A worship disorder: this is how Edward T. Welch views addictions. "Will we worship ourselves and our own desires," he writes, "or will we worship the true God?" With this lens the author discovers far more in Scripture on addictions than passages on drunkenness. There we learn the addict's true condition: like guests at a banquet thrown by "the woman Folly," he is already in the grave (Prov. 9:13-18). Can we not escape our addictins? If we're willing to follow Jesus, the author says we have "immense hope: hope in God's forgiving grace, hope in God's love that is faithful even when we are not, and hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mastered by the addiction. Each chapter concludes with "Practical Theology," guidance "As You Face Your Own Addictions" and "As You Help Someone Else."Publishers Description
A worship disorder: this is how Edward T. Welch views addictions. "Will we worship ourselves and our own desires, " he writes, "or will we worship the true God?" With this lens the author discovers far more in Scripture on addictions than passages on drunkenness. There we learn the addict's true condition: like guests at a banquet thrown by "the woman Folly, " he is already in the grave (Prov. 9:13-18). Can we not escape our addictions? If we're willing to follow Jesus, the author says we have "immense hope hope in God's forgiving grace, hope in God's love that is faithful even when we are not, and hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mastered by the addiction." Each chapter concludes with "Practical Theology, " guidance "As You Face Your Own Addictions" and "As You Help Someone Else."
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.48" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.65"
Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 2001
Publisher NEW GROWTH PRESS #1265
Availability 8 units.
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
|great book Mar 15, 2007|
|I love this book!!! The Spirit hit me right between the eyes. Must reading for everyone. |
|"Addictions A Banquet in the Grave" - a Reading Feast Aug 16, 2006|
|This book is not only a must read for alcoholics and drug addicts, but for anyone who has been, or thinks they can't become, seduced by sin. This book is for everyone because at one time or another we all take small steps of spiritual casualness or indifference that can lead to lack of sensivity to right or wrong, which can lead to all kinds of addictions.|
The end of each chapter is very helpful as it gives practical theology, specifically addresses the addict, and the people who help them. The best part about this book is that it points people to Jesus Christ, the only source of Power and Truth! Without Him we are powerless.
|Practical and empathetic Jan 2, 2006|
|Welch's treatment of addictions is both Biblical and empathetic He recognizes that sin can also be bondage. Though he does not buy into the modern idea of addiction as a "disease" (and he makes very good arguments on that subject), he is not harsh or judgmental. He speaks credibly, using many examples, though they focus primarily on alcohol and drugs, and much less on other major addictions like eating disorders, sex, gambling, or Internet chat.|
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.
|Great insight Sep 10, 2005|
|This is a great book that shows addiction from a Christian standpoint. Welch does not hold back as he often makes it very clear that Christians are not doing enough and shows when secular practices are doing what the Bible says to do even when churches and Christians are not. As a counselor who works in a drug recovery program in Houston, Texas, I am finding this book very helpful. Even if you are not a Christian, I encourage you to read this book - Welch's insight on how beliefs affect our actions and how to confront addicts in love will likely benefit you, and he will definitely leave you with something to think about.|
|A whole different approach Aug 11, 2005|
|"Full moons make people get weird and do crazy things." I believed that and never reflected on it until I was in my twenties and something encouraged me to ask, "Why in the world would that be true?" |
This book speaks directly to major issues that, similarly, most in our cultural setting just assume uncritically. Even conservative and Reformed circles are little different in this regard than most of the other evangelicals and teh broader secular culture. As helpful as it has been, the AA approach is not theologically neutral and makes some fundamental errors about human nature that have done some damage.
The opening case study with "Jim" (pp.3ff.) echoes many with which I have been involved. The issue may be pornography, alcohol, drugs, or spending, but the model rarely varies. Mistakes the person has willfully entered into are lumped together and treated as a 'condition' rather than choices. Patterns of behavior are a disease. People will define themselves or others by these problems (see p. 250).
Invariably, this leads to problems from the start. People begin to move away from others in the church, in their families, among their friends, because others allegedly 'can not relate' to their specific problem (conditon) (see p. 3). People can become self-absorbed, rather than willing to address their part in the problem.
A recent example comes to mind from a discussion I had with someone trying to help a mutual friend who was being self-destructive. We were discussing the struggles of our friend involved in self-injury, deceit and other hurtful behavior. I was hoping we could discover some heart issues in this friend. What was he really worshiping in his life? What was really important to them? What are they really looking for, and where are they going to find it? How does God's grace speak to his self-slavery to these issues? How can we get the person to see the bigger picture of their life, and how they fit into the Big Story of the Universe?
But the person became frustrated with me. Could I not see this friend was just a victim of his `condition(s)?' He was certainly `addicted to affection' from women, and when he felt this being threatened he would become manipulative to get control and attention. The causes of the problems, no doubt, were a combination of genetic and environmental. The friend had technical terms (usually with acronyms) for each condition in the long list for the friend. It seemed that the Gospel was OK for our salvation and for smaller `spiritual issues,' but clearly it was psychology that was best able to address the `big' addiction issues.
Another example of the formidable practical issues with the AA world view: I have been proposing the introduction of wine as an element (along with a grape juice option) for our observance of the Lord's Supper. After all, I have argued, if Jesus commanded us to use wine in this sacrament, who are we to say, "No, we know better." The objections in our church have been mild but consistent: "What about the `alcoholics'?" My response has been, "But the church had plenty of people who drank too much. Why didn't Paul or Jesus tell us to use grape juice?" And even if abstinence (even from a small thimble full of wine) is the best policy for those who drink too much, how can the mere presence of wine be so damaging? (For an excellent argument for the use of wine in the Meal, see Jim West, Drinking with Calvin and Luther (2003), esp. pp. 121ff.). Bill W. trumps Scripture (and common sense and tradition) every time.
This book was an irenic, but vigorous Biblical response to these practical issues. It has been an indispensable resource in my ministry since shortly after it was published. My only constructive feedback is fairly minor. In the "Ideas for Public Worship" section (pp.271ff.), there is no mention of the role of the Lord's Supper in God-glorifying worship and as a means of grace in discipleship. Further, a subject index by the publisher would have been very helpful. Also, given the concerns raised in the book regarding approaches that are largely just "Christianized AA," why not distinguish these from more fondationally Biblical programs in the "Resources" section (pp. 287-289)?
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