Grace for the Afflicted

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"Jesus began his ministry by blessing the 'poor in spirit' (Mt 5:3), and none are better qualified for that designation than people with mental disorders. Yet they remain profoundly stigmatized to this day, even in the church. There is a tremendous need, therefore, for books like this one. An accessible overview of mental disorders written for the church, it offers a welcome dose of scientifically informed common sense, undergirded with sound, biblically based wisdom. It deserves a wide circulation and will make an excellent gift for friends, family members, and ministers looking for a sympathetic Christian guide to this complex area."
Eric L. Johnson, Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"This book contains detailed information and biblical perspective about various types of disorders. It is an excellent reference to better understand the problem as well as help people with mental illness."
Amy Simpson, Christianity Today, January/February 2013

Section 1: Psychology, Psychiatry, and Faith
1 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
2 The Adversary
3 The Secular and the Sacred
4 A Cake of Figs

Section 2: Mental Disorders
5 A Lost Mind: Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
6 Tormented: Bipolar and Related Disorders
7 In the Valley of Darkness: Depressive Disorders
8 Overwhelmed: Anxiety Disorders
9 Broken and Crushed: Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
10 Distressed and Destructive: Personality Disorders

Section 3: Neurological Disorders
11 Stricken in Years: Dementia
12 Struck Down by Violence: Cerebrovascular Accidents
13 The Golden Bowl: Traumatic Brain Injury

Section 4: Caring for Those Who Are Suffering
14 A Fatal Decision: Suicide
15 A Holistic Approach to Recovery
16 Mental Illness and the Church

Why has the church struggled in ministering to those with mental illnesses? Each day men and women diagnosed with mental disorders are told they need to pray more and turn from their sin. Mental illness is equated with demonic possession, weak faith, and generational sin. As both a church leader and a professor of psychology and behavioral sciences, Matthew S. Stanford has seen far too many mentally ill brothers and sisters damaged by well-meaning believers who respond to them out of fear or misinformation rather than grace. Grace for the Afflicted is written to educate Christians about mental illness from both biblical and scientific perspectives. Stanford presents insights into our physical and spiritual nature and discusses the appropriate role of psychology and psychiatry in the life of the believer. Describing common mental disorders, Stanford probes what science says and what the Bible says about each illness. Consistent with DSM-5 diagnoses, this revised and expanded edition is thoroughly updated with new material throughout, including eight new chapters that cover:

  • bipolar disorders
  • trauma- and stressor-related disorders
  • dementia
  • cerebrovascular accidents (stroke)
  • traumatic brain injury
  • suicide
  • a holistic approach to recovery
  • mental health and the church

Author: Matthew S Stanford
Matthew S. Stanford holds a PhD in behavioral neuroscience from Baylor University. He is CEO of the Hope and Healing Center Institute in Houston, Texas, and holds adjunct faculty appointments at the Baylor College of Medicine and the department of psychology at the University of Houston.

Author: Matthew S. Stanford
Paperback: 260 pages
Dimensions/Weight: 14 x 21 x 1.8 cm / 320g
Publisher/Date: Intervarsity Press / 2017
Language: English