(please click the “more” link to read the rest of the review)
A book review of When People Are Big And God Is Small by Edward T. Welch
This is a very long book review because I have very strong opinions about the book. I have a 1997, paperback printing of this book, if that matters.
To summarize this guy’s revolting, depressing book as briefly as I can:
The author, Welch, believes that humans have biological and spiritual needs, but we do not have ‘psychological needs,’ nor do we have a biblical, God-given, legitimate need to be loved by God or by other people. If you think you have these needs and/or you try to get them met (even by Jesus Christ!!), you are sinning and committing idolatry (no, I’m not kidding, the author truly believes this stuff).
I wanted to like this book, I really did.
I think mine is the only negative review of this book on the web. Most all other reviews I’ve seen of it have been positive.
Unfortunately, Christians who like this book generally seem to be the ones who are
• predisposed to distrust in, and who malign, psychology, counseling and therapy (just like movie actor Tom Cruise);
• the ones who ignorantly deny that Christians can and do have mental health issues; or who
• see Satanic influence behind any and all forms of psychology, including anything related to it (such as treatments, which may include talking to a therapist or seeing a psychiatrist to receive medication)
Before I delve into the book review proper, here is a rant on an issue that is a little related to the book and to the positive reviews the book tends to receive:
Interestingly, the same judgmental Christian clowns who insult their fellow Christians who seek mental health treatment are the same ones – hypocritically – who will not hesitate to see a doctor for their own physical health problems and take medicine for physical afflictions.
Such backwards, hillbilly Christians enjoy attributing almost any and all forms of human suffering and problems to Original Sin, or to the supposed sins of the Christian who is suffering from mental health problems.
Curiously, such harsh, backwards Christians never ascribe sin to their own physical health issues, such as their asthma, diabetes, near-sightedness, obesity, colds, dentures, flus, broken legs, receding hair lines, paper cuts, or heart problems.
Yes, these are the same hypocrites who will insultingly say you’re not “really saved” or who suggest you lack enough faith if you suffer from clinical depression and take anti-depressant medication… but who take Viagra for their limp noodles (or “e.d.” = erectile dysfunction).
These are the kinds of hypocrites who, even if they themselves do not have “ed” would not hesitate to defend Christan men who do have it for taking Viagra of Cialis, or who see nothing wrong with Viagara pill popping-
But if you are a Christian who deals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts or depression, you are Satan’s spawn for taking lithium, Zoloft, Prozac, or whatever psychiatrists prescribe these days.
…Book Review Proper…
After reading through the preview material available for this book on some book sites, this book sounded like it would be helpful and even uplifting and encouraging.
However, I felt worse after reading it.
The author definitely displays a good understanding of what it’s like to go through life being fearful of people, and he’s able to describe it well.
Certainly, there is some value, as the author posits, in a Christian placing more fear in God (that is, a healthy fear based on respect of God and God’s character and power) more so than in people.
I can certainly see how holding such a belief can be one aspect of many that can help many anxiety-prone Christians to be freed from the anxiety.
There is also maybe a small amount of value, wisdom, or merit to the author’s idea that if you go through life feeling as though you “need” love that such a view will give other people a certain type of control or power over you.
Where I disagree with the author, where I remain unconvinced, is in his insistence that human beings do not ‘need’ love (in a psychological sense).
Continue reading “Review of the Dreary Book, When People Are Big And God Is Small by E. Welch”