cover image JESUS LOVES ME: Celebrating the Profound Truths of a Simple Hymn

JESUS LOVES ME: Celebrating the Profound Truths of a Simple Hymn

Calvin Miller, . . Warner, $17.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-446-52920-4

It would be the rare Christian—or American, for that matter—who hasn't heard or possibly hummed along with the tune of the classic hymn "Jesus Loves Me." This book maintains that far too few Christians understand the spiritual depth found in that simple refrain. Miller (The Singer Trilogy; Into the Depths of God) opens his dialogue on the expansive love of God by sharing three verses from the famous 1860 song by Anna B. Warner. Miller fleshes out the full meaning of the song's message, which not only expounds upon Jesus' love for his flock but goes on to proclaim Christ's redemptive work on the cross and his promise to remain close throughout life's journey. Staying true to the hymn's continuity, Miller devotes one chapter to each line. He uses storytelling and quotations to begin each chapter, followed by a personal and frequently introspective conversation with Jesus that is topped off with several related Bible references. The meat of each section covers such topics as embracing certainty, erasing doubt, recognizing God's strength in countering human weakness and having the comfort of believing that Christ is always present. Each chapter closes with questions for reflection that force the reader to do some inner probing. Miller is rightfully regarded as an eloquent communicator, yet this work doesn't quite rise to his usual standard. While sound and instructive, his words fail to invite the surge of inspiration or awed response that characterize the hymn itself. (Apr. 2)