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Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  2,551 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
This enduring collection of twenty-one sermons by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, each originally delivered at Westminster Chapel in London, carefully and compassionately analyzes an undeniable feature of modern society from which Christians have not escaped -- spiritual depression.

"Christian people," writes Lloyd-Jones, "too often seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too oft
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Paperback, 300 pages
Published July 21st 1965 by Eerdmans (first published January 1st 1965)
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Tamara
Jun 08, 2013 Tamara rated it really liked it
I didn't read all of this book, but more what pertained to me at the time. One thing I really appreciated from Lloyd-Jones was that he didn't throw out that we all have different temperaments. He talked in the beginning of the book about how we are all made differently and have a propensity toward legalism or antinomianism. Toward self-pity or more flaming arrogance. Timid or outgoing. In the "Christian world," I've seen for many years how Christian counselors, pastors, and the like try to make ...more
R.J.
May 24, 2015 R.J. rated it really liked it
I've had this book sitting on my shelf for years now, as I'd picked it up from a giveaway box somewhere... but only this week did I get around to actually reading it. A collection of 21 sermons originally given at Westminster Chapel in the 1960's, the book dates itself somewhat with the universal use of "man" for humanity, repeated references to the events of the early 20th century, and a formal style with long paragraphs which require concentration to fully appreciate. But given the thought-pro ...more
Ryan
Mar 10, 2011 Ryan rated it liked it
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure by Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a good read. It was very insightful at points, filling my soul with nuggets to chew on, but also hard to plod through at times. For those who dare to take the plunge, you will find great reward for your soul if you stick with it.

Lloyd-Jones writes with great detail, sometimes feeling very laborious, about some of the causes and cures for spiritual depression. Spiritual depression isn’t to be confused with clinical or phycologic
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Laura Clawson
Mar 06, 2015 Laura Clawson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-books
"Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he star ...more
Jody Shee
Nov 05, 2013 Jody Shee rated it it was amazing
This book was written in 1965 and has had a lasting impact on me. The author says that the solution to overcoming depression is to talk to yourself rather than listen to yourself. He mentions several times that you need to take yourself in hand and have a talk with yourself and remind yourself of God. I plan to use some of what he said in an upcoming book I'm writing about depression.
Rachel
May 18, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
I'm about a quarter of the way through this book, but I've already learned more about God and myself than I have in reading any other Christian book. It is actually a series of sermons the author did back in the 50s or 60s, so as I began reading I was a bit skeptical that it wouldn't apply to today's society. I was completely wrong! Spiritual depression is a huge plague within the church that is destroying our joy as Christians and our ability to minister to the world. We are quick to reach for ...more
Cameron Bernard
Mar 06, 2015 Cameron Bernard rated it it was amazing
I read a chapter or two of this book almost every Sunday for the past couple of months. MLJ's sermons have been such a blessing. The book in a nutshell: practice your faith and rest in Christ. But you should really just read it.
Renee
Jan 29, 2017 Renee rated it it was amazing
This book was very helpful. My recommendation is to read it when you are in a happy phase of life. :) I could not have really absorbed everything if I were truly in a spiritual depression. I think it is good to be grounded and have right thinking BEFORE the crisis!

The second half of the book was my favorite especially the way he deals with discipline, chastisement, and contentment. There are SO MANY good quotes - I underlined them all in red colored pencil and my copy is FULL of underlining.

