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A Review of Down, But Not Out: How to Get Up When Life Knocks You Down

How do Christians handle the “bummer” times in life — when burnout, worry, or self-pity threaten to knock us down?

  • Byron Snapp,
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How do Christians handle the “bummer” times in life — when burnout, worry, or self-pity threaten to knock us down? Are we to respond differently than a non-Christian? The author, Wayne Mack, answers with a resounding “Yes.” This volume provides solid and practical Biblical instruction to aid us when confronting trials and troubles.

Mack devotes chapters to hopelessness, perplexity, discontentment, and discouragement. He points the reader to God, who is the ultimate Counselor and who provides the strength to extricate us from the powerful grip of these “downers.” Mack’s counsel is scriptural, solid, and essential to help deal the needed deathblow to these sins.

He addresses worry by showing from Scripture that worry is disobedience to God. It is in reality an attempt to replace God’s sovereignty (which works out all things for the Christian’s good) with one’s own desire for supremacy. He delineates between concern and anxiety. A helpful “Worry Quotient Inventory” is provided to aid the reader in determining how prone he or she is to give in to temptation. Other inventories allow the reader to examine what occasions lead to worry and then to examine spiritual causes for worry. Positive, practical applications are provided from Scripture to deal with sinful anxiety.

The author discusses scriptural examples of people who lost heart and who threw their own pity parties. These Biblical illustrations remind us that people of our generation are not the first to encounter various discouragements. The volume is full of timely, relevant texts for those beset with problems, as well as for those who are counseling other individuals.

This is a volume most Christians will find useful. Who has not succumbed, probably time and again, to one or more of these issues? Here is solid food on which our weary souls can be nurtured. Chapters conclude with various questions or inventories that aid the reader to thoughtfully meditate and further apply the material.

Mack has done an excellent job of revealing these “downer” situations from God’s perspective. The sound scriptural orientation points us toward greater godliness.

Christian officers and laity would be well-advised to have this book close at hand for personal use as well as for ministry to others.

  • Byron Snapp

Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia.  He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina.  He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren. 

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