Do you control your actions based on what others have done or may do to you, or may think of you? Do you respond either in terror (major or minor) or great affection? If yes, youre an idolater. "Our problem is that we need [others] (for ourselves) more than we love them (for the glory of God)." (p. 19)In this book about big people and a small God, there are answers. Because the fear of man doesnt manifest itself in the same way for everyone, Welch writes about the different symptoms we may experience: shame, compromise, neediness, worldliness, and a feelings-oriented worldview.But, as promised, there are answers. Or, rather, there is an Answer. The point of any counseling philosophy is to offer a diagnostic system of redemption. Heres how your problem can be resolved/fixed/cured/healed...Please live happily now. What Welch offers is not a system of redemption, but rather our Redeemer. "If you have ever walked about giant redwoods, you will never be overwhelmed by the size of a dogwood tree. Or if you have been through a hurricane, a spring rain is nothing to fear. If you have been in the presence of the almighty God, everything that once controlled you suddenly has less power." (119)The answer? Know God, and grow in the fear of Him. As we see God for who He really is, we will see ourselves (and other people) for who we all are: "someone completely dependent on Him." Welch compassionately reveals the depths and subtleties of our sin, but he doesnt leave us hanging. He paints a beautiful picture of the only Answer we need: Know your God. He is a redwood not among dogwoods, but among blades of grass. When once you understand that in Christ, His gaze is not one of wrath or condemnation, but of love and grace, you'll realize that "this is the gaze that transforms. It will expel the fear of man and be a blessing for all Gods people." (239)
SummaryIn an age of recovery this book is a breath of fresh air for Christian counselors. Ed Welch brings a stunning, biblically sound, and expedient resource to the body of Christ for those who struggle with addictions; know those who struggle with addictions, and counselors. He annihilates the falsehood that addiction is a disease and sin is a sickness. Welch shows that the desperate cycle of sickness, recovery, and degeneration must be replaced with the biblical view of sin, salvation, and sanctification. Welch addresses the realistic theology of addictions, assessment and counseling as a crisis that proceeds from the heart, involving issues of worship and idolatry. In the father article of this text,1 Welch rightly challenges the disease model or disorder label with a new definition for addictions, calling it a disorder of worship. He goes on to further say in later writings and interviews, The nature of sin is not that we hate it. The problem is that we like it. And there is some temporary satisfaction to it. And by that point, we are enslaved by it. The curious thing biblically is that we are voluntarily enslaved by it. We want to be enslaved by it. The picture is a banquet in a grave. Where there is this celebration, this idol is giving me the things that I want. But when we open our eyes temporarily, (because we don't want to open our eyes) when we open our eyes, we look at the banquet and it is death. It is a place that is leading to spiritual and to physical death. In this awesome resource, Welch challenges us with the penetrating question, Will we worship ourselves and our own desires, or will we worship the true God?EvaluationI found this book to be a tsunami for the church that is heartfelt to reach those both in the body and outside of the body with a ministry of discipleship. In an age of the sweeping recovery movements in the church where the lines are blurred between biblical truth and secular psychological theories,
Edward Welch does a wonderful job explaining the importance of fearing God instead of man. He shows through God's Word how we can learn to fear God and stop worrying about what man thinks of us. Today, we call it self-esteem and co-dependency. These are just cut terms to describe that we are just too wrapped up in glorifying ourselves and not God. For all those wishing to change to fearing God (and therefore, lacking nothing) prayer and this book are the two ways to get changing!