Review in British Church Newspaper February 2011
We recently reviewed Dr E S Williams book, The Dark Side of Christian Counselling. This volume makes an excellent sequel.First he questions the whole concept of ‘depression’. There is no test to confirm the diagnosis of depression. He considers it a secularist concept. He prefers the biblical term ‘downcast’. Taking numerous examples from Scripture (Dr Williams certainly knows his Bible!) he shows how this condition arises from a number of causes, and that the Bible has a genuine answer.
Having said that, Dr Williams agrees that there are severe states of sadness which may be a feature of a true mental illness and must be treated accordingly but they are different from the so-called ‘depression’ which is one of the main staples of the counselling industry.
Dr Williams goes on to dissect out and expose the very fashionable but false concepts, almost cults, of unconditional love, therapeutic forgiveness, the marriage education movement, and cognitive therapy. These are fascinating chapters as Dr Williams puts his finger on the fatal flaws in each, notably, self-centredness, an optimistic view of human nature and taking ‘research’ as their authority, not Scripture, even in the ‘Christian’ version of these techniques.
This book is authoritative, original and convincing. It is also very interesting. The author’s knowledge of his subject is most impressive. We heartily recommend Christ or Therapy? —British Church Newspaper, February 2011
Review in English Churchman February 2011
We must confess to a very high level of enthusiasm for this book. We can sum up our conclusions from reading this book in one sentence. Amazing as it may seem, a large part of the Christian church has made void the Gospel by referring troubled souls instead to ‘Christian counselling’ which is mere therapeutic psychology teaching that your problems are everybody else’s fault so that if can just forgive them in your mind you will be free.
Dr Williams explains that the state of fallen man, even redeemed fallen man, is such that the only remedy for troubles is to rely upon the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. To which we might well reply, of course. However, Dr Williams reveals in his well documented study that many, perhaps most, churches are relying on secular psychology to cheer up downcast and troubled souls.
Despite its modest paperback format, this book covers more ground than one might expect from several books of its size. The book describes and examines that which calls itself ‘Christian counselling’ and then evaluates it from the perspective of biblical truth.
We are indebted to Dr Williams for sounding the alarm and trust this book will find its way into the hands of pastors as well as those who may be troubled. This review is unable to do justice to the profound insights that the book provides. You will be amazed. —English Churchman, February 2011