John MacArthur and John Piper on their very different experiences of depression

In the video below there is a very helpful segment beginning at 39:45 (click here to start it playing at that point, or use the slider below). The segment begins with MacArthur explaining that he has never really been depressed. Some Christians are a bit like MacArthur. To be honest, that can make it hard for them to empathize with the Piper's of this world who goes on to describe how he had a period of his life where he was significantly depressed that lasted several years.  MacAthur's … [Read more...]

A surprising answer to the “Why Me?” question


I am continuing my Mental Health Series by focusing in on things which the Bible has to say to all of us that are perhaps of particular relevance to those with mental health.  I urge us to let the church be the church and offer everyone the help the Bible offers, whilst simultaneously encouraging seeking medical help.Today I want to address a question most of us have asked from time to time when facing suffering, the "Why me?" question.  Certainly many who have experienced the devastation a m … [Read more...]

Twenty types of tweet: how many do you use on Twitter?


Perhaps the recipe for success on Twitter is posting the right proportion of some or maybe even all of the following types of tweet. When someone posts too many of any individual variety of post it can certainly be off-putting in my view. A balanced diet is definitely best, and yet some of these types of tweet should be more used than others. One thing for sure, however, once you have read this list you will never be able to say "but there's nothing I could write about" again!I think that … [Read more...]

Live Hangout on Creating Social Media Buzz


I joined Greg Surratt and his other guests for a conversation about social media and Christian ministry.  I certainly enjoyed our conversation, and I hope you will. Make yourself a coffee, sit down, relax!You can also check in for future hangouts or view  previous ministry hangouts can be viewed on YouTube and they make a great resource.Some highlights of our session included the following:A claim that anyone who says they never check their social media stats is simply lying Me c … [Read more...]

Pastoral care with mental health in mind

It concerns me sometimes that good old fashioned pastoral care may be in danger of dying out.What people in your church need more than anything else is to be cared for in a biblical and non-patronising way. Churches which embrace, quite rightly, principles that aim to help them grow are in danger of forgetting that God calls us as the Church to be directly involved in each other's lives. We ARE our brother's keeper.Pastoral care is not professional counseling. It is not therapy. It is … [Read more...]

The mental illness taboo is a problem for all of us

Interesting article from the New Scientist: In a global study published last year, we showed that 79 per cent of people with depression had experienced discrimination in the previous year (The Lancet, DOI: 10.1016/s0140-6736(12)61379-8). More than 1000 people were interviewed across 35 countries, and a remarkably consistent picture emerged: such experiences are common and may severely limit how far people with mental illness can lead normal lives. Almost a quarter, for example, said they had b … [Read more...]

Responding to Mental Illness: the narrow path

I am in the middle of one of my long blog series.  Today there is a significant change in what I am addressing, however.  So far, I have essentially been saying “mental illnesses are real, you should not be afraid to seek medical help,” from today I will be arguing for the other side of the same coin, “the Bible has a lot to say that is relevant for those with mental illnesses, and can help all of us live a more mentally healthy life.” There are some who advocate strongly for a purely biologica … [Read more...]

Should a Christian go to counseling with a secular therapist?

This is a question that I know troubles many Christians.  Some believe that secular counseling has no place, and that Bible-based pastoral care is all that is needed to bring about change in people, whatever their problems.  Others believe that a Christian counsellor should be used, and that such a counselor should integrate both Biblical concerpts and theories from their secular training. Still others feel that if a person is seeing a therapist or counsellor, the pastoral team can wash their h … [Read more...]

The four pillars of mental health and wellbeing

The following are steps that we can all take to promote our mental wellbeing. It is not just those that have a recognised mental illness that should practice steps to protect and improve our well-being. Many today complain of non-descript "stress" and "overwork" that can be early warning signs of future problems. These steps will help many with a mental illness, but should not be seen as replacements for going to see a health professional. The strength of evidence lying behind each of these … [Read more...]

Are Mental Disorders real illnesses? What of the DSMV controversy?

As I have been writing on most of the main types of mental illness a media controversy has raged. The release of the DSMV was seen by many as an opportunity to throw the spotlight on the validity of psychiatric diagnostic systems. In particular, the announcement of a new highly experimental approach the RDC was spun as a rejection of DSMV, which has since been denied.There are a few things that are worth saying in response to that.I don't believe that any psychiatrists today think our … [Read more...]