Monday, September 11, 2017

Win a Copy of "Descriptions and Prescriptions" by Michael Emlet

Mike Emlet, M.D., was one of my favorite CCEF teachers when I did my doctorate at Westminster Theological Seminary. Soft-spoken yet passionate, nuanced yet not timid, brilliant yet not proud, Mike taught me so much in his class on Counseling and Physiology*. I draw from the framework he provided us nearly every week in my pastoral ministry.

I'm excited that that framework is now available to everyone in a short book he has written entitled Descriptions and Prescriptions: A Biblical Perspective on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Medications which just came out last week from New Growth Press.

Too Hot, Too Cold, Just Right?

Mike sets the book up this way in his introduction:
What do you think when someone you know is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder? Or has started to take a psychoactive medication? Do you say to yourself, “Finally, he is getting the help he really needs!” Or do you feel skeptical about either the diagnosis or the solution (or both), and wonder if what the person really needs is simply to trust in Jesus more?
It doesn’t take too many conversations in the church to realize that there are widely divergent views regarding the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues. Like many, you may find yourself falling into one of two camps. Let me call this the Goldilocks Principle. What do I mean?
You may be someone who is “too cold” toward psychiatric diagnoses. Perhaps you’re highly suspicious of using these labels. You believe that they are secular understandings of the person that compete with biblical categories and solutions. At best you don’t think they’re helpful, and at worst you believe they are harmful and dehumanizing.
Does that "Goldilocks" dilemma sound familiar to you? Is it possible to find a "just right" third way somewhere in the middle? That's what Mike is trying to guide readers into in Descriptions and Prescriptions. Mike writes,
There is no doubt that many people suffer greatly with emotions and patterns of thinking that bring grave hardship to them and to their loved ones. The pressing issue is how best to know and understand their struggles. And then, having understood, how best to provide compassionate and wise help. After all, we are called to “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Psychiatric diagnostic classification and psychoactive medications provide a way to understand and help those who are burdened in particular ways. This book assesses the limitations and benefits of understanding and helping people using that lens.
What's amazing to me is that the book can be so helpful on these complex issues while being so short!

I haven't been able to read the whole thing yet, but I appreciated this review by Phil Monroe, a professor of Christian counseling whom I highly respect. And the breadth of endorsements is impressive and encouraging. This is a really good book by a highly qualified author.

Win Your Own Copy

Starting today, I'm offering starting a contest to win a copy of Description and Prescriptions. The good folks at New Growth Press will send a copy to the winner picked at random.

Entering this contest is very simple:

1. Leave a comment on this post (either here or on Facebook) with your name on it.

2. Wait to see if you win. I'll be drawing the names out of a hat. It's that easy! (Don't forget to check back or subscribe to updates to find out if you win--I'll need your mailing address if you do.)

You can also increase your chances of winning by posting about this contest on your social media page (FB, Twitter, Blog, Pinterest, etc.). Just send me an email or leave a comment with the link so that I know that you've expanded the reach of the contest. For each time you link to the contest, you get your name added to the hat one more time (limit of 7 chances, the contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Thursday night, September 14th).

I'll announce the winner on Friday.

*Mike was also one of my official readers at WTS for my doctoral project and one of the first endorsers of Resisting Gossip. He has been a great encourager to me!

Are you interested in reading a few of my book review papers from Mike's class? Here they are (but don't blame him for my verbose writing style!):


I'm thinking that I should be the one that gets this book:)

Looks like a great read! Thanks for sharing!!

Thanks, Michael. We'll see if your name gets picked!

Thanks, Mrs. Hankins. Welcome to the contest!

I too would crave this volume.

Thanks, Garry, you're in the contest!

I would be very interested in reading. I will also retreat as well. I enjoy you blog. See you in February!

I would be very interested in reading. I will also retweet as well. I enjoy you blog. See you in February!

I would be very interested in reading. I will also retweet as well. I enjoy you blog. See you in February!

Thanks, Amy. You are entered into the contest for this comment and your retweet!