Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford

Feb 09

Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford

Grace for the Afflicted

A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness

Matthew S. Stanford

2008

262 pages

 

Matthew Stanford, Ph.D. is professor of psychology, neuroscience and biomedical studies at Baylor University. Professionally he has worked with a variety of mentally ill and brain injured individuals. In his book, Grace for the Afflicted, he combines his expertise in studying the brain and mental disorders with a sound Christian theology to provide a very detailed explanation of mental illness.

He begins with a detailed look at theology, including Original Sin, God’s grace, and specific issues pertaining to mental illness in the Bible. Dr. Stanford’s basic premise is that mental illness can cause sinful behavior, but being sick is not a sin.

He presents biblical and medical arguments for why many of the Christian myths and misbeliefs about mental illness are simply not true. One of the most harmful myths held by Christians is that mental illness doesn’t exist because there is not scientific medical test to prove it’s existence. (How about proving the existence of God, while you’re at it, folks?) Dr. Stanford writes:

“Mental disorders and traditional medical diseases are diagnosed in a very similar manner, using a set of scientifically derived symptoms or criteria. Blood tests and brain scans are often used to rule out potential causes of the mental illness (e.g., infection, brain tumor, epilepsy). Psychiatry and psychology aren’t voodoo; they are science. And science insists on verifiable data.” (Matthew Stanford, Grace for the Afflicted)

 

He spends the largest portion of the book detailing each category of mental illness from a medical perspective. Then he applies specific biblical principles to help someone with that disorder. He also speaks to family, friends, and caregivers about how to help someone with that disorder.

Grace for the Afflicted is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn how biblical truth and modern science work together to help people afflicted with mental illness. This book ought to be mandatory reading in seminaries.

 

Also available in print or ePub at Christianbook:

856749: Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness
By Matthew S Stanford, PhD / Biblica

Each day men and women diagnosed with mental disorders are told they need to pray more and turn from their sin. Mental illness is equated with demonic possession, weak faith and generational sin. Why is it that the church has struggled in ministering to those with mental illnesses? As both a church leader and professor of psychology and neuroscience, Michael S. Stanford has seen far too many mentally ill brothers and sisters damaged by well meaning believers who respond to them out of fear or misinformation rather than grace.

Grace for the Afflicted is written to educate Christians about mental illness from both biblical and scientific perspectives. Stanford presents insights into our physical and spiritual nature and discusses the appropriate role of psychology and psychiatry in the life of the believer. Describing common mental disorders, Stanford asks of each: “What does science say and what does the Bible say about this illness?”

27100EB: Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness - eBook Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness – eBook
By Matthew S. Stanford / IVP Books

Each day men and women diagnosed with mental disorders are told they need to pray more and turn from their sin. Mental illness is equated with demonic possession, weak faith and generational sin. Why is it that the church has struggled in ministering to those with mental illnesses? As both a church leader and professor of psychology and neuroscience, Michael S. Stanford has seen far too many mentally ill brothers and sisters damaged by well meaning believers who respond to them out of fear or misinformation rather than grace.

Grace for the Afflicted is written to educate Christians about mental illness from both biblical and scientific perspectives. Stanford presents insights into our physical and spiritual nature and discusses the appropriate role of psychology and psychiatry in the life of the believer. Describing common mental disorders, Stanford asks of each: “What does science say and what does the Bible say about this illness?”

 

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