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Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness
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Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  249 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Each day men and women diagnosed with mental disorders are told they need to pray more and turn from their sin. Mental illness is equated with demonic possession, weak faith and generational sin. Why is it that the church has struggled in ministering to those with mental illnesses? As both a church leader and professor of psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Stanford has seen ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published September 1st 2008 by Paternoster Publishing
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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May 26, 2010 added it
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Amazon: "Customers Who Bought This Item [Darkness Is My Only Companion] Also Bought"
I put off reading this book for a long time because I worried it would turn out to be the book I ~wanted to write (about what the Christian tradition has to offer folks living with severe, chronic depression) -- which would have been disappointing when I was really excited about this project. I apparently hadn't read the blurbs very carefully, as it's really, "What does science say and what does the Bible say about the most common mental disorders?"

As I began reading it in late December 2014, I
Yong Yi
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
[Note: This book is written to Christians who profess a faith in Jesus with the intent of providing them with a better understanding of mental illness. I will be writing my review under this contextual assumption. I ask for the indulgence of those who do not share such beliefs.]

We in the church are notorious for failing to care for those in our midst who are suffering from mental health disorders. Because of ignorance and a flawed understanding of the bible, we have failed to demonstrate the
Tim Siepman
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science and Spiritual Approach to mental illness

An incredibly deep dive into the world of mental health, yet an easy and encouraging read. Matthew Stanford offers both a scientific and spiritual approach to mental illness which is oftentimes lacking in the church. Highly recommended.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really useful for those not obtaining professional counseling degrees. Allows us into the world and work of struggling with mental illness.
Apr 18, 2013 added it
Shelves: school-reads
This book came to me as part of my abnormal psychology it was a necessary read. Usually these types of reads are boring and not worth my adding to any sort of list, however this one was different. Stanford opens the doors on what can be perceived as a negative (mental illness), shines light on it, and challenges believers to open their arms wide to those who are suffering in such a state. I recommend it for anyone, however those going into any sort of social work or psychology or ...more
Christy Bower
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-health
Grace for the Afflicted is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn how biblical truth and modern science work together to help people afflicted with mental illness. This book ought to be mandatory reading in seminaries.

Matthew Stanford, Ph.D. is professor of psychology, neuroscience and biomedical studies at Baylor University. Professionally he has worked with a variety of mentally ill and brain injured individuals. In his book, Grace for the Afflicted, he combines his expertise in
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough about this book. Dr. Stanford is a PhD in neuroscience as well as a Christian. With this book, his goal is to debunk a medieval belief within some churches that anyone with mental illness is demon possessed. Through a lovely mixture of scripture and science, Dr. Stanford outlines how mental illness and demonic possession, while both real, are two very different things. The book is very comprehensible. Dr. Stanford begins by explaining what the illness is with the symptoms, ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this to help me prepare for a one session class on Mental Health and and the Christian.
It was a great overview of the common issues present for anyone who struggles with mental illness. The explanations from the science side were detailed, but not overly technical. It was enough to help the non-practitioner (that's me!) understand the basics of each disorder.

Good references to scripture for both explanation of those who struggled with mental illness and what our response as a believer
Michelle Hilleson
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read the updated edition of this book.
If I had the power to require every pastor and every pastoral student to read this book, I would. As a Christian and the mother of a child with mental illness, I have long felt like there was nowhere I could turn for answers. The Church has largely been either uneducated or uninterested in mental illness and mental health professionals either do not share my faith or are prevented by professional conduct from sharing that with me. This book brings both
Amy Morgan
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counseling
Content: Mental illness is not a sin. Stanford argues for a holistic approach to mental illness, giving an overview of basically every category of the DSM 5, including etiology, prevalence, and treatments. He also includes personal vignettes and offers up biblical examples of the different disorders.

Agree/disagree: Some if his biblical examples were questionable. Samson, antisocial PD? Really? Neurological info was spot on. Was surprised he didn’t mention EMDR in connection with traumatic
N Hodson
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very good primer for the lay person on mental health. An excellent reminder to Christians that mental health issues can not be dismissed, demonized or stigmatized. In the spirit of Christian love, we must mirror Christ in reflecting His grace and love to every individual including those with mental health issues. There is no other acceptable response. I especially appreciated the last two chapters of this book that outlined a holistic approach to healing and care as well as a message to the ...more
Carter Hemphill
This book is a great introduction to Christians about mental illness. Some of the chapters are quite technical about the treatment used, but they will be helpful for those who have a special interested in those issues. On a more general level, I appreciated how the author provides examples of people in the Bible who may have suffered from mental illness and how the author makes a strong case that mental illnesses are a combination of biological and psychological influences.
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had to read several chapters of this for study, but I then I wanted to read the rest. :) It's a practical and informative book about different mental illnesses - examples, symptoms, possible causes, possible treatments, and a Biblical perspective on each. I also appreciated the focus on what we, as the body of Christ, can be doing to support those struggling with mental illness. It's easy to read, and I know I'll be referring back to it.
Shelby Shepherd
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Louder for the people in the back! Stanford gives us a small glimpse at what life is like for members of our congregation that are living with mental illnesses. He also explains what the Bible has to say about each condition. He exposes misconceptions that have hurt and how we may best serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. Recommended for all!
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Caring for a loved one challenged by a mental illness is hard enough. It's confusing, scary, intimidating, exhausting, etc. This book helps provide a different perspective that can empower you and increase your understanding of your loved ones mental difficulties. It's also helpful in bringing up the topic to your church and clergy members.
Caleb Dillinger
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
An informative, simple read that encourages readers to be graceful towards those with mental illnesses and embrace learning more about their difficulties. It's not long (less than 250 pages) and provides a great overview of different disorders and how we can positively interact with those who struggle with them.
Kimberly Duffle
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you or a loved one suffer from a mental illness, this is a great book! It thoroughly explains the illness and treatment possibilities. As a plus, it also gives examples of people from the bible who are to believed to have suffered from these illnesses.
Betsy Hunter
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required Reading

I’m telling everyone to read this book— there’s just so much here and as a believer, we cannot look away from those who suffer, we must lean in, pray, and advocate.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this book. He makes a lot of good points on how the church could grow in how it relates to people struggling with mental health. Although, I did think that some of the people he used from the Bible as examples of people going through this in scripture was a bit of a stretch.
The Book Girl
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Was interesting review to come.
Geneva Moore
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it
If you have a basic understanding of mental illness you've essentially read the book
Darin Mirante
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thorough and practical. Essential understanding for those suffering and those wanting to help the suffering.
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book every Christian needs to read.
Dylan Bryce
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this is a book that needs to be passed around and reflected on by those in the church. It really sheds light on a reality many know little about and handle very poorly.
Daniel Markin
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book is very helpful for those in the church interested in mental health. Shows causes and cures.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so good. It was great to see a biblical perspective on many mental illnesses. If you ever been interested in learning more about mental illness, this book is highly recommended!
Virginia Garrett
Yeranouhi Էնդրյուս
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book combines very well medical and biblical truth about these illnesses which are often neglected by the church.
Stephane Chartrand
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good overview! A must if your interessted in biblical counseling. The ending gives hope for the Church and demonstrates it's need for sound knowledge of mental illnesses.
Trista Blankenship
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
Easy way for Christians to understand mental health.
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Goodreads Librari...: Book cover needs updated 3 13 Aug 31, 2018 08:54AM  

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