In a society saturated by psychotherapy jargon, the word "addiction" often conjures images of unfortunates left disabled by biological cravings over which they have no control. Ed Welch provides a far different understanding, naming addictions for what they are (sin) and pointing toward the only path to freedom (Christ). Without denying the physical nature of many addictions, he remains firm in affirming that it is our own sinfulness which leads us into addiction, and that the slavery we experience to certain behaviors is self-inflicted.
Throughout Welch emphasizes practical theology. Many people are extensively familiar with the doctrines of the Christian Church, yet see no practical element and attempt to overcome personal problems using secular methods and "wisdom" rather than relying on the very beliefs that are fundamental to their faith. Christ's redemptive work is often reduced to a mere academic concept—and not that which enables us to overcome sin. At the end of each chapter a "practical theology" section puts the preceding principles in a practical light both for those attempting to overcome addiction and for those helping another in that struggle.
Of course, Welch doesn't neglect an examination of causes. Because addictions don't just come from nowhere, he looks at why certain people struggle with particular issues, how they can be helped, and what can be done to avoid addiction in the future. But nowhere does he deny human culpability, or Christ as the ultimate answer to all addiction and sin. In this sense, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave is all practical theology. Everything Welch has to say is firmly rooted in biblical doctrine and the belief that it speaks to every circumstance we find ourselves in. Great for addicts and those who want to help them, this book addresses issues all-too-often ignored from an all-too-infrequent perspective.
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