Saturday, January 10, 2009

Notes on The Emotionally Healthy Church, by Peter Scazzero

Random notes.

In general, I see the need for this book. Too many "spiritual" people in "spiritual" profession or callings (pastors, bible study leaders, missionaries) have split off their emotions from real life and compartmentalized their spirituality from the rest of their being. This drives people to have unhealthy lifestyles, and put up with too much and have bad boundaries.

To the italicized sentence on p. 18: "Making incarnation the top priority in order to love others well is both the climax and point of the entire book.", I wrote this note in the margin: "There's more to Spiritual Life than Incarnation. What about Redemption?" And now I'm listening to Tim Keller about redemption (his church is called Redeemer). Yes, Incarnation is a miracle, a great miracle, and one that made the following possible. But Redemption is the big miracle. Where God turns sinners into saints.

on p. 19, line 4, I underlined "the two are inseparably linked", the "two" being emotional issues and spiritual problems (meaning I agree with this).

Same page, line 7, his commitment is to Scripture. Good. Line 10, he remains committed to Sabbath-keeping. Well, when's he gonna start wearing phylacteries and sacrificing goats?

P. 22: "Jesus does call us to die to ourselves. 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me' (Mark 8:34). The problem was that we had died to the wrong things. We mistakenly thought that dying to ourselves for the sake of the Gospel meant dying to self-care, to feelings of sadness, to anger, to grief, to doubt, to struggles, to our healthy dreams and desires, and to passions we had enjoyed before our marriage." So what does it mean do die to ourselves?

He says "As go the leaders." So true.

He mentions the movie, The Apostle. Loved it. Love Robert Duvall. Is Duvall a believer?

Beginning of Chapter 3, p. 49, line 3: "Contemporary discipleship models often lift up the spiritual over the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual components of who we are. Nowhere, however, does a good biblical theology allow such a division." Now wait just a second! What about these passages?
Mat 26:41
John 3:6-8
John 4:23-24
John 6:63
Rom. 2:29
Rom. 7:6
Rom. 8:1-9 (incl. v. 4)
Rom. 8:10-17
1 Cor 2:10-16
1 Cor 3:1-3
1 Cor 5:5
1 Cor 12:4-13
2 Cor 5:5-9
Gal 3:2-9
Gal 4:29
Gal 5:16-26
Gal 6:1
Eph 1:3
And then I got tired.

P. 51. I underlined the first paragraph in the section entitled "Plato in the Church". "Where did we get the idea that spiritual maturity can be achieved apart from an integration of the emotional aspects of who we are? Where did the subtle bias that places the spiritual over the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual components of who we are come from." These two sentences are artificially put together. They are not the same issue. Why is Peter throwing out the baby with the bathwater. He's bouncing between two extremes, answering one with another. He reacts to one extreme--the unhealthy splitting off of the emotional life from spirituality, and the ensuing disastrous fallout--with another extreme--the unhealthy non-subjugation of body and soul (which includes mind and emotions) to the spirit. You can put spirit over body and soul in a healthy way, without denying the body and soul. Sheesh!

P. 52: "The only problem is that we are more than spiritual beings." Agreed. Absolutely. Amen. However, acknowledgement of this vital truth is light years different from failing to put spirt over body/soul.