Margaret contrasts psychology’s approach with the Bible’s approach to handle depression. She says, “pyschology may describe but only the Bible prescribes” (p. 6). She then describes Scripture’s prescription and her approach (p. 9):
This is a booklet of good news because its center is the gospel of Jesus Christ, whose power saved us from the penalty of sin at salvation, whose power will save us from the presence of sin at glorification, and whose same divine dynamism can save us every day from the power of sin in sanctification. The gospel doesn’t just save us from hell; it saves us from ourselves. And these few pages face us head-on with the choices we can make—the world’s way or God’s, the centrality of self or Christ, depression with moments of happiness or joy with moments of depression. Whichever path you are on, you have chosen to go there.
I agree with Margaret and learned a great deal. She moves from the gospel truths to actions one must take as a result. I agree we must choose and act. One turning point in my own battle against depression was doing stuff--yard work, reading Scripture, taking my family out to do fun stuff. But that wasn’t the starting point. It was a deep understanding of what had already been done for me. It was a heart brimming with gospel truth.
Through out these to do’s is peppered gospel. For instance, “[T]he more we focus on Christ instead of ourselves—his beauty, his grace, his mercy, and his indestructible love—the more we experience transformation” (p. 34). But I wonder if there’s an imbalance in the force. I would be hesitant providing this book to someone head barely out of the muck. Because such a long list of to do’s could be overwhelming. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be done, but I wonder if more a foundation should’ve been laid.
I would recommend Depression: The Sun Always Rises for counselors and possibly for those who may struggle with depression but have had a measure of success battling it already. I was reminded to keep battling. Keep living in light of the gospel. Keep acting the miracle, as John Piper says.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Depression: The Sun Always Rises free from the P&R Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”