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Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do
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Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  213 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Like a succession of failed diet regimens, the much-touted techniques that are supposed to bring us closer to God "in our hearts" can instead make us feel anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed. How can we meet and know God with ongoing joy rather than experiencing the Christian life as a series of guilt-inducing disappointments?

Phillip Cary explains that knowing God is a gr
Paperback, 197 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Brazos Press
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Katelyn Beaty
Phillip Cary is tired of undergraduate students arriving in his philosophy courses at Eastern University, wondering how they can really "let go and let God," "hear God's voice in their heart," "find God's will for their life," and fulfill any number of distinctly evangelical mantras that seem only to produce anxiety. Cary believes these mantras, which emphasize intuition and inner experience over external words of wisdom, are powerful but unbiblical outgrowths of a "new evangelical psychology" t ...more
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is great wisdom in this book that might relieve some Christian's distress. Unfortunately, it is packed together with overstatement ("So the idea of loving God unselfishly is silly and arrogant..." - tell that to Bernard of Clairvaux) and some tiresome and repetitious prose. I like Phillip Cary a great deal - have heard him speak and his Teaching Company lectures are excellent. This book is missing most of the historical, philosophical and theological context I have seen him display in othe ...more
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was because I listened to some of Phillip Cary's lectures on St. Augustine and on the history of Christian theology that I decided to pick up this book. I admired the lectures, but this was a bit of a disappointment. He provides ten observations, directed at confused evangelical students in his philosophy classes, explaining why what they have been taught in their churches is not orthodox doctrine and need not worry them. He suggests that the theology they are being taught is very new and ver ...more
I expected more from this book. Good News got bogged down by repetition and lack of good editing. There are lots of seeds of good points and food for thought. The content includes explanation of flaws in leaning on your heart and intuitions as being synonymous with "God's will" or the Holy Spirit, challenging the reader to go back to the solid basis for faith: Scripture. I enjoyed chapter 7 the most, and his discussion of virtue in the Christian life. The author also makes an excellent point abo ...more
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read. A lot of dog-eared pages in this one, and things to ponder. I thought the author made some good points, but...he also made the same points about three times in each chapter. Could have been shorter.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
Guess I must not be an anxious Christian. Though I can see this book as being helpful to some I definitely feel that the practical things the author is talking about are differences in definitions of terms. I ended up skimming the book as it became tedious for me.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A must read for the anxious evangelical and for the confused who wish to understand them better. Warning: this book may set you free or it may set you on fire.
Peter F
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a good antidote to various functional denials of the objectivity of Christ and the gospel in modern evangelicalism. Some quibbles with his understanding of suffering in the Christian life. Also, Cary probably doesn't have a robust understanding of the third use of the law in sanctification as I'm not sure how one would preach the law faithfully with such a strict dichotomy between "doing"/"believing" as he articulates. Separate to the content, this book is probably mistitled. It really i ...more
Some chapters of the book were helpful, but the book discussed the errors of new evangelical theology more than the reality of battling anxiety. This book may be for a new theologian who is anxious about certain things such as following the will of God, but it doesn't seem to be for someone who is battling with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (except for the chapter which discusses Job).
Jonathan B
Jan 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever felt distant from God and wondered what you have to "do" to get back on track, what you need to "do" is read this book :)

Cary argues that some of the most common things we are hearing in evangelicalism (or what Cary labels "new evangelicalism"), like hearing God in your heart, letting go and letting God, finding God's will, and experiencing God, are untrue and even harmful ideas. Cary believes that in different ways these ideas shift our focus onto ourselves rather than Christ and
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“We typically misunderstand what's wrong about consumerism. It's not that it makes us love material things too much. To be a good consumer, you have to desire to get lots of things, but you must not love any of them too much once you have them. Consumerism needs children who do not stay attached to their toys for very long and learn to expect the next round of presents as soon as possible. When consumerism succeeds, our attachments are shallow, easily broken, so we can move on to the next thing we're supposed to get. Being a good consumer means desiring new things, not cherishing old ones. And the new things you're supposed to desire are not always material things. Spirituality is now a consumerist enterprise, too.” 24 likes
“The importance of falling in love lies not in how it feels, but in what it perceives. And as always with our feelings, the key moral issue is how truthful the perception is... Falling in love is a sign that this might be someone with whom you could make a good marriage. Still, it's not enough, because the feeling is not always as perceptive as it should be... So falling in love is not the basis for a good marriage. It's not even a requirement. Marriage does not depend on falling in love; it depends on the promises you make to each other in your wedding vows and then spend a lifetime keeping. As many people have pointed out, you can't promise how you'll feel. But you can promise to cultivate a virtue, such as the virtue of love.” 11 likes
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