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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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"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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book! Explains it from the addict's view and the person who wants to help view. Gives a Christian commentary on AA and twelve-step programs. Just so very informative! Read morePublished 15 days ago by J. Renn
A very rigid interpretation of addictions and dependencies.Published 17 days ago by Timothy D. Cranfill
This book is giving me a better understanding of the accountability approach!Published 3 months ago by Judy LaFritz
Talks about alcohol addiction but the principles are broadly applicable to many kinds of addiction. I found the book to be entirely readable and practical. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
A good book with solid biblical moorings. It may strike some as a bit heavy/rigid on the idolatry/sin aspect but he gives a solid basis behind it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by lifelong student
This book is excellent. I have read and re-read a number of the chapter. Very insightful and practical. I love it!!!Published 6 months ago by Rich S
Deals with many aspects of addiction. Good critique of the disease model, with improvements. Half way through book, very good read.Published 9 months ago by JimJam