Monday, 9 January 2012

Healing the Wounds of the Past

I read this book mostly because of the brouhaha over T.D Jakes and weather or not he is a modalist or not (another good link). This book really wasn't the right book to dig into his doctrine of God, as it was more about helping people who are hurting.

For some reason in my head I grouped Joel Osteen and Jakes together, maybe because they are pastors of large American churches and sell lots of pseudo-self-help books. After reading a book by each author, I would sooner recommend a book by Jakes than by Osteen. That doesn't mean I am 100% on board with Jakes, but at least he is thoroughly reformed; meaning he stressed salvation by grace alone, continually points to Jesus and he uses the Bible better than Osteen.

This book doesn't sugar coat life and addresses the issues of rape, child molestation, abuse, divorce, betrayal of trust, struggles with singleness, but it does so in a fairly compassionate manner, while urging you to focus on your future, despite your past.

Throughout the book Jakes points out many differences between genders and how they deal with pain and suffering. Generally he offered more advice to women than men, so much so that I would guess that the primary audience of this book would be females. I don't think I would disagree with the differences he points out, but I would probably change the way to say it. For example he draws an analogy between women being a power socket and men being a plug, and cautions women to be careful who they let plug into them. I'm not sure I would phrase it that way, and then I am not sure how that is difference with men, should guys also be careful what they plug into? Isn't that pretty much is saying the same thing?

The book circles around the story of Jesus healing the crippled woman on the Sabbath, while also drawing on other women in the Bible, such as Sarah, Rahab, Ruth and even Delilah. There are lots of bible verses to help support what Jakes is saying, but every now and again I kinda felt he was proof-texting, and not dealing with the original context of the verse. He would also draw some analogies from minor details from a Biblical story that is perhaps too much of a stretch. When dealing with the curses for Eve and Satan (I can't remember if he dealt with Adams curses) he skipped over the protoevangelium which is a little oversight.

There was also a few minor bits about how God wants you to be wealthy and that we have to claim what we want from God, which seemed a bit off to me. In the book, Jakes may have also rebuked a few too many negative spirits and encouraged me to claim the anointing of God too many times for my comfort - but this maybe more of a style than a theological point.

In the end I struggle to work out if I would I recommend this book. I wouldn't recommend it to a guy as it is a bit women orientated. I also haven't read many other books on dealing with personal abuse to know what is out there - perhaps I would recommend someone read a Yancey book instead. I think in the end I would err on caution and not recommend this book to someone who has been abused and instead draw on what these two books have taught me (I never reviewed these books, but they were good). That is to listen to someone needing care and to help/guide them to work out for themselves a future they could hope for.


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