The Emotional Life of Our Lord – B. B. Warfield and Sinclair Ferguson

The Emotional Life of Our Lord by B.B. Warfield, Sinclair B. Ferguson
Also by this author: The Dawn of Redeeming Grace: Daily Devotions for Advent
Series: Crossway Short Classics
Published by Crossway Books on March 15, 2022
Genres: Academic, Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Theology
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A Close Look at the Complex Emotions of Christ

In the search to understand the deity of Christ, Christians might overlook what the Bible reveals about his humanity. Did Jesus really feel emotions? What grieved him? What delighted him? How did Jesus―fully human and fully God―react to the world and people around him? Throughout Scripture, Jesus displays a range of emotions that can help believers understand him more intimately.

This book is a reissued publication of B. B. Warfield’s 1912 essay “The Emotional Life of Our Lord.” Now with a foreword by Sinclair Ferguson, this brief book is accessible to a new audience. In addition to the foreword, this book includes a brief introduction to the Crossway Short Classics series, a biographical sketch of Warfield’s life and influence, and a short note explaining an editorial decision. I appreciate how the book provides context for the historical writings to follow, helping orient readers to get the most out of Warfield’s writing.

The Emotional Life of Our Lord is insightful and well-written, analyzing the different instances of Jesus’s emotions in the gospel accounts. Warfield originally wrote this essay to respond to trends among teachers who focused so much on defending Christ’s divinity that they devalued his humanity. Warfield summarizes different teachings about Christ’s emotions, and then turns to the Bible to see each instance of Christ’s emotions in its context. My favorite part is the section about Christ experiencing anger, particularly related to his “conquest of death and hell” and rage at the world’s brokenness.

I first learned about this essay while reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund, and I am grateful to have finally read it in full. I would recommend this to other Christians who are interested in understanding Christ’s emotions as presented in Scripture, and who would find it encouraging to consider his compassion and sympathy for humanity. The text is certainly academic at times, but the book is brief and readable with sufficient focus, and it is full of great insight and consolations.