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Mental Health for Christians: Biblical Terms for Healing Include the Term for “Therapy”

By in Noah's Archives | 0 comments

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 2 Mental illness brings many challenges, but perhaps the biggest challenge can be coping with the false beliefs of other Christians. Well-meaning Christians lay additional burdens on people with mental illness by telling them things like: “You just need to pray more (or have more faith for healing).” “It’s a sin to get psychiatric treatment or take psychiatric drugs.” “A mental illness is a sin (or God’s punishment for sin) and you need to repent to get well.” Let’s think about this a moment. Is psychiatric treatment any more wrong that other medical treatment? Why should we expect only miraculous healing? Doesn’t God use the medical community, too? Can’t God use modern medicine to achieve His results? Yes, we are spiritual beings, but we are also a body and mind. When it...

Fresh Hope: Living Well in Spite of a Mental Health Diagnosis by Brad Hoefs (@bradhoefs)

By in Book Reviews, Mental Health | 0 comments

Fresh Hope by Dr. Michael Egger My rating: 5 of 5 stars When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness (bipolar disorder), I had an all or nothing approach that included Option A: a devastated life with mental illness, or Option B: complete and perfect healing by God. That was the only way I could think about it. And, in fact, I believe the church taught me to think about it in those terms. As I worked through the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of mental illness, I came to realize there was a better choice. I could accept mental illness and overcome it through diligence on my part and faith in God’s part until I reached a point of recovery, which is not the same as healing. Recovery means living with it, but overcoming it with God’s help. That’s what I liked most about Brad Hoefs’ book, Fresh Hope. He emphasized recovery as the goal and that goal gives us hope and...

Troubled Minds by Amy Simpson (@aresimpson)

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Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission by Amy Simpson My rating: 5 of 5 stars During Amy Simpson’s youth, her mother developed schizophrenia. She knows firsthand the traumas and difficulties of families with mental illness. That’s why she writes with such passion and compassion for others who struggle with mental health problems. In particular, she points out the many ways the church has failed people with mental health issues. In her book, Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission, Simpson addresses the practical and theological issues that feed misunderstanding about mental illness in church communities. But she doesn’t leave her message at “do better,” she goes on to share the success stories of churches who intentionally reach out to people through mental health ministries. She describes specific actions the church or individuals can take...

The Subtle Message about Mental Health in Captain America: Civil War **Spoiler Alert**

By in Crazy Grace Blog | 5 comments

I just saw Captain America: Civil War at the theater. I’m a fan of Marvel’s superhero movies, but I feel a little conflicted about this one. For one thing, everyone was out for revenge against everyone else, it seemed, although that turned out to be the point of the movie: revenge doesn’t make you feel better. The story was intricately woven, even more so than usual, with individual agendas and subplots tightening like a noose around a team already choking on the magnitude and burden of their own responsibility. But I’m not here to analyze the movie plot and characters. I want to fast forward to the end of the movie dealing with Steve Rogers’ friend, Bucky Barnes. Setting the Story First, let me recap a bit. In Captain America: The First Avenger, we see a young Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes as inseparable best friends. When Bucky was captured in WWII, a German scientist...

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

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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...