Very small and quick read. David Murray is a professor at Puritan Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. If you ever go to visit him, you won’t regret it. Grand Rapids is the beautiful side of Michigan. Go in the Fall. Even if David can’t fit you into his schedule the colors will make your trip worth it. 🙂
Now to the book. I appreciate this little volume. I would rename it “A Christians guide to depression: A call for balance”. I really think this is the heart of brother Murray’s work here. To call out some folks who have taken extreme views of depression (“medicate it all away!” on one pole and “It’s all in your sinful head!” on the other) and then offer a balanced approach to the subject.
Now, having said that I need to mention something that I struggled with from this book. Namely, the author’s presentation of Jay Adams’ position on depression (its causes and cures). I was introduced to Adams’ work a few years ago and I can’t get enough of him so I admit I may be a bit biased here since I have been so tremendously helped by his books and I also have not read everything he has written but I really do not think that Adams’ position on depression is really accurately and fully represented in Christians get depressed too. Jay says in almost all of his books that problems (like depression and others) are absolutely not always caused by sin. He very often throws that disclaimer out and refers his readers to both the entire book of Job and the man born blind in John 9 as the key examples of this truth.
Murray references Jay’s account of working in a mental institution in his book Competent to Counsel and seems to deduce from this that Adams started formulating his position on depression upon this experience. I don’t think this is a fair assessment of Adams. Adams is one of the church’s strongest proponents of drawing all theological positions from properly exegeted Scripture and he is committed in all of his books to faithful practice of this position. To argue that because Jay drew from experience with depressed people to then talk about depression is not to conclude he let his experience formulate his position.
I think giving Adams a full hearing in more or all of his books would prove my point. I’m not doubting Murray’s motives or intent here. I think he’s done a great service in this book. I would just call the reader to dig into Adams work yourself and not conclude that somehow Adams is a dangerous or outdated author or teacher basing your conclusions on only what you find in Christians get depressed too.
Order your copy here!