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"This is the best Christian perspective on depression I have read. A young American Baptist is about to start his first pastorate when he is incapacitated by a severe clinical depression. The story is told by the man himself and also his wife. She in turn suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder and Post-traumatic Stress. The author shows how C. H. Spurgeon suffered from all three and yet he was a great servant of God. The question is asked, does a mental affliction disbar a man from pastoral ministry? The not unusual experience related here is of some lack of understanding and sympathy from Christians who deny the reality of mental illness or attribute it all to the demonic." (Graham Weeks christianquoter.blogspot.com 2006-09-26)
"This is a candid and spirit affirming story of a family's personal struggle, not only with mental illness, but also in finding where they fit into the body of Christ and His ministry. Considering that 10% of the world's adult population suffer from some form of mental illness, this book could well be required reading for pastors, elders, and Christian counselors or for anyone who is called to minister with understanding and unbiased care. The book is solidly based on a scriptural foundation with ample clinical information to appeal to the lay person or anyone in a counseling capacity. Informative, honest and helpful, this work shatters the old stigmas and perceptions of mental illness and depression. It is well written with enough heart and hope to balance the seriousness of the subject. Interesting reading." (Sandra Thayer Author's Choice Reviews 2005-12-01)
"I have a personal interest in Steven and Robyn Bloem's book because I too am a pastor 'on pills.' My depression remained undiagnosed from the age of twenty until the age of fifty. That was largely because I put my cyclic low periods down to fatigue and refused to seek medical help. I was greatly helped, however, by the elders and members of Little Hill Church near Leicester, where I was pastor for 15 years. They had the right ideas about clinical depression being organic in origin and eventually prevailed on me to seek appropriate help. . . .These spells I now recognise as being good for me, 'thorns in the flesh' keeping me from being over-elated or arrogant (2 Corinthians 12:7). I also find that my personal experience of clinical depression has brought me two other benefits as a pastoróit has taught me to rely more on the God who is able to raise the dead and has given me a great sympathy for, and understanding of, those who suffer from depression (2 Corinthians 1:3-11)." (David Gregson evangelical-times.org 2006-09-01) --1
Mental illness. These words illicit frightening images of uncontrolled behavior, hospital confinement, and destructive violence.
But mental illness is often much more subtle—and much more prevalent than we imagine. Unfortunately, people who are diagnosed as mentally ill may not understand what is happening to them. And for Christians, some “helpful” leaders heap on guilt, saying that the problem is spiritual rather than emotional or physical.
This book takes Steve’s personal story of major depression and weaves through it Robyn’s insights and Steve’s professional knowledge. The result is a tapestry of practical information—including definitions, treatment options, government services available, and interactions with the church and God—and a deep compassion for those who feel like their world is falling apart.
“If this book can help to dispel the stigma of mental illness and depression, remove the fallacious claims of the nouthetic counseling, integrationist, and spiritual warfare devotees, and recover the wisdom of the Puritans for pastoral counseling of the depressed, it will have done a great service for God's church.”
The Banner of Truth Trust
“The Bloems have produced a useful, biblical, practical, and pastoral book that presents spiritual truth and provides hope for the mentally ill or those caring for them.”
— Chaplain, Colonel John Poston
Steve Bloem (B.A., Cornerstone University; M.Min., Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Penn.) has been a children' therapist to socially and emotionally disturbed youth, been involved in clinical counseling/case management for a mental health agency, and presently is in private practice as the director of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries Inc. But it was his own struggle with depression that led him to write this book.
Robyn Bloem has been a volunteer in a variety of inner-city and church ministries for more than twenty years.See all Editorial Reviews
I'm glad a pastor and his wife opened up about his struggle with depression. It was good that Steve brought up the dangers of only using the Bible in counseling - nouthetic... Read morePublished 8 months ago by John A. Rhodes
I liked this book. Very readable. Agonizingly truthful. I hope it brings a much need proper perspective to the church. The chapter on suicide is excellent. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Anita Gordon, Head Librarian