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Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Review: Healing Troubled Hearts by William Day

I had high hopes for this book. Part I was a riveting account of the author's personal and spiritual journey that began when he was designated by an Uncle who was a Priest as a future priest. His account of his childhood disconnection as a result of this designation and his struggle to find his vocation was at times heart rending and riveting. His eventual experience in a Pentecostal church, while not my particular perspective, was interesting to read, as were his early experiences in ministry.

With that in mind, his decision to turn the book into an apologetic against any perspective but his own, biblical literalist, Calvinist perspective was unfortunate. He rather predictably dismisses anything remotely connected to his own Roman Catholic upbringing with little apparent insight as to how that upbringing makes his dismissal predictable! For someone with Dr. Day's training, that failure represents a huge blind spot in both his own insight and the effectiveness of his own "healing." He also, perhaps predictably, lumps any Christian perspective other than his own into what he calls a "New Age" perspective, which is a rather tired and extremely inaccurate tactic of apologists for conservative Christianity. While he did occasionally accurately describe a healing intervention, he fails to see that the same interventions in a secular context also work. In other words, whether one sees that one is not in complete control of every detail of ones life because one believes that God is in control or whether one comes to the same conclusion because of their own failed attempts to be in control matters little in the outcome of their psychological issue - though it may matter greatly in choosing where that person does or doesn't go to church.

In short, if you share Dr. Day's rather narrow perspectives you will likely love this book. If not, you won't find it especially helpful.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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