I immensely enjoyed Julian Hardyman’s 2019 book ‘Fresh Pathways in Prayer’, and this book, whether deliberately or not, functions as a companion piece. Subtitled, ‘Fresh Pathways to Spiritual Passion’, this book enticingly leads the reader through Song of Songs, and its offer of deep spiritual intimacy with Jesus. It is wonderfully refreshing and encouraging; it is very hard not to be uplifted by a book whose every page is filled with the fact that Jesus finds you delightful, attractive and precious, just as you are.
Alongside being an enriching reminder of God’s love, this book also offers much grounded wisdom about the blessings, and challenges, of romance and sexual intimacy. It is a book that I would thoroughly recommend to any married couple, anyone considering getting married, anyone reflecting on singleness and anyone struggling with sexual sin. Which, I suppose, covers all of us. Having grown out of a series of sermons at Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge, this book is helpfully peppered with reflections from church members and from Julian Hardyman’s own decades of pastoral ministry. This is especially important in the pair of chapters on specific sexual sin, but brings a sympathetic heart the whole book.
Song of Songs is a singular book of the Bible, and Julian Hardyman’s exploration of it provides a singularly beautiful read. It gave me such joy to read, and has inspired me in my marriage, and more importantly, in my relationship with Jesus.
Miriam Montgomery, Free Church Books