Why Do Christians Shoot Their Wounded?
Dwight L. Carlson, M.D.
Summary: There are a lot of suffering Christians walking amongst us--people with depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, OCD. Often these people suffer in silence. They don't share these trials with their healthy Christian brothers and sisters because it hurts to be told that their problems stem from sin or personal choice. It hurts to be told to 'snap out of it.' Christians are regularly shooting their wounded. As a Christian physician and psychiatrist Dr. Carlson brings a lot of light to the situation as he explains the dynamics of mental illness and brain chemistry. He also talks extensively about the balance between biological dispositions, environmental causes and personal sin/choice in mental illness. He adds a chapter for sufferers that aims to encourage them as the 'bullets' fly. Dr. Carlson also adds an excellent appendix that tackles the question regarding long term medication usage.
Personal Thoughts: This is a critical book to have on our church library bookshelves. If it could be thoughtfully read, I believe it could make a huge impact on how people respond to mental illness. Despite being fairly well read on this topic, I learned so much from this book. One thing that's really going to stand out is how hard these emotionally crippled individuals have prayed for deliverance. That in itself is tragic especially when one considers how other Christians accuse them that poor spirituality is the root of their problems. I appreciated that this book was written by a Christian doctor and psychiatrist. Far more than just personal opinion, he brought real scientific research to the table. I think the last 2 chapters in the book are definitely the best, and the appendix is really the key of the whole book.
Quote: "I hope by now that you are starting to see the overwhelming evidence that mental illness is often very physical. Furthermore, the statistics in this and the next chapter conclusively show that organic problems are not "relatively rare" --as some Christian leaders would suggest--but in fact are quite common. In no way does this detract from the sufficiency of Christ or the Scriptures. It only broadens our understanding of human nature and the effects of Adam's fall." --pg. 68