Thursday, October 15, 2015

Depression is not incompatible with Christian experience

David Murray offers sound Christian insight into depression (and mental health issues in general) in his book Christians Get Depressed Too. The “too” in the title points to one of his main purposes in writing the book, namely, to show that depression is not incompatible with Christian experience. It serves as a defense against approaches to depression that treat it merely as a sin to be repented of rather than a complex issue that is often affected by genetics, the environment, thinking patterns, and (sometimes) sin.

In it, Murray addresses various approaches to depression and mental health within the church, arguing that depression is more complex than some well-meaning pastors and counselors have stated or implied. Using statistics, anecdotes, reason, and Scripture, he shows that depression may stem from multiple causes, and he provides guidance to both those who suffer from depression and those who would provide care to them on how to go about identifying the cause(s) and planning a route forward. This might seem like an overly ambitious goal for a book that’s barely a hundred pages long, but Murray has done it. The end product is something people struggling with depression can actually read and find hope in, as well as something counselors, pastors, friends, and family can use to get on the right track in providing help to others. It may be succinct, but it is not incomplete.

I personally benefitted from it during the week it took me to finish it. I was having a very stressful and difficult time at work, and listening to the book on the way home helped me see how work was affecting my attitude, thoughts, and feelings. Rather than sink towards depression, I found myself uplifted, more self-aware, and ready to tackle my responsibilities because of the book. Like so many others who’ve weighed in on the book, I heartily give my recommendation.

I should add that the audiobook is read by David Murray himself, and if you’ve ever heard him, you’d know he has a Scottish accent. If you enjoy listening to Alistair Begg on the radio, you’d probably enjoy hearing Murray’s narration as well.

I received this book from christianaudio in order to write this review.

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