings of the leaders of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation, a kind of “think-tank” for biblical counseling based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I’m “addicted” because they’ve been so helpful to me! Over the last fifteen years, I’ve learned more about growth in godliness, how people change, and how to help others to change from CCEF than from any other one source.

It started with reading their Journal of Biblical Counseling, then I started attending seminars and reading their books (and blogs). And then, I found out that they offered doctoral-level seminary classes that fit my schedule. How could I pass that up?!

Honestly, I’m an unashamed addict. I read everything that CCEF produces. I think that they have a lot of wisdom to offer the Church today.

So, when I heard that there was a new devotional based upon the writings of the CCEF faculty, I knew in advance that it would be good. Unsurprisingly, Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives is very good. 

I had already read all of the books that are quoted within Heart of the Matter, so I didn’t need to read every page to know that the content was going to be valuable. But I also liked the format. It’s a compilation book with multiple authors, divided up into 366 daily readings. You get a “bite-sized” chunk of wisdom for each day of the year. For a junkie like me, I get a daily “fix.”

I recommend getting Heart of the Matter for just about any Christian who likes to read and wants to grow in godliness. It is accessible, readable, and focused on short bursts of wisdom for change. The main theme is “change.” Readings cover areas such as love, hope, grace, redemption, faith, contentment, conflict, relationships, prayer, fear, patience, humility, and anger. It would be no substitute for reading one of the works the excerpts come from, but it might be a good introduction to any and all of them.

Of course, by reading Heart of the Matter, you might whet an appetite for more and more CCEF. You have been warned: this stuff is addicting!

BCC Staff Note: This review first appeared at Matt Mitchell’s Hot Orthodoxy website. It is re-posted here with Matt’s permission. You can read the original post at Book Review: Heart of the Matter


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