Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Book Review – Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression by Zack Erswine.

Pastor and author Zack Eswine never fails to make me feel human again.  He writes in such a gentle and empathetic way, he manages to pour oil on my brokenness and supplies a companion through the dark days felt by those familiar with suffering.

In this book, Eswine artfully describes Spurgeon’s experience with depression and how he ministered both to himself and to those under his care. Surprisingly, the approach Spurgeon took toward understanding and treating depression is quite in line with today’s understanding and treatment recommended by both pastoral and secular experts today. In Spurgeon’s time and our time, there is a recognition that both physical and certain patterns of thinking contribute to depression. Treatment may involve both the wise use of medicine and pastoral care
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The book is divided into three parts with four chapters for each part. In each of these three parts Eswine describes Spurgeon’s experience and counsel. Part one helps us to understand depression. He describes the condition and it’s causes. In part two we learn what helps and what doesn’t help those with depression. In part three are the helps that Spurgeon himself used and he discusses the difficult issue of suicide. Eswines sensitivity to those who suffer from depression is reflected in leaving the benefits of sorrow to the last chapter.


I’ve read several books on depression, but this one is the most helpful. It is the first book I will recommend to anyone who suffers from depression or is close to one who does.