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In a breakthrough book first published in 1991, the authors address the dynamics in churches that can ensnare people in legalism, guilt, and begrudging service, keeping them from the grace and joy of God's kingdom.Written for both those who feel abused and those who may be causing it, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse shows how people get hooked into abusive systems, the impact of controlling leadership on a congregation, and how the abused believer can find rest and recovery.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||Repackaged Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.54(d)|
About the Author
David Johnson has been the senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, Minnesota, since 1980. During this time, the church has grown from a congregation of 160 to 3,000 people. A much sought-after speaker, he is a graduate of Bethel College and received his theological training at Bethel Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His Growing in Grace radio broadcast is syndicated internationally. David and his family live in Minnesota.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book really helped me work through questions I had and provided valuable insight.
This book on spiritual or religious abuse is very informative and is a great tool for counseling those who have been subjected to abusive churches or beliefs. It is written from a Christian perspective and deals with abuses within the Christian tradition. It is very well balanced and addresses many tough subjects.
Content: Spiritual abuse, its victims, abusive leaders and post-abuse recovery. My Reactions: One of the most important non-fiction books of my life, which list includes The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar, People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck and Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. Interesting and instructive. Filled with the message of true grace that is rarely spoken among the believers and, even rarely, heard from the pulpit. Coupled with my own personal, no-outside-commentary search of the Scriptures, I now have a built-in debunker - instant discernment, if you will - to keep me grounded in the Truth ... so I know the Truth when I hear it and am able to speak Truth in the presence of spiritual abusers. Up until I read this book, I had never spent any length of time, if any, in "that joyful freedom in Christ" these guys are talking about. I had often looked joyful but never really experienced it. Favorite Quotes: "What we have noticed is that wounded people get healed and religious people get angry." "It takes only a superficial reading of the New Testament to see that Jesus was not at odds with 'sinners' - the prostitutes, lepers and the demonized - but with the religious system of that day." "It's not wrong to notice legalism, legalistic families and churches, and to protect yourself from being abused. Noticing a problem does not make you the problem." The authors' insights into forgiveness are worthy of applause. Upon reading, victims will be joyful and abusers will, likely, say that what the authors have gleened from the Scriptures is, somehow, theologically unsound. It is a beautiful thing. And their attack on false peace is a wholesome meal for a hungry soul. This is a lovely, easily readable letter to those who have lost their sense of blessing. It includes maps of how to escape a spiritual trap and guidance to renew your mind, so that you are able to be appropriately vulnerable where grace is in abundance and appropriately girded with knowledge and light in the presence of wolves.
I went to a church like the ones this book describes. I became a target (the one who sees a problem gets singled out AS the problem) of leaders I loved, and to whom I had been unflinchingly loyal. I was shattered. Someone had recommended this book at a conference I had attended years before this happened. I got a copy of it and couldn't believe what I was reading. It was like these guys had been flies on the wall of my church! It was both comforting an appalling to realize how common these things are. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse was a very literal Godsend. It walked me through understanding what was happening to me, what the Bible REALLY had to say about it, and what I should do. I couldn't recommend it more highly!