Audiobook Download

Christians Get Depressed Too

Author David Murray
Narrator David Murray
Runtime 3.28 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Release Date September 3, 2015
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)
Many Christians mistakenly believe that true Christians don't get depressed, and this misconception heaps additional pain and guilt onto Christians who are suffering from mental and emotional distress. Author David P. Murray comes to the defense of depressed Christians, asserting that Christians do get depressed! He explains why and how Christians should study depression, what depression is, and the approaches caregivers, pastors, and churches can take to help those who are suffering from it. With clarity and wise biblical insight, Dr. Murray offers help and hope to those suffering from depression, the family members and friends who care for them, and pastors ministering to these wounded members of their flock.
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Description
Many Christians mistakenly believe that true Christians don't get depressed, and this misconception heaps additional pain and guilt onto Christians who are suffering from mental and emotional distress. Author David P. Murray comes to the defense of depressed Christians, asserting that Christians do get depressed! He explains why and how Christians should study depression, what depression is, and the approaches caregivers, pastors, and churches can take to help those who are suffering from it. With clarity and wise biblical insight, Dr. Murray offers help and hope to those suffering from depression, the family members and friends who care for them, and pastors ministering to these wounded members of their flock.

Customer Reviews

6 Reviews Add Review
De-Stigmatizing Depression
As a psychologist and Christian with a particular speciality and passion for the integration of spirituality and behavioral health, I was hopeful when I started David Murray's Christians Get Depressed Too.

While Murray explicitly admits this is a short text to introduce Christians to some of the facts about depression, he regularly oversimplifies things in a way that probably contributes to on-going stigma and discrimination. He has an excellent intent to reduce such stigma from the Christian community, and the book starts out appropriately combating some common theological myths with regard to depression. However, he also quickly makes other statements that stigmatize and inaccurately represent other diseases (like addiction).

He also gets many facts wrong about treatment options, often due to the theme of not acknowledging the complexities of behavioral health, including depression. Further, he makes assumptions about the readers, once even saying, "as Reformed Christians, we..." Not all Christians are Reformed, and not all Reformed Christians would agree with his more extreme theology that falls in line with people like John Piper.

As I've noted in other blog posts and reviews, this theology is incredibly damaging. Murray makes several statements along these lines, including stating that if someone is depressed, God made them depressed and wants them depressed. He argues that God working all things for good supports this, which is a warping of this Scripture. Just because God can use something for good doesn't mean he made that something happen. This kind of explanation is what leads people away from Christ.

I'm frankly conflicted about this book. For those coming from extreme views, it's probably helpful to validate their beliefs and help them be open to alternative explanations and understandings of the world. But again, Murray actually contributes to on-going stigmatization of the behavioral health community. I don't for a moment believe this is intentional. Especially as he narrated the audiobook, it is easy to hear his heart of compassion and true desire to help others. Therefore, I pray this book will be helpful to those who read/listen to it, but I would not recommend it for most people.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 11/11/2015)
Loving and Level-Headed Perspective on Depression
I was originally hesitant to read (and/or listen) to this book. When the Christian Audio Reviewers program brought this up as a possibility, I almost just skipped it. The title of the book, with the emoticon on the cover, left me thinking this book would lean toward the shallow end of books in the Christian Counseling arena. I guess that I should never judge a book by its cover... literally. I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

Even though this was a fairly short book, as it was meant to be, it delved into all of the major concerns when dealing with the topic of depression. It obviously didn't cover any of these topics to a great depth, but each topic received an appropriate amount of attention.

David Murray did a great job of explaining some of the balance that is required in understanding depression. One of the issues he was addressing in this book is the tendency of Christians to lean one way or another when considering the causes of depression and the care given to those suffering with depression. In different parts of the book he would address the side that leans too much toward physical and mental causes and care, while ignoring the spiritual. Then he would make sure that the side that would lean all toward spiritual causes when ignoring the physical and mental issues was appropriately addressed.

One of my favorite parts of this book pertained to the audio version. The book was read by the author, who has a wonderful Scottish Accent. As soon as I started listening, his voice grabbed my attention. I always prefer when a book is read by the author, but this was exceptionally enjoyable.

If you have questions on depression, and you are looking for a book to help you navigate your counsel and care for another or for yourself, this book will be quite helpful. I found great balance in this book. David Murray also included several references to other books that can be helpful, and he gave appropriate warnings about books that might lean too heavily in one direction. I was surprised by how much love and level-headedness he used when addressing all of these issues. It became abundantly obvious that he is (or was) a Pastor, and has walked through some deep waters with others.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 10/27/2015)
Excellent and Balanced Short Introduction
We all know that as believers we are to have the joy of the Lord but as a result of the cookie cutter categories of Christian pop culture, many believers have a difficult time coming to terms with those who are apparently believers and yet struggle with these issues. There are even many believers who think that a “true” Christian cannot get depressed and that any mental or emotional issues are either the result of sin or demonic oppression. Beyond the popular misconceptions are various disagreements among Christian counselors regarding the issues and how to respond to them.
Thankfully, David P. Murray offers this brief, practical, and caring book on the subject.

Dr. Murray is the pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church, is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, has written various other books and is the author of the head heart hand blog (http://headhearthand.org/blog/).

Dr. Murray points out that the common misconceptions about depression and mental illness within the Church are not only unhelpful but can actually be hurtful by increasing the burden of pain and guilt on those who are already suffering. Murray argues from biblical examples that depression is actually something that can and does happen to believers. He insists that we need to overcome the overly simplistic idea that every emotional and mental issue is the result of sin and faithlessness. He argues that the church has a responsibility to help those who suffer and that Christians, particularly pastors and caregivers, should study depression so they understand what it is, what causes it, and how to best help those who suffer from it.

He avoids getting dragged into the theological and psychological controversies surrounding the subject but his balanced treatment gives the listener confidence that he is familiar with them, understands them, and is presenting what he finds to be most practical and helpful. His purpose was to write a book that those who are suffering and those who care for them can use. Readers and listeners who want a more technical or theological treatment will need to go elsewhere. He does, however, include a number of biblical references and a helpful appendix of other works that would be of interest to those who want to study more.

The practical nature of the book can be seen in how Murray organizes the material. He condenses the topic into 6 sections that are organized the following way:

-The Crisis – Why should we study the topic?
-The Complexity – What is the appropriate attitude to approach the topic?
-The Condition – What is it and what does it look like?
-The Causes – Why does it happen?
-The Cures – What can be done?
-The Caregivers – How we can help those in need.

To tackle such a complex topic so briefly and practically is a very difficult thing to do. Dr. Murray has done an outstanding job and has produced a balanced, yet conservative and biblical, treatment of the topic that is both informative and helpful. As a friend of several believers who struggle with depression and the father of an autistic child, I appreciated the wisdom and balance with which Dr. Murray addressed the issue. It is a testament to both his writing ability and pastoral care that he is able to avoid the tendency to reductionist oversimplification in such a short work. He provides a good example of the informed humility that he is encouraging others to pursue.

The work is concise, well written, and easy to follow. The production was well done and Dr. Murray’s reading was well paced and articulate (in that remarkably dramatic way that only a Scottish accent can accomplish). For anyone who is struggling with depression or knows someone who is, this is a great place to start. Other more comprehensive works are available but this is the best short introduction to the topic I can recall.

* I received a free copy of this book from christianaudio.com as part of their Review Program. Reviews are not required to be positive and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Overall
Review by / (Posted on 10/26/2015)
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