John's Reviews > Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection

Shame Interrupted by Edward T. Welch
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May 18, 12

Read in May, 2012

Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts The Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection is a very valuable resource for the church. As Welch writes, he is very deliberate in his presentation of the gospel as the only hope in the relief of the pain of shame and guilt. I appreciate the frequent true-to-life illustrations of people struggling with shame as they demonstrate the wisdom of his many years of counselling. Not only is this helpful for the reader to know that they are not alone, it also helps a pastor identify with people in the pew who may not want to admit their struggle. For those of us who have had less of a struggle, they give insight into the lives of those who do struggle with guilt and shame so we can be sympathetic and compassionate.

One caveat: being a credo-baptist, I found his discussion of baptism as a means for assurance challenging to my belief set and personal experience. I understand the value of having baptism as a reminder of the reality of your conversion (p. 211); however, to rely on a memory of the past is risky. For those of us who have written their conversion date in their Bibles, we know that if we are not careful, we will take comfort in the past and keep looking at the past, so as not to live by faith in what Christ did and continues to do for us moment by moment. Welch's chapter on the sacraments (pp. 239-244) made me a bit nervous as a credo-baptist, too. I understand Welch's desire not to make baptism a controversial issue and avoid unnecessarily offending a wounded conscience, and I did appreciate the discussion of the Lord's supper. The strong points of the book more than outweigh these minor objections.

I really appreciate how Welch talks through the significant aspects of the OT law as pointing out our uncleanness as people and the necessity of Christ to cover us and make us clean. This book is a practical primer for people wanting to know how to use the gospel and Scripture to counsel people who struggle with shame and guilt. Welch's book should be on your shelf and at your fingertips.
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