The Book Corner
Helping Children of Divorce. By Judson J. Swihart & Steven L. Brigham. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1982. 125 pp. Paper, $3.25.
The divorce rate has soared in North America, so that 45% of the children currently growing up will see the separation or divorce of their parents. For children, adjustment to divorce is even more difficult than for parents. They are young, dependent, and vulnerable. “Many experience feelings of insecurity, guilt, anger and depression” (p. 10). Most cling to the futile hope that their parents will be reconciled and the home restored.
The authors decry divorce, but they are concerned “to offer healing solutions to children affected by it,” (p. 12). Their studies show that children are happier with both parents together — even when there is strife — than with them separated. Adolescents seem to cope better than younger children.
The book advises divorcing parents how to tell their children. They are warned against competing for the child’s affection and against sla[nder]ing each other. Helpful suggestions are offered to ease the child’s inward conflict of loyalty.
Common reactions are also discussed: regression, withdrawal, anger, clinging, etc. Parents, teachers, and friends can help the child to accept the divorce and to heal. Time heals wounds, say the authors, and the Lord is a great Healer. Spiritual resources can turn pain into spiritual strength.
This book will help those whose hearts reach out to hurting children.
Blood Brothers. By Elias Chacour with David Hazard. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1984. 224 pp. N.p.
Many American Christians are very loyal to and defensive of Israel. In their eyes Israel is God’s chosen nation and the land of Palestine belongs to the Jews. Therefore, the Arabs who have lived there for 2,000 years should be evicted and their rights not considered. Let them move to other Arab countries.
Elias Chacour lived in a small, Arab village as his ancestors had for centuries. It was a “Christian” village, not Moslem. He experienced the trauma and bitterness of seeing his people driven from their homes and their lands confiscated.
Now, he lives in another small, Arab village in Israel, longing for peace and reconciliation. He serves as a priest in a local church, seeking to help his people.
But you must read the book. It will help you understand the terrible sorrow and frustration of the Palestinian Arabs. God still desires justice (Micah 6:8).
Beyond Seduction. By Dave Hunt. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers. 1987. 282 pp. N.p.
Dave Hunt’s previous book The Seduction of Christianity created quite a stir. He accused many Christian leaders of introducing New Age thought into the churches. Positive thinking (if you think it and believe it you will get it) is popular. Christian psychology, with its incorporation of psychotherapy practices also came under attack.
This book is written to present a positive approach. However, Mr. Hunt does review his previous arguments that the Church is being seduced by these unscriptural concepts. He is careful to document his charges.
Preachers that are strongly castigated are Robert Schuller, Norman Vincent Peale, Kenneth Hagin and a host of others. “Most people are not aware that Positive Confession and Rhema teaching which dominate so much Christian television, far from representing biblical Christianity, are not accepted by any main stream denomination” (p. 50).
He quotes Zibergeld, “There is absolutely no evidence that professional therapists have any special knowledge of how to change behavior, or that they obtain better results — with any type of client or problem — than those with little or no formal training. In other words, most people can probably get the same kind of help from friends, relatives, or others that they get from therapists” (p. 121).
The solution is found in getting back to the Bible with its stress on exalting God, not self. Test all ideas by the Word. Reject the popular worship of health and wealth as God’s will for every Christian. Man does not need a better self-image (pride is the scourge of the human race) but a better God-image (p. 188).
The book is lengthy but the message is needed. If you do not accept all he says, it will make you rethink your own position. And there is much unbiblical preaching going on today.
(Editor’s Note: The foregoing books were reviewed by Donald L. Norbie, Greeley, Colorado.)