Changes That Heal, book cover.
Changes That Heal

How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future

Dr. Henry Cloud

Dr. Henry Cloud writes, “My purpose in this book [Changes That Heal] is not to get enmeshed in the church’s debate between psychology and theology. I have a different goal in mind. I want to show you that there are biblical solutions for your struggles with depression, anxiety, panic, addictions, and guilt, and that these solutions lie in your understanding certain basic developmental tasks--tasks that you may have failed to complete when you were growing up and tasks that bring changes that heal. These tasks involve growing up and into the ‘likeness’ of the one who created you.”

The author equates those pat, simplistic “solutions” usually given to hurting people in the Church to the useless and hurtful “solutions” given to Job by his friends. He says, “Anytime someone’s theology will not allow them to help someone who is hurting, their theology is not big enough to hold the love of God.”

He explains how truth, grace, and time are all needed to heal and to mature into Christ likeness. He gives specific examples to illustrate the principles he is teaching.

He did make a few statements with which I disagree, such as: “God gave them [Adam and Eve] truth without grace.” No! No! No! God’s grace is everywhere in Genesis. Truth and law are part of God’s love and grace. Grace can not exist in a lawless society. Where is grace towards society as a whole when murderers and child molesters are allowed to continue hurting people? God’s grace gives law breaking people the chance to be forgiven and be changed. Grace does not abolish God’s law or the need for law. It is broken laws, spiritual and physical, that causes our spiritual ills.

In spite of his inability to adequately describe the relationship of law [Torah, God’s instructions, The Word of God, Truth] to God’s grace, Dr. Henry Cloud does give a biblically sound prescription for spiritual healing.

Book Review
By Scarlett Stough
Title: Changes That Heal, How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future
Author: Dr. Henry Cloud
Publisher: Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 49530 copyright 2003 by Max Meyers
ISBN: 0-310-60631-4