Rachel
Aug 03, 2009 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books on the Christian life that I have ever read. It's a series of twenty-two sermons by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones on the subject of spiritual depression, or the condition of being a downcast, dispirited Christian. He takes the subject logically, working through a number of causes for such a condition, using stories from Scripture as case studies. Topics of discussion include the importance of solid Christian foundations, vain regrets, fear of the future, the place of feelin ...more
Debbie Howell
Dec 06, 2008 Debbie Howell rated it liked it
A collection of sermons, first published in 1965. Refreshing in that it's a different perspective from today's Christian publishing marketing/packaging machine, but I found it best to read it one chapter at a time, not in long stretches. At times it had a bit of a "get over it" feel, but as I got further into the book there seemed to be less of that. Lloyd-Jones' use of the term "depression" is a bit different from what comes to mind now--while we would tend to think in terms of clinical depress ...more
Liam
This book is one of about 3 of my most life changing books. This book taught me how to apply the gospel to my thinking situationally. Before reading this I didn't know how to analyze my own thinking, or how the gospel came to bear on sullenness, guilt, shame or condemnation (and several other heart attitudes). This is a game changing book for the Christian! It identifies all kinds of wrong thought patterns that people fall into, addresses why they are not consistent with what the Christian belie ...more
Joshua D.
Jul 12, 2014 Joshua D. rated it liked it
Good pastoral help for someone grappling with depression. Some good challenges in there, but as always, I find Lloyd-Jones a little abrupt in places. Additionally, I'm sure this was more impressive as a sermon series where people waited week to week to hear the messages. Reading the chapters in close succession made it seem repetitive.
Katy Sammons
Jun 07, 2013 Katy Sammons rated it it was amazing
Biblical, Christ-centered, and practical help for dealing with spiritual depression and discouragement in the Christian life. This book has encouraged me and strengthened my faith. Highly recommended.
Joseph Fischer
Jan 16, 2016 Joseph Fischer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You. must. read. this. book. If you want to live your Christian life to the fullest this book will definitely aid you in doing so. Fantastic!
Michael
Jan 29, 2017 Michael rated it it was amazing
The word "depression" in the title might throw some. This book is not about depression in the more clinical sense (although it does touch on topics relevant to that as well), but focuses on any cause of distress or unhappiness in the Christian life. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones does a wonderful job of laying out many causes for this as well as how a Christian ought to approach them. The chapters were originally sermons, at least according to the preface, and it shows in places. As with many pastors, th ...more
Jay Lloyd
Feb 04, 2017 Jay Lloyd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wish there were more like him.

Martyn Lloyd Jones though now in heaven is just as relevant as tomorrow's newspaper he always meets us in our reality and spreads the balm of Gilead bringing the right relationship with God that only Jesus provides.
Cat
Jan 02, 2017 Cat rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
So good! Worth reading slowly.
Geoffrey
Jan 01, 2017 Geoffrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
This is a "spiritual classic". A written version of 22 sermons that MLJ delivered at his church (Westminster Chapel) in the 1960's they still contain spiritual vitality and relevance for me today.

I must say, the content was not what I expected from the title. Using the term "spiritual depression", I expected something more psychological. And the question the book addresses ("Why don't more Christians experience joy?") appears to be psychological. But MLJ diagnoses plenty of spiritual causes (and
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Glenn
Dec 28, 2016 Glenn rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book for all believers!
Julie Jordan
Dec 22, 2016 Julie Jordan rated it it was amazing
I almost never write reviews- but this book deserves one. Don't be turned away by the title or the cover- the book is the most spiritually helpful book that I have read in years. He is not trying to please and entertain like many books today; he simply tells the truth and leaves you with practical ways for actual change. I am not sure why this book is not better known and in with the classics. If you're even considering reading this book, please do!
Mark Nenadov
Jan 12, 2013 Mark Nenadov rated it it was amazing
This is an extremely helpful classic from the 20th century Welsh pastor, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. As is usually the case with his books, this is a collection of transcribed sermons.

There is a lot of fantastic insight and great gems are to be found here. Reading the book has personally been beneficial to me. Don't let the title fool you into thinking that this book is merely about "clinical depression". The term "depression" is used far more broadly here than we are used to hearing. The topic appli
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Nathan Moore
Apr 17, 2012 Nathan Moore rated it liked it
This is a collection of 21 sermons that Lloyd-Jones preached on the topic of Spiritual Depression, a broad term he uses as a sort of catch all for various types of unhappiness in the Christian life. Though I felt introduced to very few new concepts, I have a suspicion that is because I have been taught by many who have been influenced by Lloyd-Jones' teaching.

One of the most helpful concepts he suggests is quite foundational and is the issue of one speaking to himself rather than listening to h
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Heather
Mar 09, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
I am in the middle of reading a biography of the author of this book, Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, and what I have read has given me a great respect for this man. This is a helpful book, not only for someone struggling with depression, but for any Christian who has undergone any kind of trial. Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones has an unusual amount of wisdom and that comes through in this book. I especially appreciated the place he gave to individual personality differences. He acknowledges that this plays a fa ...more
Allen
Nov 15, 2007 Allen rated it it was amazing
The author addresses a very common topic that has many causes. The book is arranged as a series of sermons that the author preached during the mid-twentieth century. Lloyd-Jones preaches in the Puritan style: a single passage of Scripture is exposited and applied to the topic of interest. Each chapter addresses a different topic and progresses the theme from personal characteristics of those who are most likely affected by "spiritual depression" to possible causes to the cure.

