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Uprooting Anger: Biblical Help for a Common Problem Paperback – November 1, 2005
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From the Publisher
"Far and away the best material on anger I have read, thoroughly biblical and immensely practical. Jones does a masterful job of helping us identify anger in our lives, then gives us biblcal steps for uprooting it. Every Christian ought to prayerfully read this book and apply its teaching." --Jerry Bridges
"Most of us find it all too easy to use words like hurt, frustrated, and troubled to conceal the fact that we are often controlled by sinful anger. This book cuts through this disguise, exposes our bondage to anger, and marks a clear path to peace and freedom." --Ken Sande
About the Author
- Publisher : P & R Publishing (November 1, 2005)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1596380055
- ISBN-13 : 978-1596380059
- Item Weight : 8.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.46 x 0.55 x 8.48 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #80,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Jones begins with the assumption that human anger is never righteous. In order for our anger to be righteous, it has to be anger that 1) is a reaction against sin, not inconvenience, preferences, or traditions, 2) focuses on God and not me, and 3) is expressed in godly ways. I can get behind all of that, except that the author takes #2 to mean that a Christian can't get angry about real sin committed against them without being in sin themselves - the only righteous anger is anger at sin committed against others. He writes about Christ's anger that we never see Jesus angry because he was being sinned against, but only because people were sinning against others or trying to get in the way of Jesus' mission on earth (but isn't that being angry because of sin against himself?). I would argue that, if God is angry at something, it's ok for his people to be angry at that same thing as long as they don't sin in their anger.
The author gives a fictional couple, Jack and Jill, as examples in the early chapters of two kinds of anger. The problem with Jack and Jill is that Jack is (at least) borderline abusive, but Jill's anger over being verbally abused by her husband is held up as just as wrong and damaging as his anger. Jack rages at her and hits walls, and we read that his anger "was worsening. Violence was on the horizon." So, Jack was following a path of explosive verbal and physical anger that was heading to domestic violence. The author's advice? "Had Jack continued down this path, it would have been right for Jill to seek the help and the discipline of Christ's church." In other words, when Jack finally did hit Jill, it would be ok for her to call her pastor. This is so dangerous. If someone believes that the person they're living with will start physically abusing them, they should get help then and not wait to get hit.
This is also a pretty good example of sin leveling. Jack is verbally and physically angry, but Jill is silently angry, so she's just as wrong, right? On the level of sin being the thing that damages our relationship with God, yes. However, on an interpersonal level, they are not equal sins. Jill's quiet anger isn't going to send Jack to the hospital or morgue, and it isn't going to make him feel unsafe in his home and potentially cause a trauma response in him or his children. His anger needs immediate intervention to keep her safe, while her anger can be worked through more slowly in counseling.
The author quotes Ephesians 4:26 (Be angry and do not sin) throughout the book, but fails to notice the first part of the quote. If almost all human anger is sin, then why doesn't Paul (and the psalmist he's quoting) say "don't be angry"? If all anger is sin, then how can Paul expect us to be angry without sinning? Jones quotes James 1:20 (for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness) without mentioning that the "Everyone should be...slow to anger" part of 1:19 doesn't mean never be angry, it means don't be someone who gets angry at the drop of a hat.
The chapters on anger at God and at self were pretty ok, but I can't recommend this book, even if it isn't solidly bad all the way through.
Jones starts off with a good Biblical Look at the issue of Anger. The scope of scripture he uses is a good tool for anyone who experiences anger or is trying to help a fellow Christian who is dealing with anger. I found myself putting each of the scriptures he was referencing into my scripture memory app on my iPad so that I could start to memorize these and put them in my heart to help me deal with anger when it arises in my life.
Jones then goes on to talk about the two main ways people deal with anger, Venting and Stuffing. We either express our anger in tantrums of venting where we loose our tongue and let the verbal attack spew forth towards anyone that is around us. The words are hurtful and never healing. Afterwards we may feel better because we have released some steam, but those around us are now struggling with anger at being the receivers of our venting.
The other style is that of "stuffing" our anger. We bury it deep within ourselves. People around us don't necessarily have a clue how angry we are. But it takes a toll on our health, our emotions and our spiritual condition. Stuffing usually leads to bitterness and distrust.
Jones gives 7 practical steps to help us deal with venting and 7 practical steps to help us deal with stuffing. I found that point #7 on both lists was the same and the most practical, "Study Scripture more and hide God's word in your heart."
Finally Jones has a discussion on "Anger at God." I found this the most poignant part of the book for my life. I was feeling that it was OK to be angry at God as long as I told Him about my anger. But Jones pointed out how selfish and wrong this was. It displeases God and brings disrepute to His name. What I saw in scripture as others being "angry at God," was actually others offering "Laments" in their prayer and meditation times. It seems like they are almost the same, but Jones points out that the Lament shares our pain and hurt with God while acknowledging that He is loving and powerful and desires the best for me. It is a good reminder to allow God to be God and allow me to be His servant.
The book is good and the Appendix section provides homework assignments that you will find useful to use in getting at the roots of your own anger.
This is a great book for laypeople as well as counselors and pastors.
Top reviews from other countries
However, my expectations have been greatly exceeded, and Robert D. Jones expounds scriptures relating to anger both expertly and also pastorally.
I have only read the opening chapters so far, but what I have read thus far has been very theologically solid, dispelling many contemporary mistaken motions of the origin and nature of anger, and shines the lamp of the Word upon these issues.
I think every Christian would benefit from reading this work to gain further insight, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit at work within them, the baseness of their own heart, and that genuine repentance and lasting deliverence from anger comes by Christ alone.
John 15 5: Apart from Me you can do nothing.