Saturday, October 20, 2018

Book Review: Depression, Anxiety and the Christian Life, Introduction by J.I. Packer, Notes by Michael S. Lundy

There has been numerous books written on depression from a Christian perspective, some good, some outstanding.  Depression, Anxiety and the Christian Life: Practical Wisdom from Richard Baxter Introduction by J.I. Packer, Notes by Michael S. Lundy is one of the outstanding works. Within its pages the reader will find a wealth of practical wisdom dealing with depression and anxiety from the pen of Richard Baxter.

The preface and first chapter are authored by Packer (doesn't get any better, right?). Packer offers a definition of depression, such as one can be given, and advocates for modern day readers to take another look at Richard Baxter (1615-1691) as his wisdom and advice still apply today.

Packer authors a brief biography of Baxter in chapter 1. It focuses on why we should look to Baxter for help in this area. Baxter was fully acquainted with depression which he saw much of in his flock during his time as a pastor. A prolific author, he wrote often on the subject of depression in various

In chapter two co-author Dr. Lundy brings a modern day touch to the subject as well as bringing to light Baxter's counsel and why it still applies today.

Part two of the book delves into Baxter's advice to the depressed and anxious. Taken from three different works, updated and annotated for modern readers, they still retain the flavor of Baxter's authorship.

What stood out to me was how Baxter's advice was so practical. Far from a stoic and analytical appraisal of the issues, his counsel is a no nonsense approach with a Biblical foundation. Baxter had years of experience  dealing with the anxious and depressed. Combined with his deep understanding of Scripture has made him a viable source for counsel on these matters. Not only for the suffers, but for those who are attempting them through their suffering.

It is true that nothing changes under the sun. Baxter's counsel is as wise, comforting and as Biblical as when it was written in the 17th century.

Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through Beyond the Page. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

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