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Book Reviews

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” – Ecclesiastes 12:12

Below, you can find some book reviews I’ve written.

Notice two categories: books that are controversial, and books that I have found most helpful in my own healing journey from spiritual abuse to liberty in Christ. I’ve organized them alphabetically by title. More to come…

Reviews of Controversial Books

a_journey_to_wacoA Journey to Waco: Autobiography of a Branch Davidian by Clive Doyle with Catherine Wessinger and Matthew Wittmer. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012. 298 pp.

On February 28, 1993, ATF agents raided the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. The Davidians had separated from the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1955. This particular group lived communally under the leadership of David Koresh, a self-professed “Lamb of God” and “incarnation” of the Father.

For full review, click here.

A_Tale_of_Three_Kings_Liberty_for_CaptivesA Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards

This book is easy to read and memorable. It just isn’t true.

Despite its lop-sided popularity (you can scan a galaxy of 5-star Amazon reviews), A Tale of Three Kings represents an inaccurate and, thus, harmful perspective on spiritual authority and those who have been wounded by its abuse…

For a full review, click Book Review of A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards

Love-Wins-by-Rob-Bell-Liberty-for-Captives-ReviewLove Wins by Rob Bell

There has been a lot of talk about Rob Bell’s latest book, Love Wins. Rob is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan. He has built a large following through his provocative speaking style, punchy communication, and edgy unorthodoxy. Rob makes you think, and think hard…

For full review, click Book Review of Love Wins by Rob Bell.

The-Shack-by-William-P-Young-Liberty-for-Captives-ReviewThe Shack by William P. Young

The Shack is part theodicy, part spiritual autobiography for author Paul Young. Raised by missionary parents among a stone-age tribe, Young recounts in an interview how men in the tribe began to sexually abuse him when he was four years old. Sent away to a boarding school, Young also suffered abuse there. He later trained for the ministry, married, and began to raise a family. He wrote the book for his children…

For full review, click Book Review of The Shack by William P Young.

to train up a child

To Train Up a Child by  Michael and Debi Pearl

Michael and Debi Pearl are the authors of To Train Up a Child: Turning the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children. The title of the book comes from Proverbs 22:6, which says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The book has raised considerable controversy in recent years, especially after the deaths of several children were linked to its teachings.

For full review, click here.

Reviews of Helpful Books about Spiritual Abuse

Banished_Book_by_Lauren_Drain_and_Lisa_PulitzerBanished by Lauren Drain and Lisa Pulitzer

Rare is the person who has never heard of Westboro Baptist Church. The small sect from Topeka, Kansas owes its notoriety to its rabid invective and public pickets against homosexuals and military funerals.

Rarer still is the person who understands this extreme group of people. Most Americans shake their heads or their fists at the church. Perhaps they puzzle for a moment over WBC’s vitriole. But most folks feel bewildered and angry and move on after banging their heads against what appears to be an unsolvable riddle: How could anyone enjoy hate so much? And how could anyone believe that God revels in calamity and destruction?

Lauren Drain understands…

For full review, click here.

girl_at_the_end_of_the_worldGirl at the End of the World by Elisabeth Esther

Elisabeth has written a poignant memoir, one that will likely ring true with many other survivors of fundamentalist cults.

Elisabeth’s grandfather started a group called “The Assembly,” and her parents served as leaders.The book title comes from The Assembly’s focus on eschatology and the imminent end of the world. Members constantly prepared themselves for an apocalyptic event; separated themselves from mainstream cultural practices, clothing, and entertainment; and practiced communal living and evangelistic zeal. Elisabeth herself lived in a torment of anxiety that she would be left behind.

For full review, click here.

2 comments on “Book Reviews

  1. Thank you so much for your review of The Three Kings. I was in an independent fundamentalist baptist church for 14 years. When I finally confronted the narcissistic preacher for advocating child abuse and our family finally left his church, he sent his people to straighten us out. Our kids’ youth group leader lent me his copy of The Three Kings, telling me it would “help me” It didn’t help — but at the time, I did not know much about spiritual abuse. I appreciate this website for your ministry to those of us who have been damaged my spiritual abuse. Thank you for all that you do!

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