Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Paradox of Perfection by Jeff Reber and Steve Moody


Americans are wealthier, smarter, and more beautiful than ever before, but we are also more depressed, anxious, and lonely. How can this be? The answer for many of us is perfectionism. Perfectionists pursue flawlessness and often reach great heights as a result, but we ultimately fall frustratingly short of our ideal. Christian perfectionists turn frustration into despair, because Christ commands us to “be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect.” This seemingly impossible demand promotes feelings of guilt, unworthiness, and discouragement. Why would God put us in such a hopeless position?

The short answer is, He didn't. In The Paradox of Perfection you will discover that the perfection Christ commands of us is actually possible here and now in this life, but to achieve it we must learn a new, properly Christian language of perfection. Relational experts, Dr. Jeffrey Reber and Steven Moody, will teach you this language and help you learn that the perfection Christ commands of you is not individual flawlessness, but a form of relationship with Him that depends precisely upon your weaknesses and imperfections, which enable Christ's perfect love within you, your marriage, your family, and your church.

My Review:

We want to appear perfect. At church we put on a smile, maintaining an appearance even if our world is falling apart. The authors argue that we are not to hide our imperfections. Honesty with others, sharing our flaws, is actually the path to completeness in Christ.

The style of this book is somewhat academic. The authors refer to Kierkegaard, for example, and his writing on Christ's abasement. The authors also spend some time exploring the human ability to imagine perfection. Such an image tantalizes us but we can never achieve it in our efforts, hence frustration.

This would be a good book for pastors, counselors and church leaders involved in helping Christians live the life Christ desires. Lay people will not find a practical strategy on how to deal with being a perfectionist but rather a a theological exploration of the command to be perfect, what it really means and walking on the path of weakness.

You can watch the book trailer here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Authors:

Jeff Reber and Steve Moody are educators and therapists who specialize in relational approaches to issues at the intersection of faith and psychology. They have given presentations on perfectionism to audiences across the continent and have published scholarly articles, book chapters, and books on this and other important societal epidemics.

Crosslink Publishing, 177 pages.

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

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