Growth that’s “deeper” than discipline.

I just finished reading Dane Ortlund’s newest book, Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners. Once again, Dane has composed a work that is timely, seminal, enriching, and challenging all at once. As with his previous book — 2020’s Gentle and Lowly — there is a tender, pastoral heart behind every word. His intent isn’t to browbeat the struggling Christian with schemes and strategies for maximizing spiritual growth. His purpose is simpler and deeper than that: it’s to astonish you with the all-surpassing wonder and greatness of Christ Jesus. He makes this quite plain early on in the book, writing1:

Growing on Christ is not centrally improving or adding or experiencing but deepening. Implicit in the notion of deepening is that you already have what you need. Christian growth is bringing what you do and say and even feel into line with what, in fact, you already are.

I am so appreciative for Dane’s work in Deeper. For any churchgoers who has been troubled by their recent failures or foibles or floundering, these words are for you. Look to Jesus, friend, and let his Spirit take you deeper than you ever thought possible.

More thoughts (and a full review) to come shortly.

Grace and peace!


Dane Ortlund, Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021), 16.