Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How People Grow

This was not a book I was very enthusiastic about reading, as I generally do not care for therapeutic-type books with their multi-step programs for change and their cozy little morality tales of people who have been helped.

Nonetheless, I was impressed with the content of the book, though the style is still not one I cared for. Taking people back to God Himself, and to a deeper understanding of how Truth works out in their life, is the only way to, well, help them grow. People need to understand that they cannot help themselves, need to understand that God is there to empower them, not just hold out a standard, and need to be deeply part of the Body.

This book confirmed many things I have been seeing in my life and in the lives of those close to me. I didn't necessarily agree with all of the applications, but I thought the core message of the book was a very true one, and spoke to the centrality of things too often sidelined in self-help books.


At 10:14 AM, Blogger Rose said...

I'm still in the middle of this one, which was holding me back from proffering a completed review. Like you, I'm not very interested in self-help books, which this seemed to be, especially with all the rash of light Christian instructional reading out there today. But this one has some very good insights into the intersection of Christian and secular counseling.

I particularly like the point made early on that it is counter-productive to differentiate between the two, as if there is one 'spiritual' answer for 'religious' people and a scientific answer for mainstream counseling. If God is the Author of everything, including our emotions and our psyches, then His truth should apply equally to all people, whether or not they want to follow Him in their lives.

Too often, Christian counselors try too hard to find a ‘spiritual’ answer to their clients’ problems, when the all-too-physical answer (like not getting enough sleep, or not controlling one’s impulses) is quite spiritual enough. C. S. Lewis once wrote that ‘There is no good applying to heaven for earthly comfort.’ Not that God isn’t interested in our earthly problems, but that He absolutely transcends them, so that of course the spiritual, physical, and psychological are inextricably entwined.


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