This is not to say that pre-1960s evangelicals loved Jesus more than our generation does. That is a judgement that only the Lord Jesus can authoritatively make as he walks among the lampstands of our churches (to use the imagery of Revelation chapter 1).
But it might be to suggest that our evangelical forebears were better at expressing their devotion to Jesus. The book contains the sort of statements about Jesus that your curate remembers hearing at the Scripture Union camp where he first heard the gospel attractively proclaimed in the 1970s (in a noticeably 1950s' atmosphere). For example:
The character of our Lord was wonderfully balanced, with neither excess nor deficiency. Its excellence is recognized not only by Christians but also by Jews and others of many forms of unbelief. It stands out faultlessly perfect, so symmetrical in all its proportions that its strength and greatness are not immediately obvious to the casual observer. It has been said that in Jesus' character no strong points are obvious because there were no weak ones. Strong points necessarily presuppose weak ones, but no weaknesses can be alleged of Him. In the best of men there is obvious inconsistency and inequality, and since the tallest bodies cast the longest shadows, the greater the man, the more glaring his faults are likely to be . With Christ it was far otherwise. He was without flaw or contradiction (Moody Publishers, Chicago, p19).Are current battles against false teaching in the institutional church and culture wars in wider society taking their toll on the expression of devotion to Jesus by contemporary conservative evangelicals? Or is a desire for expository correctness that eschews devotional summary statements also responsible? Is Spirit-quenching cultural compromise to blame for the devotional drought in more liberal evangelical circles?
Whatever the cause, Christ Incomparable breathes an atmosphere of love for Jesus that is possibly lacking in modern evangelical proclamation.
This piece - PM's EU speech won't stem moral flow to UKIP - appeared on Anglican Mainstream.