I have never read a
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Jenna
Dec 22, 2012 Jenna rated it really liked it
I originally started this book just because my brother told me I had to read it. It took me a while to get through it. I thought 300 pages should be no big deal but nearly every page had me highlighting, writing notes, and thinking. The author takes a look at spiritual depression on a number of levels without merely treating a specific symptom and leaving the root untouched. Neither does he generalize to the point that the reader feels vaguely encouraged or convicted but not really sure why or w ...more
Jo
Jul 17, 2009 Jo rated it it was amazing
Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the title of this book has the word “depression” in it that it doesn’t relate to you. Martyn Lloyd-Jones identifies numerous sources of spiritual discouragement, and encourages us to counteract those causes by preaching the truth to ourselves. His writing is a wonderful mixture of lofty prose, common sense, and practical insights. If you’ve experienced spiritual discouragement of any degree, this book is heartening and applicable.

*note added a year
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Dustin
Feb 14, 2012 Dustin rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-living
I guess it's about time I wrote in my review for this book. To sum up my thoughts about the book, I would say it's an excellent breakdown of the importance of Christian doctrine, primarily justification by faith alone.

I was happy to see Lloyd-Jones hammer the importance of the mind; knowing doctrine will affect your heart/feeling which will manifest in the will/actions. Coming from a Charismatic background, it was refreshing to see it laid out so well.

My only issue with the book (hence -1 star)
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Steve Hemmeke
Sep 23, 2013 Steve Hemmeke rated it really liked it
Solid.

Introspective, but not morbidly so.

Lloyd-Jones examines from several angles hindrances to the Christian's joy.
The title is probably the worst marketing ever.

He seems inconsistent in parts, but I think it is just the difference of what is called for in the situation. Much of the time we need to forget ourselves, move beyond ourselves. At other times we need to talk to ourselves, and tell ourselves the truth we don't feel, or don't want to accept. Lloyd-Jones often sounds Stoic, but will the
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Chapronrin
Dec 27, 2011 Chapronrin rated it it was amazing
This book is Martyn Lloyd-Jones at his best. Like the meticulous doctor he was prior to becoming a minister, Lloyd-Jones in classic "attention to detail" style, breaks down a solid diagnosis on the many causes that stop Christians from being what they should be in Christ and offers the remedy just as skillfully. This set of 21 sermons is very readable and worthy of one slowly sifting through to gain the best understanding possible while reading. You won't get everything the first time through bu ...more
Shay
Nov 05, 2013 Shay rated it it was amazing
Why don't Christians have joy? This is the question Martyn Lloyd-Jones wants to answer and it's one that is just as relevant today as it was when this book was written 50 years ago. Are not Christians supposed to be the most joyful people in the world? Yet so often, as Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out, this is not the case. Christians are susceptible to losing sight of their Savior and fall into the rut of spirit depression. This book wants to help Christians everywhere diagnose where this depressi ...more
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Dead Theologians ...: Martyn Lloyd-Jones' Spiritual Depression 2 5 Jan 14, 2017 11:55AM  
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David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential in the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. Lloyd-Jones was strongly opposed to Liberal Christianity, which had become a part of many Christian denominations; he regarded it as aberrant. ...more
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“To make it quite practical I have a very simple test. After I have explained the way of Christ to somebody I say “Now, are you ready to say that you are a Christian?” And they hesitate. And then I say, “What’s the matter? Why are you hesitating?” And so often people say, “I don’t feel like I’m good enough yet. I don’t think I’m ready to say I’m a Christian now.” And at once I know that I have been wasting my breath. They are still thinking in terms of themselves. They have to do it. It sounds very modest to say, “Well, I don’t think I’ good enough,” but it’s a very denial of the faith. The very essence of the Christian faith is to say that He is good enough and I am in Him. As long as you go on thinking about yourself like that and saying, “I’m not good enough; Oh, I’m not good enough,” you are denying God – you are denying the gospel – you are denying the very essence of the faith and you will never be happy. You think you’re better at times and then again you will find you are not as good at other times than you thought you were. You will be up and down forever. How can I put it plainly? It doesn’t matter if you have almost entered into the depths of hell. It does not matter if you are guilty of murder as well as every other vile sin. It does not matter from the standpoint of being justified before God at all. You are no more hopeless than the most moral and respectable person in the world.” 57 likes
“we must never look at any sin in our past life in any way except that which leads us to praise God and to magnify His grace in Christ Jesus.” 27 likes
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