Sanctification and Psychiatric Diagnoses

I have been encouraged by this chapter written by Ed Welch where he deals with how we minister to people who are hurting.

Welch, Edward T. “Sinners Learning to Act the Miracle: Restoring Broken People and the Limits of Life in the Body.” In Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification, edited by John Piper and David Mathis, 65–88. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013.
Read a full review of the book here and get the free pdf here


1 Rule:

“Therefore, a rule is necessary: if someone is taking psychiatric medication, then help that person. Pastoral care should be an automatic accompaniment of medication, whether that medication is chemotherapy or Prozac” (68).


2 Basic Theological Tools:

1. “The first basic truth that is crammed with potential applications is this: we are embodied souls. We are created of physical and material substance, body and soul. This is the essential and simple biblical teaching that we need” (69).

2. “The other theological tool needed to minister wisely and lovingly is a theology of hardships and suffering. The problems of life cluster around sin, suffering, or both. If there are brain or body weaknesses in psychiatric problems, then we need access to God’s good and comforting words to those who suffer” (72).


1 Reminder:

After all the work of walking with someone through their trials, it may seem like nothing big is happening. Welch reminds us, “It [the minimal external change, but the daily fight] is not the transformation that some would like to see. It is endurance, which is arguably that most elegant expression of the Spirit’s power” (84).