J.P. Moreland, Finding Quiet (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019), 225 pp.
J.P. Moreland is one of the most influential Christian philosophers and thinkers of our generation. His writing has wielded a powerful influence in my life for nearly twenty-five years. His most recent book, Finding Quiet, is his most personal, transparent book to date.
In Finding Quiet, Dr. Moreland recounts his battle with panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. Moreland has a God-given gift to communicate complex ideas in an understandable way. Anyone familiar with his writing will be familiar with his scholarly approach. But this book, as mentioned above, is deeply personal and gut-wrenching. I found myself moved at various points throughout the book and was encouraged by the author’s willingness to share some of the deepest pits that nearly consumed his life. This kind of transparency is difficult to find, especially in the academic world.
The author not only tells his grim tale; he guides readers along a path that helps them understand how he gained victory over anxiety and relief from panic attacks. One of the most beneficial aspects of this work are the many tools that Moreland shares; tools that enable readers to walk toward wholeness and healing and conquer anxiety and depression.
To be clear, Moreland is firmly tethered to the Word of God, a reality that he makes plain throughout the book:
“Properly understood, we will see that presenting two members of your body – your brain and your heart muscle – to God as instruments of righteousness (which includes emotional flourishing and overall health) can be important in replacing anxiety and worry with deep peace and joy.”
But he is also committed to utilizing the latest research and resources that help anxious souls find relief and solace. For instance, as the author notes, “Anxiety is largely a habit wired or grooved into one’s brain and nervous system that becomes activated when one encounters certain triggers.” In response, several tools are offered to assist people in their quest for peace. Moreland graciously presents these tools, not as dogmatic solutions, but as options that people can consider that matches their unique needs.
Some Reformed thinkers (myself included) may find some of the discussion uncomfortable and even objectionable but thoughtful consideration of Dr. Moreland’s recommendations is suggested.
Personally, the two most powerful principles that the author presents include the commitment to living a life of gratitude and treasuring key Scriptures to help win important emotional battles. Several practical tips are offered to help cultivate an attitude of gratitude and Scriptures are offered that have been personally meaningful to the author.
I urge readers to explore Finding Quiet and benefit from Dr. Moreland’s God-centered wisdom. Again, not everyone across the board will agree with each of his conclusions – but all can certainly benefit from the fruit of his labor. My prayer is that this book will be a mighty source of strength for many people who battle depression and anxiety.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.