Friday, February 3, 2012

Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn

The book’s subtitle, “Ten Decisions That Will Transform Your Life & Ten Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them,” sum up the book nicely. Each of the ten chapters includes a choice that will move your life forward and a lie that will fight against that choice. The choices involve healing, feeling, investigating, helping, embracing, and risking your life, and the lies concern things such as independence, denial, lack of forgiveness, and hopelessness.

This book was overly long, at 454 pages. For example, the first chapter was 48 pages, and its workbook section, misnomered "Workbook Questions," was 20. Reading the workbook sections after each chapter left me with the feeling I was going in circles, as the workbook sections contained narrative that was extremely repetitious of the chapters. If the sections called “Workbook Questions” were simply that, the book would have been greatly improved.

For the most part, biblical truth was portrayed accurately. The one section where I concluded it was not was in the chapter, “The Choice to Serve,” where the author states: “Romans 12 is one place we learn about the spiritual gifts that I call secret powers.” First, never does the Bible even imply that spiritual gifts to be secret. I Corinthians indicates these are given to serve the Body, and some of those gifts are very public, such as pastor, evangelist, administration. Even helps and mercy are not exercised in private. Second, Arterburn goes on in the next section on service to talk about talents, strengths, interests, personality traits, and desires, which the Bible does not overlap with spiritual gifts. This section was muddy and could be very confusing to an unbeliever or a new believer.

I would not recommend this book because of its length and muddiness. There are other books which convey the same truths without wearing the reader out and without watering down the teaching of Scripture on spiritual gifts until they are described as “secret powers.”

I received this book for free in exchange for my unbiased review through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program.

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