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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel (Resources for Changing Lives) [Paperback]

Edward T. Welch
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1, 2001 Resources for Changing Lives
A worship disorder: this is how Edward T. Welch views addictions. "Will we worship our own desires or will we worship the true God?" With this lens the author discovers far more in Scripture on addictions than passages on drunkenness. There we learn the addict's true condition: like guests at a banquet thrown by "the woman Folly," he is already in the grave (Proverbs 9:13-18). Can we not escape our addictions? If we're willing to follow Jesus, the author says that we have "immense hope: hope in God's forgiving grace, hope in God's love that is faithful even when we are not, and hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mastered by the addiction." Each chapter concludes with "Practical Theology," "As Your Face Your Own Addictions," and "As You Help Someone Else."

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Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel (Resources for Changing Lives) + Crossroads (Study Guide): A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction + 'Just One More': When Desires Don't Take No for an Answer (Resources for Changing Lives)
Price for all three: $31.84

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Editorial Reviews

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.

About the Author

Edward T. Welch (M.Div, Biblical Theological Seminary; Ph.D in counseling psychology, University of Utah) is director of counseling at the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation and professor of practical theology at Wesminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is author of Blame it on the Brain and When People are Big and God is Small, and he contributes frequently to the Journal of Biblical Counseling.

Product Details

  • Series: Resources for Changing Lives
  • Paperback: 298 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,521 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
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is HOPE! August 8, 2009
Format:Paperback
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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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book has Answers! 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.
Pastor Reddit
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical and empathetic 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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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Work, but Not Perfect 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bible help for addictions
This is a great book for Christians. Others may like it too, but it is Bible based and very Scriptural. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Christine Hendy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting! An eye opener! Buy it!
The best book ever on addictions. It's every deep and very interesting.
Published 25 days ago by Journey Roads
4.0 out of 5 stars Addiction support book
Great book for addiction support group
Published 1 month ago by I. Avinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon's service was typically excellent! The author's perspective is...
Amazon's service was typically excellent! The author's perspective is thoughtfully presented.
Published 1 month ago by David E. Gordy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book!
Published 1 month ago by Noreen J. Wemple
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this book! Great resource based on biblical principals.
Published 1 month ago by CBlum
5.0 out of 5 stars No more chains
if you are a Christian and you struggle with an addictive behavior you can turn to the various 12 step groupsbut if you're like me the spirituality of these groups is anything but... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Scott Backle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Biblical perspective of addictions
First heard this book recommended from the pulpit of John Piper preaching through the book of Romans. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Josh from Alaska
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book Highly recommend
Struggling with addictions is a rampant problem and this book brings light to the truth of what the problem really is.
Published 3 months ago by Fredrick E. Eubanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Christian Addiction Book
This book is a great tool to help someone break an addiction or to help a person to work with someone who has an addiction.
Published 3 months ago by TCA
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