With the disease model for problems firmly established, it seems that nothing is beyond the possibility of being a “sickness”. This is particularly true of brain problems. Obviously, the brain plays a major role in everything we do. But is it the source of so many of our problems?
In this useful and clarifying book, Ed Welch delves into some of the disorders that are routinely attributed to brain malfunction. Approaching the issues from a profoundly biblical standpoint, he discusses the issues of Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Depression, ADD, Alcoholism and Homosexuality.
There are some legitimate brain problems that have enormous effects on people’s lives. However, the brain cannot make us sin. Most people will acknowledge that physical problems (back pain, broken limbs, etc…) do not cause a person to sin, but for some reason they will excuse the sin if there is a brain problem. For example, a man who spends time on the internet looking at smut will usually confess to being addicted rather than committing sin.
Welch’s book is divided into two parts: Biblical Foundations, where he discusses the mind-body issue and gives some implications of it, and Brain Problems Seen through the Lens of Scripture. Under this last part, there are three sections dealing with the different issues listed above. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are two legitimate brain problems and are treated under “The Brain Did it: Brain Dysfunction”. Depression and ADD are discussed under “Maybe the Brain Did it: Psychiatric problems”. This is perhaps the most helpful section of the book. He gives three biblically reliable propositions regarding psychiatric problems:
Proposition 1: Psychiatric problems are always spiritual problems and sometimes physical problems
Proposition 2: Psychiatric disorders sometimes respond to medication
Proposition 3: Psychiatric labels are descriptions, not explanations.
The last section deals with Alcoholism and Homosexuality under the heading, “The Brain Didn’t Do it”. It is commonplace to attribute these to brain disorders, which releases the participant from personal responsibility.
Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on which problems are chemical imbalances, which ones are brain disorders and which ones are plain disobedience. This book will help! Grab a copy at the Island Brow bookstore!
Read ‘em & Reap!