In her nonfiction debut, Murray lays a wide-ranging, sympathetic familiarity with the New Testament over a wide array of personal and societal ills. From relationship problems to workplace jealousies to drug and alcohol abuse to deep depression—the book opens with a careful disclaimer about how Murray’s exhortations don’t constitute actual medical advice—the guide firmly asserts that the cures of modern medicine can be aided by strong Christian faith. Murray writes with typical straightforward compassion (and occasional muddy thinking): “Let’s take a look in the mirror and really ask ourselves what is under our skin.” Using Scripture, she illustrates her contention that mankind’s original sin was in falling away from close partnership with God, and re-establishing that partnership is the first and most important step toward spiritual and even physical well-being. Even Christian readers who don’t share this evangelical outlook may be put off by the frequent, nonchalant references to seeing God in visions; similarly, sometimes the summaries of various health fields can be simplistic and misleading—e.g., “psychology teaches people that they are born as an addict, they can’t change, and once an addict always an addict.” But Murray’s sincere, inclusive belief is evident on every page, and she’s by no means sympathetic to the bad habits of her fellow contemporary Christians. She sees many of her fellow Christians as complacent and self-indulgent, too willing to redirect the blame for their own misdeeds: “[I]f we blame the devil for everything we do, that is a sure sign of our lack of belief in Christ.” In fact, the book’s strongest sections deal squarely not with illness or depression but with the central question of self-esteem. It’s in these concluding chapters that her frequent recourse to autobiography serves her best.
A pointed, unswervingly Christian guide to improving physical and mental health.