BOOK REVIEWS

Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life – Michael Lundy (2018)

deMichael S. Lundy, Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life (Wheaton: Crossway, 2018), 182 pp.

Depression, Anxiety, and the Christian Life by Michael S. Lundy addresses an important topic that afflicts many people. The vicious tentacles of depression and anxiety threatens to squeeze the life out of unwilling victims. For some, hope and relief seem light years away. Lundy’s book serves as a sort of balm for anyone who seeks solace in the desert of depression and anxiety.

Lundy’s work focuses on the well-known Puritan, Richard Baxter who wrote a great deal about depression and anxiety. Readers are greeted by an introductory essay, penned by Dr. J.I. Packer. Packer provides a helpful context for Baxter by pointing to his plan for discipleship. He notes that three basic perspectives governed the writing of Baxter, namely, 1) the primary of the intellect, 2) the unity of human life before the Lord, and 3) the centrality of eternity.

Michael Lundy includes his own treatment of Baxter and limits his discussion to the topic of depression and anxiety. He refers to depression as a “heart disease,” which in reality is a “broken heart.” Lundy commends the writing of Baxter and encourages readers to prepare their hearts for deep encouragement and challenge:

“Baxter offers no panaceas; he appreciates suffering as intrinsic to this life. Yet, he refuses despair, and demands of his readers – patients and caregivers alike – an optimism grounded in his view of a good and great God, and buttressed by his own very practical advice on how one can give or receive help that reflects love for God and neighbor.”

Finally, the lion’s share of this work includes two chapters straight from the pen of Richard Baxter. Helpful counsel is offered for Christians who battle anxiety and depression. Baxter’s counsel is biblical, practical, thought-provoking, and soul-stirring. Baxter also directs struggling pilgrims to find ultimate relief from depression and anxiety through faith in the promises of God.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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