Published on July 9th, 2014 | by Josiah Batten2
Christian Self-Help Books that Need to be Written
I saw some pictures of a self-help book on Facebook today. The title was “You’re Already Amazing,” a book I have never read and I have no intention of reading. But it did get me thinking, titles like that cause me to be theologically suspicious immediately. Maybe such books really are doctrinally sound, but they seem to fail to reflect certain truths like the doctrine of sin. That’s a biggie. Or there’s Joel Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now,” as if life in heaven can’t possible be better than life on earth (John MacArthur famously pointed this out). Smh.
To remedy this, I’m going to suggest some Christian self-help books that need to be written. I think these titles might help spark more theological reflection:
1. “You’re Totally Depraved: How Sin is Ruining Your Life.”
2. “There are No Good People: How You are More Wicked than You Ever Imagined.”3. “Little Bundles of Sin: A Primer on Biblical Child Rearing.”4. “Don’t Follow Your Dreams: Biblical Self-Denial as Christian Discipleship.”5. “The World Hated Jesus, and it Should Hate You Too.”6. “Destined for Suffering: Why God Cares More About Your Character than Your Comfort.”7. “True Success: Valuing Obedience Over Prosperity.”8. “Vision for Life: Helps for Following the Law of God.”9. “I’m an Idolator, and So are You: Learning Exclusive Dedication to the One True God.”10. “Bumper Sticker Theology: How to Stop Taking Your Theology from Popular Slogans.”11. “Truth: The Secret to Living a Life that Comports with Reality.”12. “Genuine Pleasure: A Puritan Understanding of the Marriage Bed.”
I have a nagging suspicion these books might not sell very well. Good theology is not much for assuaging the individual ego. But if you want genuine spiritual self-help, read the Puritans. These people were true doctors of souls.