John Swinton: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges

Finding Jesus in the Storm (Eerdmans)

Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges
(Eerdmans, 2020)

WHO: John Swinton, professor of practical theology and pastoral care at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and founding director of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health and Disability.

HE SAYS: “While mental health challenges can cause great suffering and distress, it is possible to find hope and faith in the midst of the wildest storms.”

THE BIG IDEA: This book makes the case for changing the way we talk about mental health while emphasizing that those with mental health challenges are not excluded from God’s love.

THE PROGRESSION:
In Part 1, “The Art of Description,” the author lays out why he thinks we need new descriptions for mental health problems. Part 2, “Redescribing Diagnosis,” relates a story of someone with bipolar disorder.
Part 3, “Redescribing Depression, “ looks at lament, joy and finding God in the darkness. Part 4, “Hearing Voices,” discusses schizophrenia while Part 5, “Redescribing Bipolar Disorder,” examines that condition.

“The pastoral task is to help people hold on to Jesus in these difficult times without unnecessary guilt or blame.”

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