Sep23WedSeptember 23, 2020
J. P. Moreland is one of the 50 most influential living philosophers in the world. He is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, has degrees in philosophy, theology, and chemistry, has written numerous books, and taught all over the country.
He has also fought and won a lifelong battle with anxiety and depression.
Moreland’s new book, FINDING QUIET: My Story of Overcoming Anxiety and the Practices That Brought Peace (Zondervan, 2019), is a treasure trove of practical wisdom for those who suffer from anxiety or depression. It is also another example of science “catching up” with scripture.
The Apostle Paul taught the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord, stop indulging anxious thoughts, pray about everything, and, most importantly, practice thinking about excellent and noble things. Do that, he said, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” FINDING QUIET provides many biblically sound, practical steps for putting Paul’s instructions to work.
Some evangelicals will find Moreland’s recommendations on antidepressant medications and other therapies controversial and dismiss him out of hand. But they will be doing themselves and anxiety-suffering saints a great disservice. Moreland does not ignore the necessity of growing in grace, but as a committed, obedient believer and major anxiety sufferer, he recognizes the value of medication when necessary. As vitamin D supplements are to people who cannot get enough sunshine or insulin to diabetics, these medications are to people who suffer from anxiety and depression. They are a blessing from God, supplying what the body cannot or is not currently producing on its own.
Moreland offers a novel but biblically based and workable model of humanity that helps us see how body, soul, and spirit interrelate and influence each other. He explains the importance of the heart organ in the Bible and science. He records the latest findings from brain science, psychiatry, newer therapeutic approaches like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and HeartMath exercises, and shares their efficacy in his life.
But FINDING QUIET is not only about the latest science. Moreland reaches deep into the Church’s past to explain how the practice of contemplative prayer helped him learn to acknowledge God in every moment. Dallas Willard fans will find much to like. He concludes with a chapter you won’t find in many Christian books: how to deal with disappointment when God seems silent in your suffering.
At seven by five inches and 220 pages, the book will fit in a pocket as a ready resource for anxiety sufferers. It’s accompanying appendices, notes, and bibliography, also make it user friendly.
Moreland concludes, “The most important point I learned is this: anxiety and depression are significantly formed habits residing in the brain and body (especially the heart muscle and nervous system), and these habits can be largely replaced with peaceful and joyful habits by regularly engaging in the right repetitive habit-forming exercises.”
Or, as the Apostle Paul taught us, “Practice these things and the God of peace will be with you.”
BE YE GLAD
By Michael Kelly Blanchard
In these days of confused situations
In these nights of restless remorse,
When the heart and the soul of a nation
Lay wounded and cold as a corpse
From the grave of the innocent Adam
Comes a song bringing joy to the sad.
Oh your cry has been heard and the ransom
Has been paid up in full, be ye glad
Oh, be ye glad, oh, be ye glad.
Every debt that you've ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord.
Be ye glad, be ye glad, be ye glad
From the dungeon a rumor is stirring.
You have heard it again and again.
But this time the cell keys are turning,
and outside there are faces of friends.
And though your body lay weary from wasting,
and your eyes show the sorrow they've had.
Oh the love that your heart is now tasting
has opened the gate, Be Ye Glad.
So be like lights on the rim of the water
Giving hope in a storm sea of night
Be a refuge admist the slaughter
Of these fugitives in their flight
For you are timeless and part of a puzzle.
You are winsome and young as a lad.
And there is no disease or no struggle
That can pull you from God, be ye glad
Repeat Chorus (x2)
"But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." Isaiah 65:18 (KJV)