This book supplied for review through BookSneeze®
First, the 2011 edition of this book includes a study guide which takes up about half the pages. So don’t let the page count daunt you.
The title of this book bothered me. Does the author really think that healing is simply a matter of deciding to heal? And if so, what does that say about those who struggle to find healing decades on? Arterburn’s answer to these questions is vague enough to be both relieving and slightly disturbing. Ultimately, his point seems to be this: “Healing is a choice. It is God’s choice, but there are choices that each of us must make if we are to experience whatever healing God has for us” (p. 19).
Overall, this book should be high on the reading list for those who have experienced serious brokenness and wonder if healing is even possible. Such people will probably find the book insightful on many aspects of brokenness.
First, Arterburn (who happens to also be the co-author of the best-selling Every Man’s Battle series) is painfully open about his own past and the struggles that led him to write this book. His vulnerability gives him authenticity even though the extent of his brokenness doesn’t compare to what some have experienced.
Second, the content of this book is substantial. I found that I could sink my teeth into the ideas and walk away with changes to make in my thinking and living. A few samples of the ten decisions will give you a feel: the choice to feel your life, the choice to risk your life, the choice to serve, etc.
Third, in spite of the overtones of condemnation in the title, Arterburn generally handles difficult issues with the wisdom and sensitivity that comes from experience and careful research and thought.
First, as a Christian book, this book is quite disappointing. Theology is addressed occasionally and generally as an afterthought. Jesus Christ is peripheral and God functions to make much of us. The big issue in this book is us.
Second, where theology does come up, it’s pretty pathetic. Sin is generally referred to as “mistakes” or “shortcomings,” Scripture is often quoted from The Message, and the use of Scripture is fast and loose as a general rule. Additionally, at one point the author seems to promote an open theology of the sovereignty of God.
While the downs are quite down, this book does come from a basically Christian world-view and should be helpful to the sorts of people that often end up in the too-hard basket. While the book needs to be read with discernment, as a group study or a one-on-one study, this book is ideal. The reader should walk away thinking differently and with hope for continued healing.
Grace to you.