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  • Julie C.H. Brake, MS, RDN, LD

BOOK REVIEW! The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference, 2nd edition

The Christian Counselor's Medical Desk Reference, 2nd edition. Charles Hodges, Jr., M.D., Editor.

Book Review by Julie C.H. Brake, MS, RDN, LD – Owner/Registered Dietitian, Positive Nutrition

The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference, 2nd edition, is a revision and update of the first edition that was written by Robert D. Smith, M.D., and published in 2000. Charles Hodges, M.D., is the editor of this edition, and each chapter is written by a different medical provider with specific expertise in the topic of that chapter. This book includes details about medical conditions that Christian counselors will often encounter. Each topic or condition is described with current scientific data, and traits are identified as physical (medical) or spiritual. A main benefit to having this book is that it helps counselors to know when it is important to have a physician involved in someone’s care. In reading through the chapters, a full overall physical assessment by a medical doctor is helpful when assessing anyone’s physical and mental/spiritual state.

This book is scientific, logical, Biblical, and evidence-based – four things that many people think cannot coexist in a text. The background provided for each issue allows for someone unfamiliar with that topic to understand it much more fully. The references to scientific journal articles support the information presented. A Biblical perspective with Scripture references is given in each chapter. Applications to real-life situations are also given so that any counselor, healthcare provider, or friendly advisor can appropriately use the information.

The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference is not a novel. It is designed as a reference book, to look up specific issues as needed. Because each chapter is written so that it may be read independently of the other chapters, there is some information that is repeated, including phrases to use in counseling and Scripture references.

The book does not seem to be designed to be read from cover to cover. However, that is how I read through this enlightening book, from beginning to end, gleaning Biblical and medical wisdom from the authors. I found myself nodding in agreement as I read through the information, especially the chapter on referring to a medical doctor. As a Registered Dietitian and health care provider, medical assessments are vital in proper treatment of conditions as well as ruling out how medical issues may be affecting mood and disposition.

The Christian Counselor’s Medical Desk Reference is an important tool for all Biblical counselors to have available. I recommend it to any Christian who might give advice to someone else, whether you are in an official counseling role or not. It is especially helpful to Christians who work in health care or who provide counseling on a regular basis.

To order your own copy, visit New Growth Press or find a copy from your favorite book seller.

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