Sorrow, Depression, and Christian Hope

Product DetailsI don’t remember for certain, but I think I’ve mentioned this helpful book here before: Richard Winter, The Roots of Sorrow: Reflections on Depression and Hope (Westchester: Crossway Books, 1986).  Although it is a bit dated, I found it to be a very helpful resource on the topics of sorrow, melancholy,  depression, and other similar things.  Winter has also written other books I’ve appreciated, including Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment and Perfecting Ourselves to Death.  Listen to this paragraph which reveals one great perspective Winter brings to his discussion of depression and illness:

“…Through our weakness, through the brokenness of our bodies and minds, God is working out his purpose of changing us into his likeness.  When we catch a glimpse of God’s perspective [i.e. 2 Cor. 12:8] we learn to deal with the ‘thorns,’ not with cynical resignation or bitterness, but with grief at the fallen world in which we live and joy that we are being changed, and that there is hope beyond death (Rom. 8:18-24).  Then there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more death (Rev. 21:4).  Until then…there are some things such as physical paralysis or blindness which we cannot change, but we can work to reduce the sharpness and depth of the emotional and mental ‘thorns.'”

To be sure, Winter also talks about these topics: guilt, grief, shame, anger, self-esteem, sin, forgiveness, the church, and sanctification (etc.).  While Dr. Winter does interact with non-Christian views on these topics, his views and positions are quite biblical.  Even though the book is a little dated, and even if you’re not convinced by everything Winter says in it, I recommend it for those of you who are struggling with guilt, depression, anger (etc.) or if you counsel someone who does.  It’s a good resource to have.  If you have a counseling shelf, it should be on it.

Before I sign off, I should mention that though I haven’t read it, I just noticed that Winter wrote a different book on depression just a few years ago: When Life Goes Dark: Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression.  I think I’ll add that one to my list.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

7 thoughts on “Sorrow, Depression, and Christian Hope”

  1. Thanks Shane,
    I looked up the material on his new book. I found the reviews interesting and he talks about a number of subjects that I am interested in and have written about in Broken Minds

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    1. Steve: When I looked through this book again, it did remind me of your work – there is definite parallel. Two good books! (And I fixed your minor grammatical error…no worries!) Shane

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  2. Sounds like a useful book,Steve. It so happens that I spoke on the subject of depression yesterday to a group of people in a substance abuse program. I wish I had this book as a reference tool beforehand! I do a lot of work with this particular group, and I rely a lot upon our brother, Dr. Jay Adams. His “Christian Counselors New Testament and Proverbs” is extremely helpful to have on hand when counseling. Toward the back of it, there are outlines on subjects like depression, worry, anger, guilt, etc. It is a great ready-reference tool for anyone who does a great deal of biblical counseling. I got my copy from Amazon several years ago. It was published by Timeless Texts, out of Stanley, North Carolina.

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    1. Thanks Tom,
      If you are involved in counseling, it is always good to read books on counseling, depression and other important themes found in the Bible. My wife and I wrote a book that Kregel Publications published. It is being used in colleges and seminaries. The book is Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You’re Losing It. It sells on line and in the book store. It deals with anxiety disorders,lYou only need to put bloem, broken minds into Google and you will get information on the book.

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