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Showing posts from September, 2020

Therapy After Terror - A Book Review

THERAPY AFTER TERROR:        9/11, PSYCHOTHERAPISTS,    AND MENTAL HEALTH By     Karen M. Seeley  (2008) Reviewed by   September K. Trent       and   Geoffrey W. Sutton “Everybody’s trauma was so raw. It didn’t matter who you were talking to —relief worker, direct victim, other therapists —you were all the same body in some ways”  (p. 152).  Seeley peppers her analysis of the effects of 9/11 on psychotherapists and the field of mental health with excerpts from pungent and thoughtful interviews. We glimpse the chaos through the eyes of psychotherapists who lived the trauma in their personal and professional lives. On the morning of September 11, 2001, New York therapists are running to the Red Cross shelters to donate their time, psychologists are treating patients who are eyewitnesses to the worst enemy attack on the American homeland, and counselors, themselves victims who lost everything, are trying to counsel others through trauma-colored lenses. Seeley examines the diagn

Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy- A Book Review by Sutton

AMISH GRACE:            HOW FORGIVENESS TRANSCENDED TRAGEDY By    Donald Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt,     & David L. Weaver-Zercher Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton The horrific slaughter of Amish children attending school in the Old Order Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, garnered international attention in October, 2006. When the Amish responded with forgiveness and reconciliation, people were doubly shocked. Christian teaching and psychological research on forgiveness can appear as sterile narratives until tragedies upend everyday life. The authors of  Amish Grace offer informed readers the kind of details and analyses that allow Christian clinicians and researchers to consider how Christian virtues and psychological research on forgiveness and reconciliation may be integrated. The authors explore the virtues of grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation as they review the Amish response to the tragic school shooting of October 2, 2006 in Nickel Mines, Pennsy

The Next Christians - A Book Review by Sutton

THE NEXT CHRISTIANS:        THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT THE END OF  CHRISTIAN AMERICA By     Gabe Lyons   2010 Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton How do young Americans perceive Christians? Lyons reports the results of a study he commissioned to "understand the perceptions that sixteen-to twenty-nine-year-olds have about Christians (p. 3)" In the eleven chapters, Lyons explores these findings in the context of anecdotes and other research to suggest changes that appear to occur among Americans who self-identify as Christians. The book is a highly readable report of survey findings likely of interest to anyone following trends in American culture and religion. This book extends Lyon's previous interests reflected in unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why itMatters , which he coauthored with David Kinnaman. I would characterize Lyon's approach as Purpose Driven Research . In the first part of   the book he outlines his case for th

God and Sex by Michael Coogan- A Book Review

  God and Sex What the Bible Really Says   By     Michael Coogan   2010 Reviewed by    Geoffrey W. Sutton Coogan sets the stage for a biblical view of sex by citing the popularity of the Bible in US society--over 90% of us have "The Book." He challenges readers who believe the Bible is simply "God's Word" rather than a collection of works by multiple authors to consider some obvious inconsistencies easily recognized by anyone who has taken the time to read the text. Coogan want readers to see the unfolding of the biblical message in ways that allows a nuanced approach to modern life. Thus, he will write about women as equals, sexual prohibitions, and the stories of rape. Chapter 1 We begin with an invitation to see the biblical past as life in a foreign country with a different language, culture and values. He quickly shows readers love and sex through the eyes of the Song of Solomon. Then opens readers' eyes to biblical sex by lifting the veil of euphemisms

Meeting Jesus Again by Marcus Borg- A Book Review

Meeting Jesus Again       for the First Time   By   Marcus J. Borg   Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton   Borg begins his re-introduction of Jesus by telling us he is writing from the perspective of two worlds—the world of a religious scholar and the world of a Christian. Chapter 1 Images of Jesus are important. As children, Christians learn about Jesus as divine savior and teacher, but there’s more. He then tells us of his stressful spiritual struggle as a teenager. In my early teens, I began to have doubts about the existence of God. It was an experience filled with anxiety, guilt, and fear. I still believed enough to be afraid of going to hell because of my doubts. I felt that they were wrong, and in my prayers I would ask for forgiveness. But I couldn’t stop doubting, and so my requests for forgiveness seemed to me not to be genuine. (p.32) As many have before, Marcus prayed for help. “Every night for several years, I prayed with considerable anguish, “Lord,