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The Heart of Anger: How the Bible Transforms Anger in Our Understanding and Experience (Ash & Midgley) - BUMPED

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216
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How should Christians understand anger, evaluate it, and respond for good?

We all struggle with anger at times: Our plans suddenly fall through, we lose a prized possession, or our reputation is called into question. More often than not, when anger knocks at the doors of our hearts we easily allow it to take over. But what if getting to the heart of our anger also reveals the way to transform it?

Christopher Ash and Steve Midgley address this question by bringing to bear what the whole Bible has to say about sinful anger—revealing that anger is the sinful response when something we value more than God is taken away or threatened. They reflect on biblical portraits of human anger, God’s righteous anger, and how only the gospel of Jesus Christ brings true freedom—transforming a heart of anger into a heart filled with the love of God.

Read Chapter 1

 

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Anger and Why It Matters

Part 1: Biblical Portraits of Human Anger 
Chapter 1: Anger and the Human Heart 
Chapter 2: Getting to the Heart of Anger 
Chapter 3: Anger and Harm 
Chapter 4: Anger and Power 
Chapter 5: Anger and Self-Righteousness 
Chapter 6: Anger and Pride 
Chapter 7: Anger and the Crowd 
Chapter 8: Using Others to Serve our Angry Madness 
Chapter 9: Righteous Anger?

Part 2: Leave Room for an Angry God 
Chapter 10: The Anger of God Is Good 
Chapter 11: The Anger of God Is Evident 
Chapter 12: The Anger of God Is a Jealous Love 
Chapter 13: The Anger of God Is Slow but Sure 
Chapter 14: The Anger of God Is Revealed in Jesus 
Chapter 15: Leave Room for an Angry God

Part 3: First Steps in Defusing Human Anger 
Chapter 16: Contrast Our Own Anger with His in the Matter of Knowledge 
Chapter 17: Expose the Agenda behind Our Anger: An Example from Parenting 
Chapter 18: Feeling Mad: Uncovering the Emotions Hiding Beneath

Part 4: Find Joy in the Peace of Christ 
Chapter 19: New Desires in Christ 
Chapter 20: A New Crowd in Christ 
Chapter 21: A New Peace in Christ 
Chapter 22: A New Power in Christ 
Chapter 23: A New Humbling from Christ 
Chapter 24: A New Love from Christ 
Chapter 25: Learn Wisdom in Christ

Acknowledgments
Appendix 1: A Checklist for Our Anger
Appendix 2: A Devotional Response to Our Anger

 

Authors

Christopher Ash is writer in residence at Tyndale House in Cambridge and a full-time preacher, speaker, and writer. He previously served as the director of the Proclamation Trust’s Cornhill Training Course and as a minister and church planter. He and his wife, Carolyn, are members of St. Andrew the Great Church in Cambridge, and have four children and seven grandchildren.

Steve Midgley is senior minister of Christ Church Cambridge and executive director of Biblical Counselling UK. Steve is a conference speaker, a board member for the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation, and a lecturer on biblical counseling at Oak Hill Theological College in London. He and his wife, Beth, have three adult children.

 

Endorsements

“I found myself jotting down quote after quote as I read through this book filled with so much insight into the Scriptures, as well as insight into human behavior. Then I came to the question, ‘What can Christ do for our anger that anger management courses cannot?’ and in the pages that followed, I realized I had just struck gold—gospel hope for those who recognize the damage anger is doing in their lives and relationships and their need of a source outside themselves to deal with it.”
Nancy Guthrie, Bible teacher; author, Even Better than Eden

“This book meets a real need. It gives us a warm, biblical, easily accessible treatment of one of those sins that causes great havoc but is rarely given serious attention. Most of us have suffered the anger of others at one point or another, and most of us can remember times when we failed and lashed out at others. We need to hear what the whole of the Bible has to say about anger, to distinguish between our self-centered anger and God’s righteous anger, and to learn strategies to deal with anger in all its forms. Above all, after reading this book, do take the time to work through the immensely practical and helpful appendixes.”
Mark D. Thompson, Principal, Moore Theological College

“Imagine being more skillful, less reactive, and humble in the face of your own anger or the anger of others. Imagine how many relationships could find peace and avoid prolonged wars. The Heart of Anger guides you there. It is gentle and clear, thorough and hopeful. The illustrations will have you saying, ‘That’s me.’ And it will give you direction today.”
Ed Welch, Counselor and Faculty Member, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

“Ash and Midgley have served Christ’s church well by treating the subject of anger in a way that is biblically robust and centered on issues of the heart. In addition to learning much about Scripture’s emphasis on the role of the inner person in effecting lasting change, readers will also realize the delightful alternative of finding joy and satisfaction in the gospel. Pastors, biblical counselors, and all followers of Christ should have this book on their shelves and these concepts in their hearts and lives.”
Steve Viars, Senior Pastor, Faith Church, Lafayette, Indiana; Director, Faith Legacy Foundation; author, Putting Your Past in Its Place

“Anger, with all its complexity, is still devastatingly simple. This book captures this paradox perfectly. It describes the multiple factors at play in the heart of a person experiencing anger, and it does so with biblical depth and clarity. An excellent guide to the heart of a person’s anger.”
Jeremy Pierre, Dean of Students, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

“What does the Bible say about anger? Not only do Steve Midgley and Christopher Ash answer this question exhaustively, but they convincingly gather Scripture’s teaching on anger into four accessible core categories. The Heart of Anger is written with pastoral sensitivity, full of personal examples and case studies, and climaxes with a moving description of anger’s antidote: the humility only the gospel of Christ can provide. In addition, Midgley and Ash offer a refreshing insight into the way that listening to Scripture connects us to that humility. In short, The Heart of Anger richly and biblically captures our struggle and our hope in the face of the pandemic of prideful anger that has infected us all since the garden.”
J. Alasdair Groves, Executive Director, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; coauthor, Untangling Emotions

“Anger is a universal human experience and one that often catches us by surprise. Why are we so angry? In this Scripture-saturated book, Christopher Ash and Steve Midgley help us discern what underlies the many manifestations of our anger, while charting a gospel-centered course for change. What difference does Christ make in our struggle with anger? ‘All the difference in the world,’ say Ash and Midgley. And that is good news indeed for angry folk like you and me!”
Michael R. Emlet, Faculty Member, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; author, CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet and Descriptions and Prescriptions

“Christopher Ash and Steve Midgley have written a book on anger that is honest, engaging, convicting, and packed with biblical wisdom. I highly recommend it for Christians who want to understand their heart and Jesus’s heart for them in their own struggle with anger.”
Darby Strickland, Counselor and Teacher, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; author, Is It Abuse?

The Heart of Anger brings together the overlapping realities of our personal anger, the anger of God, and the anger of others, then examines them through the lens of Scripture. Steve Midgley and Christopher Ash don’t merely pass along information gleaned from their study; they share what God’s word has to say about these overlapping realities in ways that transform lives. Readers will be equipped to walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord in regard to anger and help others to do likewise.”
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition

“Using biblical and modern case studies, Steve Midgley and Christopher Ash show us the devastation that anger causes due to selfish desires. At the heart of anger is a desire to be God, with his knowledge and sovereignty. That sword cuts deeply into all we hold dear. In contrast, the authors show us the righteous anger and steadfast love of the Lord. Knowing Jesus brings us a change of heart, with new desires. Scripture is skillfully applied in specific, practical ways, modeling how to sheath the sword of anger and brandish love and humility instead. Biblical counselors will find true hope for themselves and their counselees here in understanding anger, relationships, and new creation in the Lord.”
Cecelia Bernhardt, Faculty and Director of Counseling, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation