Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R Emlet Blog Tour

About the Book:

OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder . . . these are no longer just technical terms and medical diagnoses, they are part of our common vocabulary and culture.

As Christians, we shouldn't isolate ourselves from this discussion or dismiss these important issues. But we also should be careful not to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise without question. What we need is a balanced, biblically (and scientifically) informed approach that neither blindly accepts nor harshly dismisses psychiatric labels, diagnoses, and medicines that are prescribed to help those who are suffering.

As both a Biblical counselor and medical doctor, Michael R. Emlet, MD, gives readers a Christ-centered approach to psychiatry and guides both lay and professional helpers through the thicket of mental health labels and treatments with a biblical lens. In a clear and thoughtful way that puts the person experiencing mental health issues at the forefront, Emlet uses Scripture to show how the Bible engages in the discussion of psychiatric labels and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels. The first book in the "Helping the Helper" series, Descriptions and Prescriptions will give readers a biblical, gospel-formed perspective to help them understand and minister to those struggling with mental health issues.

Learn more about the book and purchase a copy here.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

You can watch a book trailer here.

My Review:

I appreciate Emlet helping us understand the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. I know some Christians embrace medical solutions while others spurn them claiming the illness is totally spiritual in nature. This book helped me understand a sort of middle ground, taking seriously psychiatric diagnoses but also understanding their limitations.

He covers the problems of such diagnoses, a bit of history, the problem of over diagnosis (such as redefining some behavior the Bible calls sin), and the implications for ministry.

I like that Emlet identifies psychiatric diagnoses as descriptions, not explanations. They can tell us the what of the behavior but not the why. I was surprised to find out that there is little to support the assumption that the primary cause of disorders is a clear and specific brain dysfunction. (Loc. 480/1870) I also like his discussion on relieving suffering yet recognizing God's transforming agenda through suffering.

This is an informative book for pastors and other leaders involved in ministry with others. You gain some knowledge about psychiatric diagnoses and the medications used, helping you interact with those with disorders. Ultimately, how to help others is a wisdom issue. Reading this book will yield some information to help make wise decisions in that area.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Michael R. Emlet, MDiv, MD, practiced as a family physician for over ten years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is the author of the book "CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet," the minibooks "Asperger Syndrome;" "Chronic Pain;" "Angry Children: Understanding and Helping Your Child Regain Control;" and "Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges with Understanding and Strength," and many counseling articles.
Find out more about Michael at

New Growth Press, 112 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Litfuse. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy in this post was provided by Litfuse.

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