The Other Half of Church is at it’s core a book by a pastor who had a surprise relationship with a Christian neuroscientist that helped the pastor look at how they see relationships. It talks about the sanctity of God and its impact of the salvation of man as well as how neuron pathways impact brain functioning and development. While the book does not specifically label treatment modalities, the book functions within the clinical modalities of Attachment Theory and Family Systems Theory.
This is one of those book recommendations that I did not see coming. In looking for books to read, I inquire on our Instagram stories, directly ask Christian counselors, or look up what authors I have loved before recommend or have just recently published. This book was recommended to me by my pastor while they were preaching from the pulpit. Mind you, I have a great relationship with the pastors of my church and talk frequently about mental health and faith. And at it’s essence, the book hits strong points about discipleship that pastors really need to consider.
I applaud their ability to so easily stay in both worlds as it is not an easy task, even in a simple conversation between two colleagues let alone a whole book on the subject. I do not have any issues with the core theology of what is being presented and agreed this can integrate easily into one’s own faith as well as leadership for pastors.
A couple of critics to this book that do not take away from the book. I have no doubt many pastors do not like when science is discussed with regards to theology, many pastors believing this becomes centered around man instead of a conversation of integration. This was not discussed in the book at all and while I think it’s outside the scope of the book, no references to good publications were made on how to approach this subject.
Further, as a clinical therapist, I do have issues when we attempt to generalize diagnoses as it adds to the stigma. While the book was faithful to a clinical interpretation in a counseling setting, the conversation of narcissism was used so often outside the context of the diagnosis but with clinical implications that I worry we are going to go around calling pastors narcissists, which helps no one. A very easy solution is to talk about symptoms of narcissism. Of course, this comes for a counselor that does not like to have clients be labeled as a narcissist, addict, or crazy.
I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it for any pastor or Christian counselor that wants to see Christians grow deeper in their relationships with not only God but their community.