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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel (Resources for Changing Lives) Paperback – November 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


"One of the most helpful books providing practical theology on addictions. Welch’s assessment of addictions as a problem that proceeds from the heart, involving issues of worship and idolatry, is central to helping people grow and change. This is vital reading for church leaders, and for friends and family desiring to help those struggling with addictions." --John Freeman, HARVEST USA

"Destroys the myth that addiction is a disease and sin is a sickness. Welch shows that the hopeless cycle of ‘sickness, recovery, and relapse’ must be replaced with the biblical view of sin, salvation, and sanctification. As a pastor, biblical counselor, and redeemed (not recovering) ex-heroin addict, I believe Welch has given every pastor, parishioner, and anyone caught in the bondage of idolatry/addiction a biblical road map to lasting freedom." --Peter Garich, Dayspring Center for Biblical Counseling

"Biblically sound, practical, filled with Christ-like compassion. . . . This much-needed book offers real hope and the promise of victory in Jesus to those struggling with addiction." --Robert E. Emberger, Whosoever Gospel Mission

From the Publisher

A book on addictions written by a leader of the biblical counseling movement, informed by the author's wide experience in counseling people with addictions.

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Product Details

  • Series: Resources for Changing Lives
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: P & R Publishing (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875526063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875526065
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Crossroads was designed as a group study for those struggling with addiction. These ten steps, presented in author Ed Welch's trademark direct, no-nonsense style, provide a biblical and practical framework for change. Welch is a wise and loving partner who walks beside readers on their journey to freedom. Along the way, they will learn to recognize the patterns of addiction, to choose wisdom over foolish desires, and to cling to the hope they have in Jesus, who sets captives free. The path away from addiction has been laid by a God who is full of surprises, who faithfully pursues those enslaved even though they have deliberately avoided him.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Taylor on August 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is a redeemed ex-heroine addict and has been a Christian counselor and seminary professor for almost 30 years. It is written explicitly for both people who are addicts or recovering and also family members. This book is Bible saturated and unimaginably helpful!

The Dry Drunk

The book opens by describing what Welch calls a dry drunk. It is a man that he meets with who has managed to stay sober for a year now, through meetings, etc, but displays all the same thought patterns and habits that led him to drink in the first place. Welch describes the conversation as "Jim" complaining that God gave him this disease that he has to struggle with. He's frustrated that his church doesn't speak to his alcoholism more, and that his family doesn't understand his "fight." Although staying sober for a year has been a great victory, one feels uncertain as to if he might go back to it at any moment. Welch believes that just staying sober is not the true answer to alcoholism and other addictions, but addressing the heart issues that led to the drinking in the first place. To address that, Welch builds a theology of addiction from scripture.

Addiction is sin

Welch's first point is that the problem of addiction is the age-old problem of sin. Addiction is a very obvious, enslaving, and destructive type of sin, but it is still, at its root, sin, and not a disease. He draws some parallels between the sin of addiction and other types of sin. Addiction may be enslaving and deceptive, but so is pride, so is greed. When we sin, we are saying that God is not providing me with what I need to overcome my problems, He is not my help, I am going to find help for myself. (He defines an addiction as something that gives a mind and body-altering experience that is immediate.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Reddit Andrews, III on July 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Welch's treatment of addictions should be required reading for Christian workers. His books provides both understanding and ammunition for those who will inevitably have to deal with the problem of addictions and other compulsive behavior patterns. Ed Welch gives a thoughtful and urgently needed analysis of the step approaches that is both sensitive and irenic. He effectively sets the subject of addictions forth in its wider Scriptural diminsions, which opens up a path forward to newness and hope. Perhaps the most exciting feature of his book is the fact that he evinces a solid grasp on the reformed view of sanctification from beginning to end. This affords the reader with great confidence that understanding is being gained within the context of substantial theological committments. He who reads this book will certainly come away from it better equipped to handle the problem of addictions in the local Church.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By David on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
Welch's treatment of addictions is both Biblical and empathetic He recognizes that sin can also be bondage. Though he does not buy into the modern idea of addiction as a "disease" (and he makes very good arguments on that subject), he is not harsh or judgmental. He speaks credibly, using many examples, though they focus primarily on alcohol and drugs, and much less on other major addictions like eating disorders, sex, gambling, or Internet chat.

He is rather skeptical about psychology in general and 12-step groups in particular, saying that they are not necessary for a Christian, and that could be controversial, because they have helped many people. Yet I appreciate his asking tough questions about them because someone could make a group into his "higher power" instead of God.

Ultimately, I found the book helpful (though not a magical panacea) because it places the focus and hope in God, more than in people, principles, trends, and techniques. Christians will appreciate his high view of Scripture. It will be helpful for the reader to consider other authors' viewpoints, because though Welch bases his book on Scripture and extensive experience, he is after all still just a man. Non-Christians should check it out to challenge the conventional wisdom.

Having read several of Welch's books, I think this was one of the best.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By N. Smith on April 21, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Similar to the central themes of the other books in the "Resources for Changing Lives" series, Welch explicitly states the "point" to the book in the preface: "Theology makes a difference" (xvi). With relation to addictions specifically, then, this means that "Addictions are ultimately a disorder of worship." In keeping with this central theme, the first part of the book, "Thinking Theologically" lays the foundation for the approach, while the second part develops specific "Essential Theological Themes."

Welch begins by discussing the very idea of "practical theology." Why is it that a faithful Christian who knows theology well, even teaching it at church, can respond to sin in such a way that seems to betray a lack of any theological knowledge at all? This is a common problem-the problem of a disconnect between faith a life-that Welch argues has at least two sources. First, due to the influence of unbelieving authorities, many of us have wrong theology in the first place. Second, even when we believe true things, our actions betray not a disconnect between faith and life, but a failure to really believe that which we say we believe. The solution is to turn to God's Word for perspective, and to listen to the counsel of others when we may think we are self-deceived (3-10). In my estimation, this basic approach is of great usefulness, even far beyond the specific issue of addictions. When it is clear that we are living in a manner inconsistent with our confession, there are two things we need to do: turn to God's Word and involve ourselves in the church. The usefulness of the rest of the book flows from this fundamental insight: addictions betray theological error; specifically, they betray a worship problem. Diagnosing the problem rightly is key to fixing it.
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