Unjoy, Hope and Help for 7 Million Christians with Depression

Len Lantz is a Christian psychiatrist and professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine writing to Christians (those who attend worship services at least once per month – p. xiv) who are suffering from depression. He claims that there are seven million depressed Christians in America.

Lantz believes that, in the majority of situations, depression is not the fault of the individual (p. 28), is a medical condition similar to asthma, cancer or diabetes (pp. xvii, xviii, 15, 17, 47, 98), and is treatable through a variety of medications and procedures such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) (p. 85). Because depression is a medical condition, non-Christian therapists are as capable of rendering help equally as well as Christian therapists and counselors (pp. 21, 47, 50, 67).

Lantz is a professing Christian who appears to have genuine compassion for those suffering from depression. He has spent his professional career specializing in cures for depression and claims much success. However, Lantz is fully invested in the medical model of counseling. While he quotes a few scriptures and makes passing references to Christian disciplines, his approach is not a biblical one, nor even an integrational one. It is a purely psychological understanding of and treatment for depression. For those wishing to be knowledgeable of the latest psychological theories and treatments for depression, this book would be informational. This reviewer, however, believes in the biblical model of counseling and soul-care and therefore could not subscribe to the methodologies found in Unjoy.

by Len Lantz, MD (Eugene, Oregon: Resource Publications, 2022), 138 pp + xx, paper $19.00

Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Pastor-teacher at Southern View Chapel

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