HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: God’s Psychiatry: Healing for Your Troubled Heart
Author: Charles L. Allen
Publisher: Revell, republished in 2015
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Allen, Charles L. God’s Psychiatry: Healing for Your Troubled Heart (published in 1953 by Fleming H. Revell Company, Westwood, NJ 07675; republished in 1963 by Pyramid Publications Inc.). Dr. Charles L. Allen (1913-2005), long time minister with the First Methodist Church of Houston, TX, was the much-loved author of many books, including the bestselling All Things Are Possible through Prayer, but perhaps his most widely known book was God’s Psychiatry. With more than a million and a half copies sold, this classic book is intended to show the reader how to apply the ancient wisdom of timeless biblical truths for a happier, healthier life today. Drawing from the 23rd Psalm, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s prayer, and the Beatitudes, Allen discusses ways to acquire confidence, courage, and a new look at life; banish fear and worry; root out hate and suspicion; bring out the best in oneself; generate appreciation from friends and co-workers; and face life with enthusiasm and inward peace.
Some might dismiss this as just more religious “Positive Mental Attitude” optimism similar to that of Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller. However, while that may be true to some degree, there is at least a somewhat serious attempt to make practical application from these passages of Scripture to explain the essence of God’s psychiatry with “prescriptions” that will cure discouragement and doubt and dramatically change one’s life for the better. While there may be a few observations and suggestions with which some believers might disagree, most Bible students should find something in it that is useful, especially those facing difficult times with troubled hearts. The Bible may not provide the solution for all mental and emotional problems, but in many cases it can help and certainly cannot hurt.