Not a Sickness Not a Sin
Diagnoses of depressive and bipolar disorders have reached epidemic proportions. The current psychiatric theories, approaches, and suggested remedies have together failed to resolve these human struggles despite technological advances and continued claims of validity and reliability. In fact, since its introduction in the early 1960s, the current humanistic paradigm has worsened both individuals and society as a whole. Suicidal ideation and completions are also rapidly increasing within the church and even among church leadership. There clearly exists an urgent need to rethink the widespread human struggle known today as depression.
In this book, Dr. Berger proposes from both Scripture and scientific evidence that the root of our mental struggles lies in our metaphysical souls rather than in our physical bodies. As the reader will discover, the solution is not to endlessly invent new theories and alleged physical remedies that inevitably fail, but to return to understanding humanity’s true nature as God declares it to be from the beginning of time. Only by realizing and accepting this important perspective does our own human fragility and depravity begin to make sense. At the same time, this is not a book that suggests that those who struggle should simply pray and read their Bible more and that all of their problems will vanish. Rather, the book offers proven and practical answers to important questions.
Rethinking Depression invites the Christian who seeks answers and desires to help others struggling or diagnosed within the psychiatric system to re-examine the current ways of understanding and treating depression and to consider the gracious perspective that in all of our mental suffering, sorrow, and hopelessness—no matter how severe, we are not abnormal or different from one another at our core. In truth, what we all desperately need is sure hope and genuine healing for our souls that is only found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
“Daniel Berger’s book provides a thorough apologetic for the sufficiency of Scripture in dealing with the spiritual issues described by the psychiatric label ‘depression.’ He delivers an enlightening discussion of the pervasive influence of the secular psychiatric world in ‘medicalizing’ the experiences of depression and bipolar, including the difficult subject of mania. Citing both secular and biblical sources, this scholarly book provides an important perspective for anyone who desires to more fully understand this common human suffering. The book will promote confidence for those utilizing biblical truth to counsel those afflicted with despair. We highly recommend this resource for every Christian’s library!” - Pamela Gannon, RN, MABC and Dr. Daniel Gannon, MD; Dan is a retired orthopedic surgeon, living in Montana with his wife, Pam, who worked as an RN clinical specialist in surgical critical care and studied medicine for two years at Michigan State University. She has served as a biblical counselor at Grace Bible Church in Bozeman since 2000. She is co-author of the book, In the Aftermath: Past the Pain of Childhood Sexual Abuse.She and her husband are frequent speakers on medical issues for ACBC conferences, are both ACBC certified and serve as adjunct professors at Montana Bible College.
“Dr. Berger unveils the various masks of the cultural depression narrative. The current construct of depression is challenged not merely with questions but answers to bring clarity, amid the ambiguity, that has been so prevalent in our current Christian thinking. Utilizing respected secular authors, he makes a clear case that competing philosophies have been held in high esteem for far too long and that we should recover a biblical view of the very real human experiences of sadness, sorrow, and deep despair. The fruit of Berger’s labor has the potential to shift paradigms held tightly in our Christian circles for nearly eighty years. We know that ideas always have consequences and Berger’s work kindly cautions us to connect the dots between our theology, philosophies, and counseling practices.” – Dr. T. Dale Johnson, Executive Director, ACBC and Associate Professor of Biblical Counseling, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Dr. Berger brings bold courage and biblical compassion to the conversation surrounding depression. He approaches everyman’s struggle, not with a shaking finger of denial or a list of seven laws, but with light and love. Sorrow is welcomed and soothed, despair is bathed in hope, and guilt meets healing. Berger clarifies misconceptions so popularly embraced and marches them right to the cross where enemy tactics surrender to absolute truth, if we but bend the knee.” - Ruth Froese, MABC, Director of Women’s Biblical Counseling at Faith Fellowship Biblical Counseling Center, and author of Resedaand The Darkest Valley: Biblically Understanding and Responding to Suicide.
“When it comes to understanding depression and caring for the depressed, we have used the shovels of human wisdom and shallow religion to dig a deep, dark hole for ourselves. Though books abound and expound upon the subject, we are as confused as we have ever been. Sadly, depression-as-disease and depression-as-sin seem to dominate the conversation in the church. Rethinking Depression surveys the research to chronicle how we got here, then offers a few critical steps for choosing a better direction. I appreciate how Berger brings the experience of sorrow, hopelessness and guilt back onto the landscape of normal human life, and even better, onto the landscape of gospel-centered ministry.” – Dr. John Henderson,pastor, author, and counselor
“This is a biblically-based book and is a most relevant topic for both the church bringing Christ’s healing to believers, and as a public testimony that the Bible is fully sufficient for matters of faith and the soul. I would place this book on the same shelf as Puritan soul doctors, such as a Sibbes and Baxter; but in particular, I would place it right next to Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones’s Spiritual Depression, a godly spiritual classic.” – David Conroy, Manager of Sola Scriptura Counseling Group