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Soul Repair: Rebuilding Your Spiritual Life
Arthors: Jeff VanVonderen, Dale &Juanita Ryan
InterVarsity Press
191 pp.

This book was written for those who experiencing a distance from God, from Christians, and the church in general.  It details several
different types of spiritual brokenness, and offers insights on “curing” each individual ailment.  The authors come from a wide
background in teaching, therapy, counseling, and writing.  Each of these particular backgrounds offers a different slant on each of the problems, and the opinions and advice blends well enough that you don’t often know which author is speaking at a given moment.

In ways, it is reminiscent of The Ragamuffin Gospel, in that is a book for the spiritually broken, those who realize they can only find peace in God, and not by fully trusting the misguided attempts of those who claim His name.  The labels placed on each malady parallel that of modern therapy distorted spirituality is described as abusive, anorexic, addictive,  and co-dependent.  Based on these categories, we are then confronted with our false depictions of God.

The challenge here is for the individual to be able to identify which category they are in, rebuild their faith on a framework that is
lasting, and to clear up misguided or mistaken images of the God they are trying to serve.  The authors also call for accountability,
relying on trustworthy people, and being able to survive and thrive without a community of believers.

If, like me at times, you are dismayed by the church, discouraged by the lack of “iron sharpening iron”, disgruntled at how the church “shoots its wounded”, then Soul Repair isn’t a bad place to start. Practical advice is given throughout, with Scripture supporting each idea, along with real steps designed to heal the scars we carry with us.  Like any other “self-help” book, you’ll get out of this what you put into it.  I suggest starting slowly true repair is a process, and our microwave society is not a patient one.

Brian A. Smith
24 February 2009



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